Developers in the Hothouse

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Nokia has awarded over $90,000 in prize money to three Australian IT developers for their wireless application projects as part of the Nokia WAP Hothouse Competition.

Bennett McElwee, Richard Cartwright and Alex Aguero were selected from seven finalists after a three hour judging process where each finalist presented their application to a panel of industry representatives.

Judges of the prototype applications included Chris Bennett of SAP Australia, Chris Large of consulting group KPMG, Tony Henshaw of EDS, Gary Edmonds of Software AG and the managing director of Nokia Networks, Kevin Brough.

The winner, Bennett McElwee, will now fly to Singapore for the regional finals, competing against entrants from Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and India for over $200,000 in cash prizes and a potential business partnership with Nokia.

The winning entries were assessed on criteria such as novelty, effectiveness and business potential of the applications in categories including m-productivity, m-entertainment, m-media, m-education and m-innovation.

McElwee walked away with the top prize of $54,000 for his infotainment application titled ‘What’s On’, while second prize of $27,000 was awarded to Cartwright for his M-Finder application, and the $10,000 third prize went to Aguero for a Horse Racing Information gaming application.

An initiative for Wireless application Protocol (WAP) content development, the Nokia Hothouse competition was established to promote the creation of relevant wireless content.

The competition received 1,400 entries, where each contestant was required to come up with a new wireless content idea, then develop the application using Nokia technology.

“The standard of applications we saw were exceptionally high with real market potential,” said Brough. “Nokia believes there will be more people connected to the Internet via wireless devices than PCs by the end of 2003.”

“With this in mind, we are excited to see such a high standard of wireless content ideas being presented and proud to be supporting local Australia developers taking part in this initiative,” Brough said.

Brough said Nokia played an active role in supporting the applications submitted with entrants receiving technical training and guidance in the lead up to the competition finals. Nokia will continue to provide support through its Artus Developers Program and Mobile Internet Application Development Centre.

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