01 April 2015
Seven teams from universities across the UK made it to the UK final, where they had to pitch their concepts to the judging panel and their co-competitors. Not only were all the presentations impressively professional, the ideas presented were fantastic. I could easily see every one of them finding its way into an accelerator programme (perhaps even Microsoft's own) and on to potential VC funding and commercial success.
I was also privileged in being able to judge and present a special additional UK award for Social Media Creativity. My key criteria for the award related to entries that not only looked at using social media as a marketing tool, but which also used social media technologies as a fundamental part of their proposition. Two of the entries stood out to me on that basis, both in the Innovation category and both teams coming from the University of Exeter.
It was a tight decision, but I eventually settled on Movier. Without giving too much away, I was impressed by how the team has created another layer of collaboration and sociability onto the ever-growing video content creation and sharing area. It's by no means a completed offering as yet, but hopefully the team's prize of coming to Metia and spending time with our own creatives, designers, developers and marketers will help take it to the next level. It's genuinely exciting.
As I said when I presented the award, I graduated with a degree in Computer Science before almost all of this year's Imagine Cup entrants were born. It's a completely different world today: the creative and commercial opportunities for technology students is far greater than it was (or seemed) back then. Exciting stuff, and I'm sure all those who entered this year's competition, whether they made the final or not, will go on to achieve amazing things.