Tango Belt crowned winner at the 5th Extreme Tech Challenge Finals (XTC) on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island

April 9th, 2019

Following a week of inspiring conversations on impact, entrepreneurship and tech for good at ACTAI Global’s Necker Island event, the stage was set for the Extreme Tech Challenge Finals on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island on April 3rd.

With contestants participating from all over the world, including Thailand, Australia, and Turkey, this year’s Top 10 Semi-Finalists featured companies addressing a wide variety of global issues including sustainability, healthcare and accessibility. Announced on stage at the XTC Semi Finals at CES, the Top 3 Finalists, Tango Belt (an Active Protective Brand), LynQ and Elevian, moved onto the championship round on Necker Island.

The Top 3 Finalists delivered impressive pitches to a captivated audience at the finals, expertly emceed by XTC Contest Director, Gokce Gizer, a prominent pitch coach and startup advisor. Aside from the Top 3 Finalists, the audience also had the chance to hear pitches from three of the Top 10 semi-finalists, Civic Eagle, Last of Ours and Liven. ACTAI Global’s events and the Extreme Tech Challenge is centered around extreme sports, specifically kiteboarding, because of the similarities in the mindset of athletes and entrepreneurs. The audience was pleasantly surprised when world-renowned kiteboarder Nick Jacobsen took the stage at the finals to share his journey and experience on taking calculated risks in moments of uncertainty, and pursuing his goals with passion and persistence.

XTC is thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2019 Extreme Tech Challenge is Tango Belt (an ActiveProtective Brand), a Philadelphia based company developing a hip protection wearable that improves safety and mobility. “It was a thrill and a privilege to compete in this world-class event, and even more so, to take home first prize. The mission-driven ACTAI community has been supportive throughout our project from conception to commercialization, today. We are thrilled,” said Drew Lakatos, co-founder of Tango Belt.

Jason Illian posing a question to the XTC Finalists

All three finalists put on remarkable presentations and skillfully responded to the questions posed by XTC’s esteemed panel of judges; Gigi Brisson (Partner, Attractor Ventures), Shaun Cooley (VP & CTO of IoT and Industries, Cisco), Valery Vavilov (CEO, Bitfury), Jason Illian (Managing Director, Koch Disruptive Technologies), Daniel Gutenberg (Angel Investor & Unicorn Hunter). Before announcing the winner, Shaun Cooley, walked the audience through the decision making process: “All Top 3 Finalists are amazing companies. In our discussion, we looked deeply into team, market size, time to market, how long until they have profitability and what the potential of the product is for affecting the human population”.

Dave Shor (Co-Founder, LynQ), Dr Mark Allen (Co-Founder, Elevian) and Drew Lakatos (Co-Founder, Tango Belt/ActiveProtective)

Tango Belt (an Active Protective Brand) was closely followed by LynQ in second place and Elevian in third. The team members, all traveling from the United States, spent time on XTC 2019 Island Jam boats for the duration of the week, sailing the BVIs together.

The three finalists:

Elevian: A Harvard spin-out developing new medicines that target aging, with the potential to treat and prevent many age-related diseases at the same time. Elevian is building a future where, as we grow old, our bodies and minds stay young and vibrant. In this future, age-related diseases may become as rare as polio and measles are today. Elevian’s co-founders, Mark Allen, MD and Sebastian Giwa, PhD, MBA traveled from their headquarters in Boston.

LynQ: Location, decentralized. LynQ offers a new level of reliability, security, privacy and power savings for location data transmissions – independent of networks or infrastructure. Our Smart Compass saves lives while our core technology will be integrated into drones, phones and two-way radios. LynQ team members, Dave Shor, Matthew Misbin, and Karina Costa joined the finals from Brooklyn, New York.

Tango Belt: Active Protective has developed Tango, a smart-belt that protects the hips of older adults using discrete airbags. The wearable is capable of sending caregiver alerts, monitoring activity levels, and automatically generating key physical therapy measures. Tango Belt encourages safer mobility during rehab and beyond, aiming to make hip fractures a preventable condition. The winning team’s co-founder, Drew Lakatos flew in from Philadelphia where the company is based.

XTC is proudly partnering with notable companies in the tech industry, including Bitfury, Cisco, OWC, Zoom, Joy Ventures, INCmty; event partners CES, Necker Island, IBM and Revl as well as supporting partners AP Live, Beep, Onkaro, The Confluence, Imaginex, The Ticket Fairy, Poltio, F6S and VR Fest. Together with XTC, these sponsors offer support and exposure that money can’t buy. As part of ACTAI Global’s dedication to making a positive impact, a portion of ticket sales has been donated to Unite BVI, the non-profit working on various areas to support the local environment and community.