Earlier this week, students from around the world gathered in St. Petersburg Russia for Microsoft's 11th Annual Imagine Cup.Finals. This event brings together student teams to present unique inventions, apps, and games.

Over the past year, Microsoft has awarded over $1 million in prize money to students from 71 different countries. This week was the culmination of that hard work, and Microsoft has awarded first place prizes of $50,000 to the top teams in the Games, World Citizenship, and Innovation categories. Other categories include projects designed for Azure, Windows Phone, and Windows 8.

The top three prizes in the games category belong to Team Zeppelin Studio from Austria for Schein, Team Solvite Studio from Indonesia for Save the Hamsters, and Team Banzai Lightning from France for Seed.

Judges included Rev3 executive producer Adam Sessler and Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov among many others.

For the full list of winners, please click ahead to page two.

Our Take
The Imagine Cup is a fantastic way for Microsoft to cultivate young developers and entrepreneurs. The competition requires not only theoretical planning, but also practical application.

The Imagine Cup is about much more than games, as evidenced by the winners of the World Citizenship category, who devised a way to quickly test blood types in emergency situation. Their project is extremely portable and uses PCs or portable devices (including phones and tables). Not only is this good PR for the Redmond company, but it's the kind of corporate citizenship that promotes innovation among youth.