I agree with you on that. Most times, it is not the prize money that matters but the buzz and reputation that come by winning. That is why many still run for public city offices even when they can afford to pay all the combined city officers.
Goafrit, in fact, the whole point of giving out "only" $100,000 is probably because NVidia doesn't want to feed the company's next GPU chip competitor, isn't it. But I guess that would be missing the point. A better scenario for NVidia is to find a start-up that is onto something...like developing more innovative ways to exploit their GPU technology.
>> "The Early Stage Challenge," where 12 rising tech stars will compete for a single $100,000 award
This is certainly novel. But for a really good GPU startup, $100k may not move needle for them to close designs and move to this event. $1M might have stimulated more interests. If software or apps, yes, $100k is a lot of money to entice people to come. For a design IC firm especially for GPU, this award may be low. Yet, who knows, some grad students with nice ideas could try - that depends if they can qualify as they may need only companies in this competition.