—Premier Student Technology Competition Hosts More Than 400 of the Brightest Young Minds from 70 Countries Around the World—

—Event Generates Close to 4,000 Hotel Room-Nights—

New York City (July 8, 2011) — NYC & Company, the City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, welcomes the prestigious Microsoft Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals to New York City, marking the event’s debut in the United States. More than 400 students from 70 countries and regions around the globe will participate in the world’s premier student technology competition, vying for international recognition and monetary prizes as they attempt to solve some of the world’s toughest problems using innovative technological solutions. Participants, administrators and representatives in the City for the Imagine Cup finals will book close to 4,000 hotel room-nights during the nearly weeklong competition. The finals are July 8–12 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel; the closing event will be on July 13 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

“We are honored to host the first-ever US–based Microsoft Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in New York City,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “As a bastion of culture and industry, New York is the ideal setting to bring together students from all over the globe to creatively identify solutions to the world’s challenges. The City offers the hotels, restaurants and inspiration to host the teams and their visitors while attending the finals.”

Now in its ninth year, Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. More than 350,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registered for the 2011 competition, which provides an opportunity for students to use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to help solve global challenges and make a difference in the world. The Imagine Cup People’s Choice Award allows the public to choose their favorite projects from this year’s entries. Voting began on June 20 and runs through July 12. Watch videos of the teams and cast your vote at The Imagine Cup World Festival and Award Ceremony on July 13 will be webcasted live at beginning 4pm Eastern Time.

This year’s theme is: “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.” Students are creating technology solutions that combat diseases, improve education, ensure environmental sustainability and reduce child mortality, among others. Students will demonstrate technological advancements in problem-solving in nine categories (Software Design, Embedded Development, Game Design, Digital Media, Windows Phone 7, IT Challenge, Interoperability Challenge, Windows 7 Touch Challenge and Orchard Challenge), competing for international recognition and $215,000 USD in cash prizes.

“Imagine Cup is one of the most exciting and inspiring events in which Microsoft is involved,” said Laura Wallace, general manager, Microsoft New York. “These students undoubtedly will make their mark in the world, and New York City, full of life, innovation and passion, is the perfect backdrop to showcase their excellence.”

The Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals will take place in New York, July 8–13. More than 400 students representing 124 teams from 70 countries and regions will compete in New York. More information is available at

About NYC & Company:
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.