Frequently Asked Questions

About the Competition

What is the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC)?

The Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) is a global start-up competition to discover and support new technologies and innovations to solve the world's most extreme problems. The United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals serve as a framework for the global challenges that XTC will address through the competition.

Why does XTC use the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a foundation for XTC 2020?

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aim to achieve a better and more sustainable future. XTC uses these goals as a foundation to surface the most ambitious, impactful products or services that will make an impact on humanity and our world.

What are the United Nations’ 17 Sustainability Goals?

Reduce Inequalities; Climate Action; Gender Equality; No Poverty; Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economy Growth; Life Below Water; Quality Education; Life On Land; Responsible Production and Consumption; Good Health and Well-Being; Clean Water and Sanitation; Partnerships for the Goals; Sustainable Cities and Communities; and Zero Hunger.

When will finalists and winners be announced?

The Top 10 Finalists will be announced in April 2020, with the three overall winners announced at VivaTech in Paris, France in May 2020.

What are the requirements to participate?

XTC is open to worldwide submissions for a product or service based on a new technology or an innovative application of an existing technology built by the submitting company.

How do I know if my start-up is eligible to enter XTC?

You must be legally incorporated or registered in your country of origin. The proposed business should not be in violation of any intellectual property rights, including but not limited to patent infringement. You also agree, in exchange for the opportunity to participate in XTC, to grant a non-exclusive license, for no additional consideration, for the use your company’s (and your founders’) name and likeness as a competitor in XTC, in photos, videos, and other media for promotional and commercial use.

If we already have funding, can we still apply to XTC?

Yes. There are no restrictions on funding received to date.

Does our team need to be incorporated in a certain country to apply?

Yes, you must be legally incorporated or registered in your country of origin. Prizes are offered subject to compliance with all applicable local laws, rules, and regulations.

Does it cost anything to apply to XTC?

No. However, you may be responsible for paying for your own travel, accommodations, and other costs to attend competition-related events for which your company qualifies.

Is my application to XTC confidential?

Yes, your application will be kept absolutely confidential and will only be shared with the internal XTC review committee.

How will start-up submissions be evaluated and what criteria are you looking for?

Submissions of products or services must address the United Nations SDGs as outlined by the competition. We will ask detailed questions on the company, founders, core team members, the technology or platform, and how it will directly contribute the United Nations SDGs. In addition, each submission must include a 5-minute “elevator pitch” video that will be the primary criteria for submission. In the video, the startup must describe their business, technology, product and/or service, as well as explain why it should be considered and how it will impact the United Nation goal that the company selected as part of their submission. Videos are evaluated on how effectively the founder communicates the value of their company, product and/or service—this is not a marketing video.

What is the timeline for submissions?

Submissions will begin being accepted on the XTC website on May 16, 2019. We encourage all companies to submit early to receive priority review. Early submissions are encouraged to be eligible for partner services and a chance to receive invitations to regional VIP events.

The quarterly finalist schedule is as follows:

  • Q3 2019 top finalists announced in October 2019
  • Q4 2019 top finalists announced in January 2020
  • Q1 2020 top finalists announced in April 2020
  • Submissions close on March 31, 2020
  • Overall Top 10 finalists announced in May 2020
  • Top 3 winners will be announced in June at VivaTech in Paris, France.

How will the submitted project be evaluated? Who does evaluate the projects?

XTC competitors will be evaluated by a team of highly experienced investors, entrepreneurs, and executives. Applications will be evaluated primarily on the quality of the elevator pitch, the extent to which it clearly communicates the company’s product or service, and how it seeks to achieve a meaningful end goal.


About XTC

Are you a non-profit organization?

Yes. The Extreme Tech ChallengeSM (XTC) is a California non-profit public benefit corporation.

Where are you located?

The principal executive office of the Corporation is presently located at: 2480 Sand Hill Road, Suite 101, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA.

Are you a tax-exempt status organization?

XTC has applied to the Internal Revenue Service for recognition of tax-exempt status as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Organizations that meet the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) are entitled to recognition of exemption from the IRS. Such recognition of exemption is retroactive to the organization’s date of incorporation if (1) the organization files Form 1023 (the application form) within 27 months from the end of the month in which it was incorporated, and (2) its purposes and activities have not changed since incorporation. The IRS determination letter recognizing an organization’s tax-exempt status also recognizes the organization’s eligibility to receive deductible charitable contributions under Section 170(c), retroactive to the organization’s date of incorporation. XTC will provide you with a copy of the IRS determination letter when we receive it. See Section 508(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, Treas. Reg. § 1.508-1(a); Rev. Proc. 90-27, 1990-1 C.B. 514, § 13.01.

Are you a non-profit organization? Will companies located in European countries be able to claim tax credits?

Companies will need to check their individual situations to determine whether they have access to tax credits (XTC cannot provide this type of advice to potential contestants).

Are you GDPR compliant?

Please refer to the XTC Privacy Policy.