The future of AI is here—and it’s already in the hands of the next generation.


AI is changing the way our world works in real-time, and nowhere will this trend be more impactful than for the students who will inherit the future. The current wave of AI innovation is built on top of a foundation of data. Even the best technology is only as good as the data being used and even more importantly—the people building those solutions.

Microsoft wants to empower the next generation to be fluent not only in AI, but in the database foundations that dictate what algorithms are built and how they are used.

In that spirit, Microsoft is thrilled to announce the “AI Classroom” University Hackathon, a call to students worldwide to reimagine the future of education using Azure AI and Azure Databases.

Actively enrolled graduate and undergraduate students are invited to shape that future by building intelligent applications that reimagine education in the era of AI. The hackathon will run virtually for 5 weeks beginning October 26th, 2023, and will be open to students across the globe.

Students can learn more and register for the hackathon via Devpost.

$11,000 in prizes are up for grabs with separate categories for Best Undergraduate App, Best Graduate App, Best Technical “Techie” Project, and Best Non-Technical “Fuzzie” Project with bonus points awarded for integration of Microsoft’s Responsible AI Principles. Beyond monetary prizes, winning teams will earn the opportunity for mentorship within Microsoft, promotion on Microsoft social channels, and the opportunity to present their projects directly to executives.

Two college students sitting at a shared desk and looking at code on computer monitors

Actively enrolled graduate and undergraduate students are invited to register for Microsoft’s AI Classroom Hackathon, running October 26 to December 5, 2023.

Designing the future of education with Data and AI

Students across the world are already experimenting with and driving innovation in emerging areas such as generative AI. With demand for AI and data related skills at all all-time high, Microsoft wants to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to build the technology of the future.

For the AI Classroom Hackathon, those skills will involve a foundation in database technology such as Azure Cosmos DB, Microsoft's NoSQL and relational database for high-performance apps at any scale and with digital experiences enabled for both mobile and web.

Databases like Azure Cosmos DB are ideal fits for AI-powered innovative applications or analytical AI solutions. Subsidized use of Azure AI and Azure Apps Services (via Azure for Students) allows hackathon participants to get as detailed as their imagination allows when envisioning the future of learning.

“There is no better time to reimagine education and how technology can help support that transformation.” – Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft

The field of education remains one of the biggest opportunities to accelerate learning and build a more equitable classroom. The transformative power of AI is already evolving the way students learn and educational institutions operate—from developing new learning tools, creating content, building AI literacy, improving student services, scheduling, and more.

Continuing to evolve the next generation of technology into experiences students are having now, and doing so responsibly, is at the forefront of the AI Classroom Hackathon.

Fundamentally, Microsoft wants students to have the knowledge and resources to not only innovate—but to think big, preparing for a future that is just around the corner.

Two college students sitting on steps outside and working on a laptop togetherMicrosoft wants to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to build the technology of the future. 

Microsoft AI Classroom Hackathon registration

To register for the hackathon, students are invited to sign up via Devpost where they’ll have access to the latest Microsoft Learn resources to get skilled on all things AI and Data.

To celebrate the start of the hackathon, on October 26th, 2023 students and faculty local to the Tampa area are invited to join an in-person launch event hosted in collaboration with the University of South Florida (USF) that will include AI-related activities, hackathon support, and a panel discussion.

A leading public research university that is committed to advancing AI education and research, USF’s vision is to create an AI-forward campus where students are equipped with the skills and confidence to solve problems with AI. “At USF we want to empower our students to design the future they wish to see and are thrilled to partner with Microsoft on the skilling and technologies that will build the next generation of intelligent applications” said Sidney Fernandes, Vice President and CIO at the University of South Florida.

The formal hackathon submission window runs from October 26th to December 5th, 2023, with ongoing support for teams available throughout the hacking period. Qualified submissions can carry on competing by submitting their MVP into Microsoft's Imagine Cup.

For more information on rules, prizes, and project tips please visit the AI Classroom Hackathon resource center.