Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition 2024 for Students

Competition Grant / Award in Entrepreneurship , in Sustainable Development , in Technology
  • Online, Online
  • Apply Before : January 24, 2024

Opportunity Details

  • Opportunity ID 93768
  • Degree Non Degree Program/Certificate
  • Language Requirement Not Required
  • Fields of study AI and Technology
  • Opportunity Type : Fully Funded
  • Gender MaleFemale
  • Language of Instruction English
  • Application Fee Required No

Opportunity Description

The Imagine Cup 2024 is a global skill-based Competition sponsored by Microsoft. It is open to student developers worldwide and aims to recognize the most innovative, accessible, groundbreaking, and attractive software developed using Microsoft tools and Artificial Intelligence technology.

Microsoft explicitly disclaims any equity stake in the businesses or projects entered into the Imagine Cup competition. The intellectual property rights for submitted projects remain the sole possession of their respective owners. Microsoft’s role is to furnish a platform for young innovators, allowing them to showcase their talents and breathe life into their ideas.

The structure of the competition may vary based on the country or region you represent. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the competition rules specific to your local country or region (if applicable) before registering or submitting an entry.

Key Details

Organizer and Sponsor: Microsoft

Countries Eligible: All

Target Group: Students

Gender Eligible: Male/Female

Entry Rounds:

  • Qualifying: October 16, 2023 to January 24, 2024
  • Round 1: MVP Submission January 26, 2024 to February 9, 2024
  • Round 2: Semifinals February 26, 2024 to April 2024
  • Round 3: World Championship May 2024

Competition Categories:

    1. Sustainability: Solutions focusing on sustainability and enhancing the quality of life.
    2. Innovation: Solutions showcasing novel and groundbreaking ideas, pushing technological and creative boundaries.
    3. Industry: Solutions addressing real-world problems in various sectors, such as healthcare, education, finance, etc.

Benefits and Prizes

Benefits of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2024:

Access to Cutting-edge AI Technology:

  • USD1,000 in Azure credits and USD2,500 in OpenAI credits.
  • Expert guidance for AI-driven startup solutions.

Expert Mentorship for Holistic Growth:

  • Personalized one-to-one guidance from technical and business mentors.
  • Tools for refining startup strategies and navigating challenges.
  • Trusted partners in leveraging Microsoft’s AI capabilities.

Prizes and Global Recognition:

    • Showcase at Microsoft Build.
    • USD 100,000 for the champion team and USD 50,000 for each runner-up.
    • Exclusive mentorship with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Stages of the 2024 Imagine Cup Competition:

Qualifying: Build the Future with AI (Oct 16 – Jan 24):

  • Submit innovative AI startup ideas.
  • Access to Founders Hub, USD1,000 Azure credits, and USD2,500 OpenAI credits.
  • Early submissions grant a head start for building the Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Submissions (Jan 26 – Feb 9):

  • Mandatory submission stage.
  • Refer to Imagine Cup Rules and Regulations for detailed requirements.

Semifinals: Accelerate Your Growth (Feb 23 – April 12):

  • Collaboration with mentors to refine plans and prototypes.
  • Networking opportunities, technical guidance, AI acceleration insights.
  • Personalized mentorship, Founders Hub Level 2 access, and USD 4,000 in Azure credits.

World Championship: Showcase Your Business Globally (April 26 – Build):

  • Global competition at Microsoft Build.
  • Worldwide visibility and a chance to win exclusive mentorship.
  • Cash prizes of USD100,000 for the winning team and USD50,000 for each runner-up.
  • Opportunity to demonstrate how technology can drive positive global change.

Eligibility Requirements

You are eligible to enter if you satisfy the following requirements at the time of submission:

    • Must be at least 18 years old as of October 16, 2023.
    • They are actively enrolled as a student at an accredited educational institution granting high school or college/university degrees between October 16, 2023, and May 31, 2024.
      • If 18 or older but not of the age of majority, permission from parent/legal guardian is required.
    • Applicants should not be residents of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Russia, or the Region of Crimea, as per U.S. export regulations.
    • Businesses or individuals have not received external funding exceeding USD 50,000.
    • No paid employee assistance was used in creating an Imagine Cup entry.
    • Applicant is not an employee or intern of Microsoft Corporation or a Microsoft subsidiary or involved in the administration of the competition between October 16, 2023, and May 31, 2024.
    • No immediate family or household member of a Microsoft employee or anyone involved in competition administration between October 16, 2023, and May 31, 2024.

    Special Conditions for Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors:

    • If a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador meets eligibility criteria, they can enter but cannot use exclusive Microsoft resources.
    • They are prohibited from using Microsoft property, internal resources, Student Ambassador benefits, or the work of Microsoft employees to create or execute entries.

    Additional Conditions:

    • If previously competed in Imagine Cup, any new entry must be substantially different.
    • Competition is void outside the specified geographic area and wherever prohibited by law.

    Teams and Mentors:

    • Up to four eligible students may form a team.
    • It is recommended to have a mentor from academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, or private companies.
    • Additional students assisting in specific disciplines are not considered official team members and are ineligible for prizes or recognition.
    • Team members may be from different academic institutions and countries.
    • Each competitor may belong to only one team.
    • Team members should register at and create/join teams before the submission deadline.
    • Ineligibility during the competition requires proactive removal from the team.
    • At least one team member must attend the Semi-Finals or World Championship; failure to do so may lead to disqualification.
    • Teams are responsible for their cooperation and teamwork; Sponsor will not officiate in disputes.

    Mentorship Guidelines:

    • Mentors must provide general guidance without contributing to original authorship.
    • No work on behalf of teams or individuals is allowed by mentors, ensuring the skills and creativity of student entrants are tested.

Selection Process and Criteria

Judging criteria for the Microsoft Imagine Cup include:

  • AI Technology (40%): Integration of AI, technical design innovation, and responsible AI practices.
  • Inclusion (10%): Ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all users.
  • Viability (50%): Creating a new category, addressing a clear need, and a credible plan for market success.

How Do You Enter the Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition?

Step-by-Step Entry Process for the 2024 Imagine Cup:

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  • Visit to start your entry process.
  • Follow the provided instructions to register.
  • Form your team as guided on the platform.
  • Ensure active participation in the Qualifying round, a mandatory step.
  • If you skip Qualifying, you are ineligible for the 2024 Imagine Cup.


Apply Now 


Submission Notes

  • Only one entry is allowed per round.
  • During Qualifying, if you submit multiple times, the last submission is considered your official entry.
  • You can replace your project during Qualifying if needed.
  • After Qualifying, the last submission is considered the official entry for subsequent rounds.
  • Incomplete or illegible entries will be disqualified.
  • Entries not received or not decipherable for any reason are not the responsibility of the organizers.
  • It is crucial to follow each step diligently to ensure eligibility and successful entry into the Imagine Cup.


Please refer to the official link for more comprehensive details of the completion so that you don’t miss any important information if you decide to enter the competition.

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Application is closed.

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