Christian Heilmann

Paypal and Yahoo developer challenge – over $160,000 in prizes

Friday, July 9th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I am right now working with Paypal on setting up a developer evening in the next few days to talk people through Paypal and Yahoo’s APIs and systems to build something cool for the Paypal X Developer Challenge. All in all the contest has prizes of $160,000 with $100,000 being the main prize and $10,000 prizes sponsored by different Paypal partners.

If you register your product idea by the fourth of August you also enter a special sweepstake for one of 10 iPads.

So what are you supposed to build for this? Mainly a product that uses Paypal’s payment APIs in a new and innovative way.

While PayPal, the external judges, and the X Award sponsors may select winners at their sole discretion, here are some of the general guidelines that they will use:

  • Innovative and “buzzworthy”: Innovative concepts that are able to capture the public imagination will be viewed more favorably than concepts that reflect existing ideas.
  • Viable business: The judges will favor viable business concepts over those that are less likely to succeed.
  • Newer applications favored: We welcome applications that have been built previously, or that have been entered into prior contests, but the judges will tend to favor newer applications and ideas.
  • Merchant integrations are less interesting: While it is possible to enter an online store into the contest because it meets the requirement of using PayPal’s products, classic ecommerce applications are unlikely to win the judges’ hearts.  Tools and services that “change how we pay” will be much more interesting for the judges.

In addition to this we have the X Awards:

We’ve set up some special awards offered by both our partners and us which are designed to reward innovation in key areas. These X Awards are judged independently and a single team could, in theory, win multiple X Awards and/or the Grand Prize. To be considered for an X Award, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements for the overall contest as well as any additional requirements for the X Award(s) for which you are applying. The top X Award entries will be invited to exhibit their applications at the PayPal X Innovate 2010 conference October 26th and 27th in San Francisco.

The Yahoo special award is tied to the following ideas:

Yahoo! Developer Network X Award: Yahoo! Developer Network is excited to participate as a sponsor in the PayPal Developer Challenge. Our prize of $10,000 will go to the application that demonstrates the most useful and inventive integration of PayPal and Yahoo! Technologies. We’re interested in apps that combine PayPal’s open platform technologies with the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP), our social platform APIs (YOS), and those that use YQL (the Yahoo! Query Language) to access and manipulate web data from multiple sources in combination with PayPal’s transactions platform. Show us apps that solve real world problems in creative new ways; that make it easier or simpler to get transactions done; that enable transactions in new contexts; that create “wow” experiences for consumers, or help us create new business opportunities around the world. Entrants in this category must agree to the Yahoo! Developer Network Terms of Use, located at, and the Yahoo! Query Language Terms of use, located at   By entering an Application in this category, Entrants agree that Yahoo! may feature your Application in the Yahoo! Developer Network website.  Also note that PayPal remains the sole legal sponsor of this X Award.

I’ll be working with Paypal the next few days to set up an event in London, so watch this space.

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