As students most of us struggled to make a proper bolognese, let alone a software, gaming or hardware startup with the potential to be the next big thing.
But that’s precisely what the finalists in the UK leg of Microsoft’s international student startup competition, the Imagine Cup, have done. On March 31, the seven best teams - some picked by Microsoft’s judges, and some picked by you - congregated in London for a final pitch-off in the hope of winning a place in the Imagine Cup grand finals in Seattle.
The finalists faced a grilling from a distinguished panel of judges including Mike Bithell, creator of indie gaming classic Thomas Was Alone, Michel Van Der Bel, MD of Microsoft UK, and Rob Bourne of the Ministry of Defence.
The competition was fierce, but in the end there could be only three winners. Check out the video below to see who they were (or you could just scroll past it and read about them underneath).
World Citizenship category winner: Lifeline Applications
An app which aims to save lives by crowdsourcing first aid: when the Lifeline panic button is pressed it alerts all registered first aiders within the vicinity so they can be on the scene as soon as possible.
Gaming category winner: TerraBite Games
TerraBite's game is Project Cyber, a Kinect-controlled dystopian puzzle game with its own Windows Phone-based companion app, providing additional narrative elements and letting users build their own levels.
Innovation category winner: Siymb
Siymb is developing wearable tech and business intelligence solutions for conferences and large-scale events. Its current product line includes a smart bracelet that can exchange contact details via a handshake as well as access to analysis tools that allow the organisers to make detailed inferences about the performance of the event.
The UK winners will progress to the international semi-finals in May, and if they prevail will find themselves pitching to a packed auditorium of Microsoft glitterati in Seattle. As for the runners-up, they now have the chance to apply for the UK Microsoft Ventures Accelerator programs - so there’s still opportunity to take their fledgling companies to the next level.
Stay tuned to Stuff to find out how they get on.