Once again, Microsoft's flagship student technology competition, Imagine Cup, is bringing together student innovators from around the world.  And this year, Microsoft is re-imagining the competition to be a springboard for budding entrepreneurs as much as it is a student technology competition. The U.S. Imagine Cup Finals will be run as a Demo Day, where the top 10 U.S. teams will pitch their solutions to investors, entrepreneurs, and technology professionals for a chance to win cash prizes in the competition categories of Games, Innovation, and World Citizenship.

The reigning Software Design winners are a great example of how students can incorporate Microsoft’s technology into the U.S. Imagine Cup. Hailing from Winona State University, Chase Lundstrom, Parbati Sanjel and Tauseef Hemayet designed a sleeping pad to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other respiratory diseases. The pad monitors an infant’s heartbeat, breathing and movement and sends data to a PC, which then passes the information along to a Windows Phone app.

Leading up to this year’s U.S. Imagine Cup Finals Demo Day, Microsoft has hosted a set of programs to help student teams create successful businesses, including a virtual accelerator and a Startup Boot Camp in Silicon Valley.

During Demo Day, Microsoft will also unveil the U.S. National Team traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia, to represent the U.S. at the Worldwide Imagine Cup Finals on July 8-11.

The event will also be streamed live via: https://www.facebook.com/usimaginecup, so be sure to track Team Miracle Workers’ progress throughout the Demo Day.

To learn more about the competition, please visit the official Imagine Cup website at:  http://www.imaginecup.com or visit the virtual pressroom at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/events/imaginecup/Default.aspx.