Welcome to the 2024 Imagine Cup

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Welcome to the 2024 Imagine Cup, a student competition for visionary entrepreneurs building with AI. If you're passionate about AI, technology, and entrepreneurship, this is your opportunity to unlock your startup's potential and shine on the global stage. Here's what you can expect on this exciting journey.



Benefits of participating in Imagine Cup

  • Access to AI Technology: Immerse yourself in cutting-edge AI technology with USD1,000 of Azure credits and USD2,500 OpenAI credits. You’ll receive expert guidance to accelerate your startup’s AI journey, giving you a distinct advantage in crafting AI-driven solutions.

  • Expert Mentorship: Imagine Cup goes beyond mere technical guidance; it offers a comprehensive entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through personalized one-to-one guidance from technical and business mentors tailored to your specific needs as a founder, you’ll acquire the essential tools to hone your strategies and successfully navigate the challenges along your startup journey. From helping you leverage Microsoft’s industry-leading AI capabilities for your startup, to inspiring you with what is possible as an entrepreneur, your mentors will be trusted partners on your path to success.


  • Prizes and Global Recognition: Seize the opportunity to showcase your startup on a global stage at Microsoft Build! The Imagine Cup champion team will receive USD100,000, while the two runner-up teams will each earn USD50,000. Plus, the winning team secures an exclusive mentorship session with Microsoft Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella!

Stages of the Competition

Now, let's explore the stages of the 2024 Imagine Cup competition:

1. Qualifying: Build the Future with AI (Oct 16 - Jan 24)

Kickstart your Imagine Cup journey by submitting your innovative AI startup idea. Participants in this stage will gain access to Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, receive USD1,000 in Azure credits, USD2,500 in OpenAI credits, access to self-paced training for technical and entrepreneurial skills. Remember, the earlier you submit to qualifying the earlier you get access to the credits to start building your Minimum Viable Product (MVP).


2. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Submissions (Jan 26 - Feb 9)

This stage is dedicated to submitting your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), a mandatory step to advance in the competition. Learn more about what is required for your MVP through downloading the Imagine Cup Rules and Regulations.


3. Semifinals: Accelerate Your Growth (Feb 23 - April 12)

Congratulations to the teams who make it to the semifinals! In this stage, you will collaborate with seasoned mentors to refine your business plan and prototype, harnessing AI for your startup's success. Semifinalists will enjoy networking opportunities, technical guidance, guidance for AI acceleration, personalized one-to-one technical and business mentorship, and access to Founders Hub Level 2, along with an additional USD4,000 in Azure credits.


4. World Championship: Showcase Your Business Globally (April 26 - Build)

Welcome to the pinnacle of Imagine Cup—the Imagine Cup World Championships! The top three teams compete on a global stage at Microsoft Build, showcasing the depth and promise of their startups. Step into the spotlight and demonstrate how technology can drive positive change.

This stage offers global stage visibility, the chance to win an exclusive mentorship session with Microsoft Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella, and cash prizes of USD100,000 for the winning team and USD50,000 for the two runner-up teams.

How to get started

But that's not all! As you embark on your Imagine Cup journey, consider starting with the Imagine Cup Cloud Skills Challenge. It's your chance to learn essential AI, tech, and entrepreneurial skills for the competition.

Imagine Cup 2024 is your pathway to innovation, mentorship, and global recognition. Join us today and unleash your startup's potential. Submit the proof of concept for your business by January 24. However, the sooner you apply, the sooner you gain access to your benefits.


Together, we'll create a brighter future through AI-driven entrepreneurship. Along the way, connect with a vibrant community of changemakers and drive meaningful positive change through your journey as a founder.

Register for the 2024 Imagine Cup


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