22 June 2012
On the surface, the STL Hackathon by Teralogix sounds like a fun event - code for 24 hours, eat free food, build a new product, and get a chance at $20k if you win. Regardless of the outcome, you receive a free iPad 3 at the end of the event.
However, dig a little deeper and you find out some alarming details:
Why do I have to sign a terms and condition waiver? All participants will have to sign a terms and conditions waiver because the winning team(s) idea and intellectual property (IP) will become property of Teralogix. Only the winner or winning team will assign IP rights to new company. Teralogix reserves the right to select one or more winners.
(Source, bolding by me)
So, if Teralogix likes your idea, they can claim it and everything you produced as their own. I cannot find their 'terms and conditions waiver,' so it is unknown what stake, if any, you retain in your idea. The $20k goes into the company they found, so you are left with an iPad, a new job, and no money. Because Teralogix may select multiple winners, they can essentially claim ownership over every idea presented at the conference, thus depriving all participants of their hard work.
This goes against the entrepreneurial spirit in St. Louis and indicates depravity by Teralogix. Do not be tricked into going to this conference - Teralogix is not attempting to incubate your idea into a company, they are trying to steal your work. There is no incentive to submit a good idea, so go for the free food and the iPad, but go elsewhere to cultivate your idea.Thanks to Dylan Hassinger for finding this egregious problem with the hackathon.