PayPal Launches PayPal X Developer Challenge

At its PayPal X Innovate 2009 developer conference, PayPal issued a challenge to developers to solve the fundamental problems people face when trying to pay or get paid.

At its PayPal X Innovate 2009 developer conference, PayPal issued a challenge to developers to solve the fundamental problems people face when trying to pay or get paid.

PayPal announced the PayPal X Developer Challenge on Nov. 4. With prizes totaling $75,000 in cash and $75,000 in waived fees, the PayPal X Developer Challenge offers anyone with an idea the opportunity and seed capital to create a new business based on the PayPal open payments platform, PayPal X.

Contestants must build their applications using the PayPal X application programming interfaces (APIs). PayPal officials said the challenge is to create the most innovative payment application for businesses in areas such as services, social media, gaming, mobile and consumer electronics.

"PayPal is putting developers in the driver's seat to enable new and emerging business models for their innovations," said Osama Bedier, PayPal's vice president of platform and emerging technology, in a statement. "We're challenging developers to take PayPal X for a spin. And while the prize money is certainly an incentive, the real reward will be making payments easy, for the very first time, for an entirely new generation of applications built by our developer community."

The first and second prizes are $50,000 and $25,000 in cash, respectively, and $50,000 and $25,000 in waived PayPal transaction fees. To enter the PayPal X Developer Challenge, log on to www.x.com, read the contest rules, and start coding. The deadline for final submissions is Feb. 1, 2010. The winners will be announced in March. Entries must include a link to a demo application and an accompanying video describing how it would work.

Finalists will be determined by popular vote on x.com and a panel of judges including eBay founder Pierre Omidyar; PayPal president Scott Thompson; general partner of Andreessen/Horowitz, Marc Andreessen; and Sequoia Capital's Roelof Botha, who will choose the top two prize winners.