Frequently Asked Questions
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 2020, 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?
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 which is currently closed for the 2020 cycle. Please check here in July for the link to our 2021 application.
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 April 30, 2020. More details on XTC’s 2020-2021 competition are forthcoming. In addition, XTC runs a series of regional-competitions in collaboration with our partners at locations on every continent. 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 during May 2020.
About the Competition
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).