Microsoft invites students in from around the world to enter for its 2012 Imagine Cup Competition. Every year, student competitors present creative technology solutions that address real-world challenges, and many of those solutions are in use today. This year, it’s your turn.
This year, Microsoft is challenging students to create and submit a project in one of the Competitions or Challenges that is inspired by the Imagine Cup 2012 theme: Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.
For Imagine Cup 2012, you can choose from three team competitions—Software Design, Game Design: Xbox/Windows, and Game Design: Phone.
If you are already signed up to compete in one of the three competitions you can increase your chances to share your world-changing ideas by signing up to compete in the Kinect Fun Labs, Windows Metro Style App, Windows Azure or Windows Phone Challenges.
We have put together this quick reference guide for all of the competition and Challenge round dates and requirements.
Each of the Competitions and the team Challenges asks you to – imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.
There are mouth-watering cash prizes and grants to be won, and each Worldwide Finalist and one Mentor per team with all expenses paid will be awarded a trip to Sydney, Australia to compete in the Worldwide Finals in July 2012.
Unless otherwise indicated in the specific Competition Rules, you are eligible to enter if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:

  • You are 16 years of age or older; and o If you are 16 years of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, then you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Competition.
  • You are actively enrolled as a student at an accredited educational institution that grants high-school or college/university (or equivalent) degrees (including home schools) at any time between 1 January 2011 and 31 May 2012; and
  • You are not an employee or intern of Microsoft Corporation, or an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary; and
  • You are not involved in any part of the execution or administration of this Competition; and
  • You are not an immediate family member of (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of a Microsoft employee, an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Competition; and
  • You are not a resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
  • PLEASE NOTE: U.S. export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Therefore residents of these countries/regions are not eligible to participate.

Deadline: 23:59:59 GMT, March 3, 2012.
For more information, and to apply, click here.