So this is the reason for lack of updates. I made it to the UK Final of the Imagine Cup 2007 with our team Herts of Code from the University of Hertfordshire with our application ‘weLearn’.
Last night, Thursday 29th, Microsoft put us up in a very nice Hilton hotel in Wokingham providing us with a free bar and, for once, I was professional and didn’t take advantage just drinking J20’s all night (boring, but sensible), along with a meal which was Korea themed and was excellent. During the meal there was a quiz with various different sections, ranging from general knowledge to drawing a picture of the person on your left, and team Choc Ice (Herts of Code (HOC) and Team I.C.E) won, winning a set of ‘cube worlds’ which look cool. After the meal, it was straight to bed for an early night.
5.30am, Friday 30th. Wide awake. Good start to the day, had very little sleep with the excitment of the day ahead and the presenation running around in my head. 6.15am, alarm goes off, jump in the shower and down for breakfast. Nice breakfast, discussed the day ahead and came up with a great idea about how to do the poster presentation. 7.30am, final practice of the poster to make sure we were all ready and decide who would be doing the two presentations of the poster itself which we would be judged on – the decision was Paul up first and myself second.
8am, left Hotel for TVP.
8.30am, first team to arrive, which was great as we could have a quick look at the other posters and do a quick run through.
9.05am, first team to present in front of the first panel of judges. Very scary, but seemed to go well.
9.45am, my turn to present our poster in front of the second panel of judges. Little bit nervous, but I think it went really well.
Long wait until 12.30pm when the teams which would be presenting are annouced – this is when it starts to get interesting.
We were annouced as one of the top three teams!! HOW COOL IS THAT!! We got to present our application in front of all the attendees. The three teams got taken away into the non-public area and were given a room for us to practice our presentation. In fact, we completely re-wrote the presentation and the way we were presenting which was a bit high pressured but appeared to be much, much better. Food was brought to the room however I was far to nervous and busy to have and interest in it.
2pm, taken to setup my laptop in Chicago (the main presenting room in building 3) which had the partition removed but still was no where near as big as I expected. We were then taken away to the EBC while the first two teams presented. Good time to relax, take everything in and have a joke with Mark and Stuart.
Then it was our turn. Everything was in place, we were confident with ourselves and our product and everything looked great. We felt it went really well and everyone we spoke to were really impressed and thought we had an amazing application. I think my bit went well, I had to demo the application we had created so far, which turned out to be the only demostration from the three teams, got all the main points across and the application didn’t crash! I can now say I have presented in Chicago!
Ok, so we didn’t win 🙁
However we recieved excellent feedback and the University are currently looking at using the application in their current plans so its not over just yet. Plus we were all given a Creative Zen (should have been a Zune but they haven’t been released yet).
Overal, a great experience and an excellent day and if anyone is in a position to enter next year I strongly recommend it.
As soon as the pictures are sent to me, i’ll upload them onto the site.
Finally, I would just like to say a big thank you to our mentor, David Bowes, for all of the support and presentation practice.
Read the press release about us which was done last week here:
I can now start blogging again – apart form the fact that I have a degree to finish.