Category Archives: Imagine Cup

Damo in NYC – Part 3

I have just returned from the closing awards ceremony of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2011 here in the wonderful city that is New York.  I can’t even begin to describe how much of a rush the last week has been.  I have met some amazing people, made some great friends, got some excellent networking done, seen some incredible projects and ideas put in to action and I can’t wait to have an opportunity to do it all again next year in Sydney, Australia.  The entire experience has left me full of excitement and energy that I feel I can focus on putting some more of my own ideas in to action myself, coding some great new projects using the technologies that I have learned about and putting in to use some of the hardware that Microsoft has kindly gifted to me (along with all, yes all of the other finalists).  I refer of course, to the Microsoft Xbox Kinect device that I am positively itching to get plugged in to a PC and to start writing some wonderful fun code for.

Flying the Flag

Flying the Flag - The flag of the United States of America flying high above Ellis Island

I feel like I need some time to relax before I can properly reflect on how incredible the week has been, but I’ll do my best to sum up some of the general sentiments of the competition.  The ultimate message that has come over to me is that it genuinely does not matter how your team fairs in the competitions; here at the Imagine Cup, everyone is a winner (despite the fact that at least among the UK guys that has become a colossal cliché).  I want to make it clear to everyone reading that once past the initial sting of disappointment upon not hearing your name and country called out by the guys on stage, there are no bitter feelings left behind at all – just being here is more than enough to put a smile on your face.

Kevin's Presentation

Kevin's Presentation - Our "1-Man Army" Kevin making his final round Embedded Development presentation

Every single person at the Imagine Cup finals has achieved something incredible already – we are working to change the world for the better, to bring solutions to the world’s biggest problems.  It’s not about money or companies or start-ups or anything else – at the core of it, we’re here to make the world a better place – and the teams that have that at heart are the teams that do the best here – I’ve seen that first hand.

NYC Skyline

I'll leave you with this wonderful NYC Skyline

I hope that next year we’ll have an even stronger project to bring to the Imagine Cup 2012 UK Finals and that I’ll be writing another post with a similar tone about the upcoming world finals in Sydney.  Although the UK entries didn’t achieve winning positions this year, we’re not disgruntled and certainly not discouraged, we plan to hit next year with a driving force to change the world, after all – that’s what it’s all about.

Damo in NYC – Part 2

I’m here! Currently sat in the Internet Café in the Marriott on the 5th floor typing a blog post after a long day touring the massive city that is NYC.  But before I start on the wonderful sights and sounds of the city, there’s some competition news to share…

Team UK

Team UK - (Left to Right: Phil Cross, Ben Nunney, JP Lacerda, Me, Sam Van Lieshout)

Sadly we didn’t make it through the first round of the finals; but our presentation was absolutely top notch with no serious cock-ups yet the competition was just as strong.  During the showcase yesterday we saw some incredible projects on display, and everyone there deserves a massive pat on the back for the truly incredible work they’ve done.  It’s not all downhill though, we’ve got the rest of the week in this incredible city ahead of us, the weather is perfect, the people are great and we’ve still got our main man Kevin Pfister representing the UK in the field of Embedded Development! His awesome project has got him in to the final round of the Imagine Cup World Finals – an absolutely incredible achievement.

The view from my hotel room at the Marriott

The view from my hotel room at the Marriott

This afternoon Microsoft reserved Ellis Island (yes, the entire island) for a private BBQ, we also got the opportunity to see Liberty Island and the statue of liberty which was an absolutely incredible experience; before seeing the NYC skyline as the day drew to a close.  Perfection.

More posts soon.

Damo in NYC – Part 1

In just two days time I’ll be heading out to New York City with my good friends from university Sam Van Lieshout and JP Lacerda.  We are the UK finalists of the Microsoft 2011 Imagine Cup and we’re heading out to compete in the world finals in New York this week!

Our project is called Project OVE.  It aims to provide an easy and secure way for charities to exchange volunteer information and make it easier for charitable organisations to coordinate and distribute their volunteering efforts.    At the core of Project OVE  is a peer to peer network-based application written in C#.  I won’t re-explain everything here because our website pretty much has an explanation of how exactly it works covered – and if anyone has any questions, please do post a comment on one of the posts there and we’ll do our best to enlighten you!

All the way from it’s roots  as a passing conversation in the Fallowfield branch of Wetherspoons in sunny Manchester, UK – Project OVE has worked it’s way from an idea on paper to the winner of the UK Imagine Cup, and now we’re taking on the rest of the world in the finals.  I’ll be blogging and tweeting and uploading lots of media related to our progress during the 6 days in New York so everyone can stay tuned on how Project OVE is fairing in the finals.  We’re currently polishing the final version of our presentation to be made to the panel of judges on the 9th of this month, hopefully it will be a success and make a big impression!

Wish us luck!