Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: September 17, 2020

About the Competition

What is the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC)?

The Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit* organization leading 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. You can find more information at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/

XTC begins with the Sustainable Development Goals and distills them to seven core categories where XTC expects startups to develop ambitious, influential products or services that will make a positive impact on humanity and our world.

What are XTC’s 7 global challenge categories?

XTC’s Global Challenge Categories: AgTech, Food & Water; Cleantech, Materials and Environmental Solutions; Education; Enabling Technologies; Fintech; Health; and Smart Cities and Transportation.

When will finalists and winners be announced?

Finalists will be notified in early May 2021, with winners announced at XTC Global Finals.

What are the requirements to participate?

XTC is open to worldwide submissions from startup companies 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?

In general, you must be legally incorporated or registered in your country of origin and not otherwise prohibited from entering. 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. For more details, please see the Official Rules https://extremetechchallenge.org/rules.

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?

Our volunteer judges will have access to applications for competition evaluation purposes. In addition, one or more of our partners may ask for your contact information or to review your application for purposes of determining whether to approach you to discuss a potential business engagement, including potential funding of your company. Your application and information will be shared in compliance with the Official Rules and Privacy Policy.

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

An applicant’s products or services must address one of the XTC global challenge categories. All startups will apply through XTC’s online application interface at https://www.f6s.com/extremetechchallenge2021/apply

Startups will be evaluated by venture capital and senior corporate executives against 4 main criteria, also posted on the XTC’s application site:

Team: Is this team uniquely qualified to build this startup? Do they understand their customers and their industry well? Do they have the grit to carry this through?

Product or Service Innovation: Is the product or service innovative? Is it differentiated from competitive offerings?

Product Market Fit: Is there signal that customers will value their offering? Is the market size large?

Tech for Good: How do you measure this startups impact on people’s lives and/or the environment? Will this startup improve the lives of a large number of people? And/Or will this startup make a deep and meaningful impact on individual lives?

What is the timeline for submissions?

For the current competition, submissions are accepted continuously on the XTC website through March 31, 2021.

In addition, XTC runs a series of regional competitions in collaboration with our partners at locations on every continent. For more details, check here. At each of these, a select few applicants – generally between 1 and 3 – will be granted early admission into the Finals stage of XTC.

All applicants will be considered in the global pool before finalists are selected and notified early May 2021.


About XTC

Are you a non-profit organization?

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

Are you a tax-exempt status organization?

XTC is a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States of America.

Where are you located?

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

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).

Are you GDPR compliant?

Please refer to the XTC Privacy Policy.