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Microsoft Crowdsources Solutions to Nonprofits’ Biggest Problems with Student Competition

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Microsoft will partner with a number of nonprofits and NGOs to help students solve real-world problems as part of its Imagine Cup competition, the company announced this week.

The move echoes a strategy being used by many businesses to solve problems related to sustainability, technology and more.

Imagine Cup Solve This will allow students to select ideas from a database of important issues populated by the likes of the United Nations Development Programme, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and many more.

This year, the organizations asked students to develop early-reading and literacy software, a collaboration platform for youth in development efforts, and much more.

“The Imagine Cup competition features students who are very passionate about societal issues, problem-solving and technology,” said Pamela Passman, corporate VP of Global Corporate Affairs, Microsoft. “This pairing illustrates how we are evolving the competition to empower students to help make a real difference in the world.”

The U.S. national finals of the Imagine Cup will be held on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., in April. Some finalist ideas include a standard format for ultrasound images, malaria diagnosis software for mobile phones, and a PC game promoting innovation in offshore oil rig design.

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