Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2023 is looking for 'game-changing' ideas from students

Microsoft Imagine Cup 2023 poster
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Applications are now open for Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2023.
  • The global competition allows teams to submit projects that use Microsoft Azure technologies.
  • The winning team will receive $100,000, Azure credits, and a mentoring session with Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella.

Each year Microsoft hosts the Imagine Cup, a competition designed to show what can be done with the tech giant's Azure technologies. Students from around the world may enter the competition. Projects from Chile, India, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Thailand, and the United States have already been submitted this year and applications can still be made through Microsoft's website. Those participating in online semifinals have until January 27, 2023 to submit their projects.

Imagine Cup has four categories for projects: Earth, Education, Health, and Lifestyle. Microsoft's most recent post on the competition explains that this year's competitors will also be pushed on the entrepreneurial side of things by proposing projects as business ideas.

Microsoft shared that many gaming projects have already been submitted from around the world. "Their projects range from new games to fit different lifestyles to educational games that will inspire young students to learn more about climate change, teach young drivers the rules of the road, or increase interest in studying technology," said Allison Bokone, Microsoft Director of Game Dev Content & Channels.

The winning team will be announced in May 2023. That team will receive a $100,000 grand prize, a Microsoft Azure grant, and a mentoring session with Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella.

ExoHeal project that won Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2022

V Bionic's ExoHeal project that won Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2022. (Image credit: Microsoft)

V Bionic won the Imagine Cup 2022 for their project ExoHeal, a robotic exoskeleton the helps patients recover from hand paralysis. The team members shared their experiences since winning the event in Microsoft's blog post.

"The mentorship session with Satya Nadella, which was such a bonus as a prize, was one of the most cherished and valuable moments for us," said Zain Samdani, the original creator of ExoHeal.

"It was so inspiring to meet with him. His guidance, advice, and support for our startup instilled us with hope. His encouragement and life experiences were invaluable. We are humbled we had the opportunity to meet him."

Developer Ramin Udash is also part of the ExoHeal project. They reiterated the importance of the mentorship sessions from Microsoft:

One of the most crucial parts of our Imagine Cup journey was the mentorship sessions. They helped us identify problems and solutions within our project, and really helped us refine everything about our ideas. As we progressed in the competition, we also had several reactor sessions and different rehearsals where we got feedback on pitching our product idea.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at