Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), the world’s largest ecosystem for purpose-driven innovation, has extended the application deadline to April 25th for their global startup competition. Unlike many startup contests, XTC does not have restrictions on revenue or capital raised, or the need to be registered in a particular geography to be able to participate. This makes it possible for the smallest innovative startups across geographies to leverage the opportunity that the competition presents.
More than 2400 startups from 87 countries applied to last year’s competition across seven distinct categories that were inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Those competitors managed to raise over $120M USD since entering XTC 2020.
Emerging startups such as Lynq, Elevian, Doctor on Demand, Wanderu, Cresilon, and Bloomlife, have raised a combined $440 million since participating in the competition. Recently, XTC’s 2020 FinTech Winner, ReWire, raised a $20 million Series B funding round following its competition success led by Israel’s regional sponsor, OurCrowd, and XTC Global Finals judge, and Yahoo! Co-founder, Jerry Yang, amongst others. The competition equips young companies with the resources, capital, mentorship and connections to successfully grow their businesses and effectively address 21st century global challenges.
The growing finalist list for the 2021 edition currently features more than 39 startups, including medical R&D lab Sunfox Technologies from India, agritech startup Agrivi from the United Kingdom, and EcoVadis, a startup from France in the sustainable supply chain space. Those advancing on to the Global Finals in July will pitch before an elite panel of celebrity judges who stood at the helm of major venture capital firms and corporations, including Samsung, NXP Semiconductors and Yahoo!, amongst others.
XTC: Putting spotlight on innovative startups addressing global challenges
The 2021 edition of the competition has seven core award categories: healthcare, fintech, smart cities transport, cleantech & energy, education, agtech, food & water; and enabling tech. In addition, the challenge has announced four additional specialised award categories to be awarded to finalists that show exemplary innovation highlighting thematic tech issues, promoting diversity, and aligning with current events.
The four awards are the COVID-19 Innovation Award, the Female Founder Award (which it introduced for the first time last year), the Positive Home Award and Ethical AI Award. The Positive Home Award recognises a startup with an innovative technology that creates a smart and sustainable home environment. XTC will evaluate solutions that harness and treat energy, waste and water efficiently to minimise the carbon footprint. The Ethical AI Award focuses on several areas of interest in AI (artificial intelligence) development, such as bias in algorithms, transparency, traceability, and privacy.