The Next Bill Gates

The Imagine CupThe Eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals (Imagine Cup)

New UK competition for university students (also here):

The Next Bill Gates competition is being launched by XMA who supply IT products and solutions to colleges, universities and public sector organisations. With sponsorship from our partner Toshiba, we have launched this new nationwide competition open to anyone, of any age, who is starting University in 2010 and considers themselves to be an IT wizard – just like Bill Gates.

All you have to do is explain in 100 words – or a one-minute video clip – why you are the next incarnation of Billionaire Bill. We’ll be watching the entries as they come in and narrowing it down to three finalists next year.

Independently, there’s also an international competition, the Imagine Cup, for students at schools:

The Imagine Cup, now in its seventh year, is run by Microsoft to find novel uses for its technology.

Entrants are asked to develop software – which can make use of mobile technology, new web applications and their own embedded devices.

More than 300,000 students registered for the competition. In the final rounds, 444 students from more than 70 countries competed to see who had the best ideas.

This year the coveted top prize for software went to a Romanian team who designed UpCity, a program that connects citizens and government agencies to help build communities.

The theme of the Imagine Cup for 2010 is:

“Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”

Finally, in the light of my previous luck and attitude/approach posts, it’s interesting to revisit the well-known stories:

Gates’ emotional intelligence and business savvy could only get him so far. Luck certainly was kind to him. And while that lesson is impossible to emulate, he also pounced on opportunities as they came to him. For example, when IBM first asked Gates to write an operating system for its first PC, Gates possessed neither the experience nor the resources to put one together. He said yes anyway, and in a few weeks MS-DOS was born.

“Successful people like Gates take advantage of opportunities because they’re ready for them,” says Carol Vecchio, founder of the Seattle-based Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal. “If your vision isn’t clear enough, these opportunities don’t happen to you, because you can’t see them.”

The quality most essential to Gates’ success, though, is what the experts call self-knowledge. Whether it was programming BASIC or managing a charitable foundation, Gates never hesitated to act in accordance with his passions. He constantly champions innovation, refusing to stop and revel in his past accomplishments. That way, he keeps himself stimulated by work that is all-consuming.

Picture credit: Imagine Cup

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