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Round 1 of the Windows Startup Challenge, which is run in partnership with Startup Weekend and DEMO, is now officially over. The multistage contest brings entrepreneurs with passion, acumen, and big ideas together with a set of mentors from across the world to provide them with a platform to go from prototype to development to launching their Windows Store app at DEMO Mobile 2013 in front of top tier seed investors, VCs and tech press.

The challenge’s 156 app prototype submissions demonstrate a myriad of remarkably creative app ideas covering more than 15 app categories including games, education, productivity, shopping and healthcare. A common trend amongst many of the submissions is integrating a social experience in their app whether it is playing games with friends then sharing achievements, watching educational videos while chatting with friends or being able to go to a yoga class with others around the world while you are in the comfort of your home.

The submissions came from more than 70 cities from North and South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia and Australia covering the world with more than 30% already having thousands of customers through their existing presence on the Web, iOS or Android platforms.

Announcing the Advancing Teams

The app submission Round, the initial stage of the contest, is complete and 50 apps have made the cut from 156 submissions! The apps were chosen based on a combination score from voting (some apps had more than a 1,000 votes!) and judging (huge thanks to the amazing judges who dedicated the time to select the advancing teams!).

The next stage is the development round which ends on March 1st, 2013. This is where the 50 teams will need to submit their full WindowsStore app running on Windows tablets, laptops and PCs.

CONGRATULATIONS to

Alien Hunters
Alpha vs Zombies
Class on the Cloud
Drug Palettes
Duxter
Easy Flyer Creator
Eduheap
Envvied
Facebook for Windows 8
Funnel
Game There
Human Reader
Jimini
Jonathan
KinectHealth
LCIMedia
Let’s dodo
Linxi Share
Location Manager
Lomogram
MapUse
MediSafe medication
Medscribbler Network
Modeet
Money Box
MultiPlay.io
mysms
NakedChem
No brakes rally
Patengah: Magic Jewels
Piclog
Pinobo
Priority Planner
RapidCAD
Rawy
ScoreBook
Spotlight PPM
Survely
TaxiProxy
texxtoor
The Box Discoverful
TouchMail
Travel Genie
Virtual Sport Bets
War Point
Weightographic
Woopiti
Wordsapp
Wordy


All teams:
  Look for more information on how you can take your current app prototype to development to launching it on the Windows Store.Winning teams: You will need to build you full Windows app in the next stage of the challenge ending on March 1st, 2013. If you haven’t already, you should get started on that today! Look out for an email next week connecting each of you to a tech and design mentor. In the meantime, make sure you 1) check out the following resources available for you, 2) join the support group for the challenge on Facebook and 3) email us any questions you have at windowsChallenge@microsoft.com.

Mitchell Cuevas
(@mcuevasm) I am the Sr. Marketing Director here at Techstars, am passionate about helping entrepreneurs, and am obsessed with finding, playing with, and implementing all the best new marketing (and other) technology I can get my hands on.