Microsoft Innovation Award - $10,000 Grand Prize!

2010 MIA Winner

Karin Avellaneda

Building on the success of last year, ALPFA is pleased to partner with Microsoft again and bring this great opportunity to our members. This is a chance to show your talent, innovative thinking and possibly win $10,000!


Papers must be submitted by May 23, 2011.
Deadline extended to JUNE 3, 2011.


The MIA competition is open to undergraduate students and graduate students who have not been full time professionals previously. Must be a current ALPFA student member. (Professional and past professional members are not eligible.)



  • Complete all three sections and do not exceed 9 pages (including this title page, 4 pages of written content, and no more than 4 Appendix pages for pictures, tables or diagrams only.)
  • Submit your entry to by May 23, 2011.
  • E-mail: with any questions.


Phase 1: Paper Submission

Participants must write and email their completed paper to by May 23, 2011. Papers must be submitted using the official entry template (provided on the submission site) and follow all the template guidelines.

Phase 2: First Round Judging

All submissions meeting the qualifications will be read by a pre-screening panel. Three ALPFA finalists will be selected from the papers submitted. The airfare, hotel and annual convention registration fee will be provided for the finalists.

Phase 3: Judging Panel & Award Distribution

During the 2011 ALPFA Annual Convention the finalists will present their original paper to a panel of judges. Finalists will have approximately 12-15 minutes for their presentation. An additional 15-20 minutes will be allocated for responding to questions from the judging panel or others as appropriate.


Using the template, each paper must answer the following question.

Healthcare IT

An emerging business for Microsoft is its Health Solutions Group (HSG), focusing on healthcare IT products. With the support of Microsoft’s current business groups, how can HSG leverage in house technologies behind products, such as Amalga, Azure, Kinect and/or Bing to be innovative in this market? Think about how the technology can be seamlessly integrated into everyday activities. How will the technology affect the market landscape? Provide financial analysis where possible.

Why Should You Participate?

“This is a huge opportunity for our membership. They have a chance to present an idea to Microsoft, one of the most recognized companies in the world, and present their idea on a national level at our convention. Every member should enter this competition determined to win. I have heard many members say they are always looking for the opportunity to show what they can bring to the table, so I say to all ALPFA members: here is your chance–you have nothing to loose, and so much to gain.

- Manny Espinoza, ALPFA CEO


"Formulating a strategy to bring Bing to Emerging Markets has been a fun opportunity to share the search engine needs I have recognized during my travels in West Africa and South America, and create an approach to fulfill those needs. Most importantly, the MIA program gave me the chance to share and propose solutions with decision makers in a company who has the outstanding technology and resources to make them happen.

"Participating in this program has also been a fantastic learning and growth experience. I feel extremely privileged to have been able to represent my ALPFA Seattle Chapter during the competition and share my ideas and research with the panel of executives. I enjoyed listening to their feedback and getting the inside perspective from the people who handle these strategic decisions within Microsoft.

"Professionally, this competition helped me recognize areas of development for my analytical and presentation skills while also exploring big ideas with people that have challenged my creative thinking. The Finance Team has all extraordinary professionals.

"I am really thankful to Microsoft for their award and for giving me the chance to explore ways to bring Bing to the rest of the World."

- Karin Avellaneda, 2010 MIA Winner


“Few words can describe the exhilaration of the Microsoft Innovation Awards. ... It is a humbling experience to be selected as one of the finalists amongst the many applicants, and a tremendous honor to represent the ALPFA NY Chapter. I think the best part about winning is the pride and joy that you feel from your ALPFA familia. I think all members should participate in this event. The $10k prize is always a nice incentive, but it's not the sole reason. ...There's definitely a recognition and status afforded to finalists who are selected. It's also a great networking opportunity to build relationships with Microsoft as well as other firms.

- Christopher Lui, 2009 MIA Winner