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Canada The Almighty Buck Science

Cricket Reactor Inventor Says $1mil Prize Winners Stole His Work 131

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-just-not-cricket dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A group of Montreal MBA students took home this year's million-dollar Hult Prize, winning a competition for socially innovative business ideas that calls itself 'one of the planet's leading forces for good.' But now the ethics of the winners and the prize committee are being called into question. McGill PhD researcher Jakub Dzamba says that after he supplied the idea and design behind their pitch, products of years of development work, the team reneged on its promises to make him a partner and is instead taking credit for his work. Apparently, Hult knew about the issue before it awarded the prize." Yes, these are the students whose win garnered $1 million awarded by Bill Clinton.
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Cricket Reactor Inventor Says $1mil Prize Winners Stole His Work

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  • by pupsocket (2853647) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @05:48AM (#44978067)
    From the article: "The university, after reviewing both Dzamba’s work and the McGill team’s presentation, has filed a provisional patent application declaring Dzamba as the sole inventor, says Mark Weber, a commercialization officer at McGill’s Office of Sponsored Research. Members of the Hult team did not meet the criteria for co-inventor, he said, which includes both having the idea and having the ability to execute it. Dzamba had been working on the idea as part of his doctoral research before the Hult competition began: “[Dzamba] had the idea, and he knows how to do it,” Weber says."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 28, 2013 @05:49AM (#44978069)

    Their strongest arguments against including him are based on the idea that he has developed technology but that the Hult prize was for a business plan.
    Note however that Jakub Dzamba won 3rd prize in McGill University’s Dobson Cup Business Plan Competition in 2012: Dobson Competition [montrealgazette.com]

    The 2013 Hult prize winners from McGill University, according to Jakub, asked him to help on their entry and offered to get him listed as a team member or make him a partner in any business they started. It sounds like Jakub gave them substantial assistance if not the impetus for their entry.

    Hult Competition is not innocent:
    According to Jakub they reneged on their promises once it became apparent that the Hult competition would not let them add a 6th member.

    University complicit:
    According to the Huffington Post [huffingtonpost.ca] article the University Administration tried to get him to sign a gag order as part of a larger agreement.
    Also note that it was at this point that: "McGill would file a pending patent for the cricket farms Dzamba designed in his name alone." which was used as an argument against him by one of the team members:
    "McGill University, which values academic integrity and owns the patent, states unequivocally that our business has zero to do with Jakub," team member Jesse Pearlstein fired back.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 28, 2013 @06:32AM (#44978139)

    MBA programs: making bigger assholes.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @12:52PM (#44979757)

    This is the kind of management you'll be facing when you get out in the real world. There are herds of guys with this mentality being churned out by US business programs. They think that their "vision, drive, and leadership" is more important than your ideas and hard work. Don't be modest. If you come up with a great idea make sure everyone knows it was YOU and and not some 20-ish up-and-coming bureaucrat who will invariably take credit for it when you're not around or voicing a contrary opinion (I know from experience!).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 28, 2013 @02:03PM (#44980125)

    The MBA students did not invent, they used his work with his permission to develop a business plan. They was a disagreement between the PHD student/inventor and the MBA students/business people and the MBA members booted him from the team. Unfortunately they forgot that his work is central to their efforts to secure further funding .... in other words they screwed him over just after the regional win and their actions have now screwed themselves over after the international win.

    MBA won a minor battle but lost the war.

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