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No Winners for YTL mYPrize Global Developer Challenge

Two years ago, YTL Communications announced the mYprize Global Developer Challenge with up to USD$1 million for grab.

The entries to the competition was closed in 2010 and YTL was supposed to announced the winners in September 2010(details here). The 5 categories in mYPrize are:

Top Application Prototypes:
a.    1st: USD$200,000
b.    2nd: USD$120,000
c.    3rd: USD$80,000

Top Device Prototypes:
a.    1st: USD$200,000
b.    2nd: USD$120,000
c.    3rd: USD$80,000

Top Malaysian Entry (from the above categories): USD$120,000

Top Device Idea: USD$40,000

Top Application Idea: USD$40,000

Unfortunately, the contestant waited for almost 2-years until last week when YTL said that the panel of judges did not find any submission(out of the 5 categories) that met the standard required to win mYprize.

Below is a copy of an email sent out to one of the contestant last week:

Firstly, on behalf of YTL Communications, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for your participation in the mYprize Global Developer Challenge.

We are pleased to inform you that based on the effort you have made in the development of the prototype, you will receive a merit award of USD150.00 for your submission entitled “XXXXXXXXXXXXXX“ in the “Apps” category.

mYprize was designed to be an international competition for entrepreneurs and innovators around the world to create the next wave of Mobile Internet applications and devices. Whilst we received a good number of interesting ideas and applications, the panel of judges regretfully did not find any submission that met the standard required to win mYprize.

Thus, in the spirit of encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, YTL Communications has decided to issue merit awards to a larger pool of notable submissions as we wish to encourage participants like you to keep on innovating.

To facilitate disbursement of your merit award via direct deposit, please reply to this email with your bank account details. We will be sending proof of transfer to your email address.
You are free to take forward your submission without any obligations to YTL Communications.
For payment details and further information, please email us at [email protected]

Thank you again for your participation!

Sincerely,
mYprize Committee

[Source]

Some contestant will receive a “merit award” of USD150 while some will receive USD3000 depending on YTL’s own discretion.

MalaysianWireless reached out to YTL Communications for a comment and we were given the following statement:

We invested a significant amount promoting this competition and we were looking forward to seeing quite a number of highly innovative applications and devices to deploy on our network and thus create a great value for our subscribers. However most submissions were too similar to ideas that are already out there in the market, with only a slight differentiation.  As such, regrettably, the panel of judges did not find any submission that met the standard required to win mYprize.

However, in the spirit of encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, YTL Communications has decided to issue merit awards to a larger pool of participants – over 15 times more participants were awarded – as we wish to encourage them to keep on innovating. These merit prizes of various sizes commensurate with the judges’ panel’s decision on the potential demonstrated.

As stated in the letters sent out to the awardees, the rights to the submissions belong fully to the participants. We hold no rights to any of of the mYprize submissions.

We’ve also asked about the total value of the “merit awards” given out to participants and still awaiting reply.

According to the Lowyat forum, the judges include Ishi Singh from Google Singapore, Head of New Business Development, Associate Director of MIT MediaLabs, Partner of Crosslink Ventures, a Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist, Senior Consultant of Light Reading & Dato’ Badlisham, CEO of MDEC.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy