US Imagine Cup 2018

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Imagine Cup 2018

Why Apply?

Don't Let Your Dreams Be Dreams. We’re looking for the next big thing and we know students like you are going to build it! Register today for the Imagine Cup, Microsoft’s foremost global competition for student developers. As a student developer, your team can earn up to $11,000 and 1 of 6 spots to represent the United States at the global finals of Imagine Cup 2018. The top 12-ranked US teams will receive a trip to compete in the National Finals hosted in San Francisco, CA.

Get Your Team Ready! In teams of up to three (3) students, you are encouraged to submit an original application that you’ve built on your own time, through your coursework, as a participant in a student hackathon, etc. For your submission to qualify for the Imagine Cup 2018, your application must somehow utilize Microsoft Azure.

How to Enter

1. Register for Imagine Cup 2018

2. Submit a technical project that utilizes Microsoft Azure. Projects can be from hackathons, class assignments, club work, or personal passion projects. (See examples from Imagine Cup 2017)

3. Finalize and submit your team entry before 11:59 PM PST on Sunday April 1, 2018 for your chance to participate in the US Finals

Finals Date: Saturday May 5, 2018

Finals Location: Microsoft Reactor San Francisco

Finals Format: 12 finalist teams will be selected from all the eligible US team submissions to participate in a pitch competition during the US Finals of Imagine Cup 2018. Each team will have 5 minutes to pitch their application and 3 minutes to demo their application in front of a panel of judges

Final Prizes

How far will your project take you?

The 12 top-ranked teams will receive a trip to participate in the US Finals in San Francisco, CA!

    • USA Finals
    • 1st Prize $10,000 USD

    • 2nd Prize $8,000 USD

    • 3rd Prize $6,000 USD

    • 4th Prize $4,000 USD

    • 5th Prize $2,000 USD

    • 6th Prize $1,000 USD

    • Judges’ Technology Awards
    • Best Use of Mixed Reality

      (HoloLens, Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality)

      $1,000 USD

    • Best Use of Big Data

      (Azure Data + Analytics or IoT)

      $1,000 USD

    • Best Use of Artificial Intelligence

      (Cognitive Services or Azure ML)

      $1,000 USD

Things We Love

How to catch the judge's eyes.

IoT Device

Mixed Reality

Data Analytics



Intuitive Functionally


Can I submit a project from a hackathon? Or from a class project?

YES! Please do and include your devpost link (if applicable).

What do I need in my video?

A screen capture/recording of your project is what we’re looking for, nothing fancy. Just show us how it works.

Does my software have to be completely working?

Nope! Nothing ever completely works, this is computer science. We’re open to your MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

How world changing should my project aim to be?

It should positively impact someone's world. Whether it’s helps you and your friends take collaborative notes or teaches kids how what to compost instead of trash, we’re open to it!

Is there a theme for this year's Imagine Cup?

We have three technology focuses this year: Mixed Reality, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.

Can I have TA or graduate students on my team?

Yes, as long as they are actively enrolled students, and your team doesn’t exceed 3 people.

Can I have a professor on my team?

We encourage faculty members to participate as mentors, but the project has to be built by students.

Can I use a project from my Startup?

Yes, as long as you have not received external funding more than $50,000.

Can I link to my github instead of uploading software?

Yes, please put the github link, any private keys, and any software directions in a file (.docx or .txt) and upload that.

Are there Azure credits available for our team?

Please go to and activate your Azure for Students account.

Microsoft Imagine says I'm registered, but I can't find my application.

Go to where you can register your team and submit your project.

My question isn’t answered here, who can I contact?

Please email us at


2018 United States National Finals

Global Competition

Learn More

Register Now!