Announcing the 2024 Imagine Cup World Champion!
Published May 21 2024 09:15 AM 15.3K Views

The Imagine Cup, a visionary global technology competition for student startups building with AI, has just crowned its 2024 World Champion: FROM YOUR EYES!


Left to right: Emre Yildiz, Zülal Tannur, Ege Ketrez


Using GPT-4 and their own image recognition technology, FROM YOUR EYES has built a mobile application and API, which offer real-time visual explanations to users with a vision disability. The mobile application enables users to design their own AI assistant to obtain descriptions of photos, videos, or other visual documents – and works with smart glasses and watches to describe aspects of the users’ environment. FROM YOUR EYES also licenses their technology to other developers and businesses via their API and has already secured partnerships with multiple entities.

The exciting finale of this year’s Imagine Cup took place at Microsoft Build, where the three world championship finalists showcased their groundbreaking innovations on a global stage, hosted by Microsoft CVP of Ecosystems, Annie Pearl, and Principal Cloud Advocate, Dona Sarkar.

The atmosphere at Microsoft Build was electric as the world joined live, culminating in the thrilling announcement of FROM YOUR EYES being crowned champion, earning USD100,000 and an exclusive mentorship session with Microsoft Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella. JRE and PlanRoadmap were the two runners-up - each of these startups also pushed the boundaries of what’s possible, impressing judges with their solutions in sustainable manufacturing and accessibility, and was each awarded USD50,000 in prize money to help propel their startups forward.


Runners-up: JRE is using cutting-edge AI to create a greener steel industry and PlanRoadmap has created an AI productivity coach to help people with ADHD overcome task paralysis.  


The road to Microsoft Build

This momentous occasion marks the pinnacle of an incredible journey for these talented student entrepreneurs. From an initial pool of more than 20,000 student entrepreneurs from around the world, startups were narrowed down to the prestigious semifinalists, and finally, the top three startups emerged – selected from a panel of judges. These judges, including CEO of Neo and Co-founder of, Ali Partovi, and Founder and CEO ROYBI, Elnaz Sarraf, evaluated the startups based on their AI technology, inclusivity, and fundamental business viability. All these exceptional startups demonstrated creativity, innovation and impressive expertise in cutting edge AI technology.

For those who missed the live event, you can catch a recap and learn more about the competition! If you’re inspired by this year’s Imagine Cup, consider joining us next year and take your shot at innovation on a global stage.



Congratulations to FROM YOUR EYES!
FROM YOUR EYES was created out of a profound personal need and a visionary goal. "After losing my vision completely at the age of ten, I knew I would never be able to see biologically again, but I believed it could be possible with technology,” says Zülal Tannur, Founder and CEO of FROM YOUR EYES. She encountered various image processing technologies, though none provided the effective real-time solutions she needed; this sparked the idea for FROM YOUR EYES. Through involvement with Microsoft’s Seeing AI initiative, Zülal met other developers that were visually impaired from around the world, and they inspired her to delve into coding.

In 2020, FROM YOUR EYES’ journey began. They soon won first place in an idea marathon, and over the next year and a half, continued to innovate. In 2021, the team started prototyping and joined Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub where they have since received USD $150,000 of Azure credits and access to the Microsoft for Startups Expert Network, which helped them continue growing their business. Through rigorous development, they have trained their own custom AI model with over 15 million images, achieving an impressive accuracy rate of 98.03% and an image processing speed of 15 milliseconds, which is about four times faster than the world standard. Azure Cosmos DB and Blog Storage give users quick access and upload capabilities, and output is sent to GPT-4 for Natural Language Processing.


The team has accessibility at its core. “Being a startup with a visually impaired leader as the Founder and CEO naturally leads us to approach these issues with great sensitivity,” says Zülal. “For example, our CTO, Ege, is a person with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. We create the most conducive working conditions for him. Prioritizing acceptance of each other with all our differences and unconditional support are fundamental to us.”

It’s clear that FROM YOUR EYES has an exciting path ahead, making an impact not just for FROM YOUR EYES users, but for developers and entrepreneurs worldwide. “I want to prove that a leader who is visually impaired can be strong, independently capable of building groundbreaking technology, and that being a young, female entrepreneur doesn't hinder you from establishing and managing a company,” Zülal said. With this ethos, Zülal states, “we don't believe there is anything this team cannot achieve when we're together.” 

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Congratulations to all of the incredible student entrepreneurs who joined the Imagine Cup this year. The Imagine Cup is not just a competition; it's a community of student visionaries, dreamers and bold entrepreneurs who are inspired by the impact that AI and tech can make.

Learn more at

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