Meet the 2020 Imagine Cup Americas Regional Final Judges

Published Mar 25 2020 10:25 AM 1,609 Views

Next week, ten student teams from across the Americas will pitch their purpose-driven applications during the Imagine Cup Americas Regional Final. In the final of three regional events in this year’s competition, the two winning teams will be selected by a panel of expert judges to move forward to the 2020 World Championship.   


This year’s panel includes industry experts with backgrounds in data research, public speaking, education, leadership, and more. Their combined expertise will allow the judges to assess which teams have created original solutions with the potential for global impact. They will evaluate whether innovations are designed taking into consideration inclusivity and accessibility, are marketable business proposals, and have leveraged Azure technology with the goal of making a difference.  


During the Americas Regional Final, each student team will pitch their solution live, answer questions, and showcase their technology to each judge during hands-on demo time. The top two innovations will be selected by judges to win USD8,000 and advance to the 2020 World Championship this May, plus three runner-up teams will each take home USD2,500.  


Meet our Americas Regional Final judges! 



Danielle Monteiro

CEO - WDB Consulting (Regional Director)

Danielle has a Masters in Computer Engineering, and is a TEDx Speaker, author of the blog and channel, presenter of the Alto Volume podcast, and creator of the High Value Data program. After years as a developer and now a data architect, she’s won multiple innovation and education-focused prizes.

Sage Franch.JPG

Sage Franch

Co-Founder and CEO - Crescendo D&I


Sage is a founder, a mom, and a technologist. As CEO and cofounder of Crescendo, she leads an amazing team that builds software to make workplaces more inclusive. Sage believes in a future where our differences make us thrive and believes that we can all play a part in making that come to life. She is also a previous Microsoft Student Partner and Imagine Cup competitor!



Jennifer Ritzinger

General Manager, Audience Evangelism – Microsoft


Jennifer leads a team responsible for Microsoft’s technical events for IT Professionals and Developers, including leading the global strategy for student developer evangelism at Microsoft headquarters, helping to guide the world’s students to learn valuable programming concepts and skills for their futures. She is also a co-host of the Women in Technology and Countdown Shows, showcasing stories of diversity in IT and behind the scenes of some of Microsoft’s largest conferences.



Samantha Villareal Torres

Founder and CEO - SWORKNET


Samantha is CEO and founder of Sworknet, as well as a Microsoft MVP for Office Server and Services since 2015. She belongs to a group of less than 60 women in the world with an award in this category, specializing in Office365. She founded and directed the Microsoft-UPIICSA community as a student, a community that she continues to support. Samantha is also a speaker and organizer of high impact technology events at national and international levels.



Margaret Price 

Principal Design Strategist - Microsoft

Margaret explores the intersection between culture, philosophy, humanity, education, and technology. Margaret’s work in Inclusive Design  (a method for embracing diversity as a source for innovation) at Microsoft has been nominated as a FastCO World Changing Idea  and was featured in the Smithsonian – Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. As a leader in organizational change and product innovation Margaret spent five years working to change ‘how’ Microsoft products are made to ensure equity for the widest number of people. As an expert in design curriculum and experiential learning her courses have been attended by over 30,000 at Microsoft and taught
in over 40 universities around the world.  


Follow the competition journey on Instagram and Twitter to find out which two teams judges will select to move forward. Stay tuned as they get ready to compete in the Imagine Cup World Championship for the chance to take home USD100,000 and a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella! 

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‎Mar 26 2020 08:17 AM