Global student technology competition.

The Imagine Cup

Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is the world’s most prestigious student technology competition, bringing together student innovators from all over the world. If you have a great idea for a new app, you can bring it to life through the Imagine Cup and win cash prizes and worldwide recognition!

Building a Team

Up to four (4) eligible students may submit a single entry as a team. Teams compete in one of the categories below, the top team in each category will then go on to compete for top prizes at Imagine Cup 2016 New Zealand Finals in March 2016. Following a chance to win the represent New Zealand through a World Wide online competition.

Imagine Cup Categories

Great games come from anywhere and people play them everywhere. Powerful game engines and libraries are available for free so students can get started right away.
Incredible, world-changing software innovations often come from students. Social networks, music services, – the list goes on. We’re looking for the next big thing.
World Citizenship
Find a problem in the world, even in your own life or community, that affects many people, and then work to solve it. Build a project that could change lives.

Building Your Idea

If you have an App you’ve been working on for a while, or you’re part way through, then you can also enter this into Imagine Cup. Entries are accepted for both new applications, or existing projects.

Prizes - New Zealand Final Winners

$5,000 for 1st place
$3,000 for 2nd place
$2,000 for 3rd place
$1,000 for 4th place

Phase 1
15th Dec 15 - 31st Jan 16
Imagine Cup Proposal Submission

  • Register @
  • Complete a maximum 5 page report on your project, which includes:
    • Problem definition
    • Solution
    • Storyboard of application
    • Business plan
    • Team details/background
  • Form a team with students who share your idea.
  • Start building out your idea by using the free software tools available from DreamSpark.
  • Use the Sample Template to complete your report.
  • Email reports to by 11:59pm 31st January 2016.
  • Successful teams will be notified by 5th February 2016

Phase 2
10th Feb 16 - 12th March 16
Preliminary Stage - Top 15 Teams

  • Over this time, the teams will focus on building their prototype and business case in preparation for the preliminary finals.
  • Early March (Date TBC) - Teams present to a judging panel, 10 minutes presentation, 5 minutes Q&A - the top 5 teams in each category progress in the competition and to the National Finals.

Phase 3
22nd Mar 16 - 23rd Mar 15
National Finals

  • All 15 teams go through a final round of judging to panel of judges – 10 minutes presentation, 5 minutes Q&A.
  • All teams will be invited to the National Finals where they will have an opportunity to showcase their idea to industry guests and media.
  • The top team from each category will then be announced and compete in front of a live audience for the top prize and the title of the 2016 New Zealand Imagine Cup Winners.


Contact Us

If you have any specific questions, our team will be happy to address them. Please email us at For the latest updates follow us on Facebook and Twitter.