Imagine Cup 2011 (NYC) - Post 1 - Setup Day

Preparing for the Imagine Cup 2011 Competition

I just arrived into New York City for the Microsoft Imagine Cup worldwide competition finals in my 6th year as the IT Challenge competition head judge!  This year’s competition started with over 100,000 students from over 83 countries participating in various technology competitions (software design, IT, digital media, embedded design, Win7 phone) through a series of qualifying rounds ultimately leading to the top 400 in the world to face off with the best of the best from around the globe at the worldwide finals!

This year’s final competition is in New York City with previous worldwide finals in Warsaw Poland (2010), Cairo (2009), Paris (2008), Seoul (2007), India (2006), Japan (2005), Brazil (2004), and Barcelona (2003).

Over the next 7-days we will be welcoming the finalists here to New York and put them through their last challenge of the year to crown the finals champion!

In the competition that I’m leading, which is the IT Challenge, it is an individual competition (as opposed to a team competition) where our finalists have worked their way through a Round 1 multiple choice online quiz and Round 2 essay to result in the final 6 individuals.

The individuals come from France, Poland, Germany, China, Singapore, and Romania.  More on each of these individuals in a future blog post once I get a chance to meet them in person.

Today (Thursday, July 7th) is a setup day where 6-yr IT Challenge co-captain and judge, Chris Amaris, has prepared the infrastructure environment here at the Marriott Marquis Times Square hotel for the competition.  Chris and I have another several hours to get everything ready, but just in the past few hours of getting started, working in NYC is so much better than working in the backwoods of India where the server systems got “lost” in transit and arrived 3-days late, or even in Paris where the minute we turned on the server systems we blew the power grid for an entire City block.  So far (and I’m knocking on wood right now), so good…

The student competitors arrive tomorrow and we jump right into competition briefings and the welcoming ceremony, and the actual competition starts at 9:30am on Saturday morning the 9th and goes for 24 straight hours, finishing at 9:30am on Sunday the 10th.

I’ll do a series of blog posts on the competition once things get started…  Looking forward to a GREAT Imagine Cup 2011 competition!!!

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