A few years ago it was a big deal for an Asian startup company to win and even be nominated for the Red Herring Awards. However, more recently, many of the winners have started complaining that it’s nothing but a scam.
Willis Wee of TechInAsia, nominees are asked to pay a $3,000 (2,400 EUR) registration fee plus expenses to attend a conference where an “esteemed panel of judges” decides if they’re worthy of the award.
“When I attended the first time to present, I found a nearly empty room with five or six people and another entrepreneur presenting on stage. Next up, was me. Before I started, I just asked, ‘Who were the actual Red Herring judges?’ No one raised their hands,” a conference participant explained.
“Since it was only five others, I asked who they were with. They were all entrepreneurs waiting to present next. We then realized, there were NO judges and NO ‘esteemed panel.’”
Red Herring has yet to comment on these accusations, but if you receive an invite to a conference from them, be cautious.