Microsoft Imagine Cup: UK winner announced

Twelve teams of aspiring student developers gathered at the Microsoft Imagine Cup UK finals at University College London to show off their newly developed technology to a panel of judges, including Microsoft technology experts and past winners of the Imagine Cup.

The winning team will be flown to the world finals at Microsoft’s HQ in Seattle to go head-to-head with the other regional winners for the chance to win the coveted Imagine Cup trophy, as well as a $50,000 cash investment from Microsoft.

As always, competition was tough, with this year’s entries including games, file sharing applications, social networks and global communication platforms, but after a long deliberation, the judges crowned social location sharing app Ripple as the winning idea. The brains behind the app – three students from the University of Exeter – impressed judges with how they planned to differentiate their product from competitors with a solid business plan and clear target market. Judges also loved the design of the website / app and how key features had been implemented.

Ripple is a social network which allows users to instantly share messages, pictures and videos, both privately and publicly to other users within a distance of their choice. The app is initially being targeted at students who are looking to share information or open up discussions with other students within a close proximity.

“This competition is a great opportunity for students to gain recognition for an innovative idea which they have successfully turned into a reality,” said Anand Krishnan, General Manager, Developer and App Platform, Microsoft UK. “The level of creativity that we have seen in this year’s competition is so impressive. We want to encourage more budding developers to take part to show off their skills and learn how to successfully put together a business plan. Who knows, they could end up being crowned the winning team!”

Last year, Colinked, a team of students from the University of Exeter won the global Imagine Cup Innovation Competition after developing SoundSYNK, an app which allows the users to synchronise music with multiple mobile devices using Bluetooth for a full stereo experience without the need for external speakers.