In Case You Missed the Imagine Cup Twitter Chat – Here is a Recap

In Case You Missed the Imagine Cup Twitter Chat – Here is a Recap

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John Scott TynesSally Buberman

The Imagine Cup Twitter Chat was very well received; we’re so glad you were able to get some questions answered from John Scott Tynes, Imagine Cup Competition Manager and Sally Buberman, Imagine Cup alumna and entrepreneur. For those of you who missed the chat, not a problem. We’ve highlighted the top Q&A below, so that you can better understand the Imagine Cup competition and its resources. If you have any more questions there a couple of different avenues you can take in order to get an answer:

Q: I’m not sure if I can participate in the Imagine Cup because the hardware I’m developing doesn’t use Microsoft Software?

A: Some part of your solution needs to run on one of our platforms, but not all of it has to. Interoperability is great. For example if you have a client app on Windows that connects to your custom hardware that would be fine. Learn more about the Official Rules of the competition or challenge you are participating in.

Q: What is an app summary?

A: It's a document you submit with your entry. You can download it here.

Q: What level of functionality do we need to deliver? Should our product be a prototype or a full working system?

A: You need at least a working prototype; which means it has to be functional and it needs to accomplish your goals of your project.

Q: Do you have any advice for the students planning on joining the Imagine Cup this year? What we should focus on etc.

A: Find a problem and solve it. Look at something done poorly and do it better. Make something people will actually want. Sally said, “In our case, we focused not only on the product itself, but also on the business side.”

Q:  Is it possible to team up with people from the other side of the world?

A: The team has to pick one country to compete in, but members can be from multiple countries.

Q: Is it ok to use open source or game engines or middleware?

A: All are fine to use, as long as you obey their licenses.

Q: Are there any resources for startup help for someone who has never developed apps?

A: Yes, these guides will help you: Windows Phone Getting Started Guide and Windows 8 Getting Started Guide

Q: What are the pre-requisites for Imagine Cup?

A: You need to be age 16 or older as of August 31, 2012 and enrolled a student at any time from January 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013. Learn more about eligibility here in the FAQ sheet.

Q: What is the theme for Imagine Cup 2013?

A: The theme is: "All dreams are now welcome" - If you can dream it you can build it!

Q: What is new about the Imagine Cup 2013 competition?

A: There are a lot of new and exciting opportunities within the competition this year. Check out the news blog for all of the details.

Q: Is Microsoft XNA acceptable to use?

A: Yes, XNA running on Windows is fine

Q: Will there be local finals and when are they happening?

A: We will have dozens of local finals around the world and those should start being announced in the next few weeks.

Q: I seem to have too many ideas and I’m having trouble narrowing them down, any keys to focus/inspiration?

A: Having a lot of ideas is great, but try to differentiate them and choose the one you are really passionate about.

Q: Does my solution have to be developed with Microsoft technologies?

A: Some part of it needs to run on one of our platforms and you need to make some use of Visual Studio. For example, you could have hardware running some embedded OS that talks to a client app on Windows.

Q: My partners and I are all foreigners studying in Costa Rica. Can we participate as a Costa Rican team?

A: Yes! Vinny (an Imagine Cup alumnus) was from India, but he was studying in New Zealand and he competed on the New Zealand team and he achieved the top 3 in the Worldwide Finals.

Q: Is the judging criteria different per category or generally the same, for example: impact, useful, innovate, creative, etc.

A: The rules for each contest explain the judging criteria can be found here.

Q: Can I participate in all of the categories at the same time?

A: Yes, you can, but you need a different project for each contest. So you can't make one app and use it for all.

Q: How do beginners get started? Or is the completion just for pros?

A: Not at all! When I started I didn’t have any experience, but we competed and won the local finals.

Q: There aren’t any UN Goals in judging criteria for games anymore, so we don't need to add anything about these goals right?

A: Correct. If you make a game that does address a UN Goal or other social issue, consider the World Citizenship competition.

Q: What's the best way for non-students to help out with Imagine Cup?

A: Spread the word to students and you could also mentor a team.

Q: Is there a way we can see videos of past Imagine Cup finalists so we can use them for motivation?

A: You can find a lot of them on this page under the links in the sidebar.

Q: Can we have a team of 5 members and a mentor, or does it have to be 4 teammates plus the mentor?

A: If you are a finalist team, we will fly four team members and one mentor to St. Petersburg.

Q: Who can be a mentor of a team participating in IC?

A: Anyone who is not also a judge in the same contest this year.

Q: Would love to be a part of MSPSMT! Are there any details on how to get involved?

A: The Social Media Team for St. Petersburg has been chosen and announced, but there are other MSP opportunities.

Q: Are there any special requirements for a mentor?

A: No, not really. You should choose a mentor who knows a lot about your technology or concept and has free time!

Q: What is the expectation from the prize raise? Should I expect a much higher level of work?

A: By adding much bigger prizes and more kinds of competitions, we expect more teams to compete with better software.

Q: Is it mandatory to have a mentor? Who can be a mentor?

A: Having a mentor is not mandatory, but it is a good idea and if you're a finalist we'll fly them to Russia. Anyone can be a mentor, as long as they are not judging the competition you are in.

Q: If one we are going to participate in the software development category, what skills should the team have?

A: It helps a lot if your team knows how to make good coffee. :) An interdisciplinary team is always helpful. Different points of views are useful.

Q: I am doing a research based project that is in mid stage right now. Can we use a dummy prototype of the research done so far in?

A: Yes! As long as it is functional you can use it!

Q: Can students get software and tools to develop? Is there a student rate?

A: Yes! Students have access to DreamSpark – professional developer tools at no charge. Learn more here .

Q: How does the judging happen? What are we judged on?

A: You can check the rules and percentages here.

Q: Any advice for a pretty revolutionary and "weird" idea that we have for game development?

A: Yes. Make it happen and be bold!

Q: Please tell me that I can use other libraries from other companies with my Imagine Cup project?

A: Yes, you can use any middleware/libraries/etc. as long as you obey any licenses that they come with.

Q: I’m not sure whether my project should be in the Innovation or Citizenship competition? What is the difference?

A: If the purpose is to help the environment, health, education, etc., you should check World Citizenship competition. If you’d like to learn more about the Innovation competition, visit this page.

Q: Can we have sponsors support our team?

A: Yes, you can have sponsors to support your idea.  Read more in the Official Rules document.

Q: Are there any community forums for students in Imagine Cup?

A: Forums on the website will be launched in October.

Q: What is the number of success stories from Imagine Cup? How many teams have gone on to create a company?

A: We don't have an exact number – but Sally Buberman is one wonderful example of an Imagine Cup team that started a business after competing in Imagine Cup in 2007. Sally: It was a life changing experience competing in the competition. Even if we did not win, we received plenty of feedback and support. After coming back home, we decided to create a company @WormholeIT and we quit our jobs! It was scary but awesome. Yes! It feels like a rollercoaster... but it is amazing and I won't change it for anything else!

Q: Is hardware to combat hunger welcomed in the World Citizenship Competition?

A: Sure! Hardware-software combinations are fine.

Q: What are the Imagine Cup Grants?

A: Many of our Sydney 2012 finalists applied to the Imagine Cup Grants. We are reviewing them now. Amazing work from so many teams! Learn more about the Grant opportunities here.

Q: Well, this must be out of context, but will there be any celebrity guests at Imagine Cup Russia?

A: Celebrity guests at our Worldwide Finals? We like to think our students are the stars. :)

“I hope you will all start companies that change the world! Dream big and it will happen!” – Sally Buberman

  • <p>Good One. Thanks for the recap.</p>

  • <p>Hi Srikanth - I&#39;m glad the recap was helpful to you. Have a wonderful day!</p>

  • <p>Hello. First of all: thanks for the recap.</p> <p>My question is: Can we use software we bought or it&#39;s already available on certain systems? For example, the Macs come by default with the iLife suite for free. The is one nice app: Garage Band (which can be combined with Songsmith!). Can we use that to make the sounds for our Game (provided we are competing in the Games competition)?</p> <p>Thanks.</p>

  • <p>Also, I forgot to ask, what about Songsmith and the software we get through DreamSpark Premium. Can we use that too?</p> <p>Thanks.</p>

  • <p>Hello Imagine Cup Team thanks for the recap </p> <p>My Questions is: I have a team which contains 5 members, but the team limit is 4 can&#39; t there be any exceptions for the team members ?? </p>

  • <p>Hi Timotei - thanks so much for your interest and passion for Imagine Cup. </p> <p>All games must be built using Microsoft tools and technologies. The application must be developed using at least one product in the Visual Studio family and must be built for one or more of the following platforms:</p> <p>- Windows</p> <p>- Windows Phone</p> <p>- Kinect SDK</p> <p>- Xbox Indie Games</p> <p>Be sure to read the official Games Competition rules here: &nbsp;<a rel="nofollow" target="_new" href=""></a>. In addition, the Imagine Cup website will launch forums very soon where you can post all of your competition-related questions. <a rel="nofollow" target="_new" href=""></a></p> <p>Best of luck!</p>

  • <p>Hi Sumair - thank you so much for your interest in the Imagine Cup. </p> <p>Up to four (4) eligible students may submit a single entry as a team. You can find additional details about entry requirements and teams on page 3 of the Official Rules here: &nbsp;<a rel="nofollow" target="_new" href=""></a>. </p> <p>Thanks!</p>

  • <p>how can i create a team of my own friends from my own class?</p>

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