Four Specialized Awards for XTC 2021

Inspired by the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Extreme Tech Challenge supports and showcases innovators that harness the power of technology for the benefit of humankind. Our core seven competition categories include: Healthcare; FinTech; Smart Cities Transport; CleanTech & Energy; Education; AgTech Food & Water; and Enabling Tech. For 2021, however, we are excited to announce the addition of four Specialized Awards given to Finalists who show exemplary innovation highlighting thematic tech issues, promoting diversity, and aligning with current events:

  • The Covid-19 Innovation Award
  • The Female Founder Award
  • The Ethical A.I. Award
  • The Positive Home Award

In addition to the return of the COVID-19 Innovation Award and the Female Founder Award, this year’s finals will also include an Ethical AI Award presented in collaboration with Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV), Samsung, NXP Semiconductors, Global Corporate Venturing (GCV) and Tech Mahindra; and a Positive Home Award presented by ADEO Group, a platform of companies dedicated to home improvement services.

The Ethical AI Award focuses on a timely debate over several areas of interest in AI development including bias in algorithms, transparency, traceability, and privacy, amongst others. Winners of the award are poised to receive a seed investment and direct mentorship from the award sponsors.

"AI has quickly emerged as a dominant technology that will deeply influence our lives in a wide number of domains," explains BGV General Partner Eric Buatois. "Unfortunately, a wide gap exists between what AI can do, and the public perception, so it's important for industry leaders to step forward and showcase more concrete use-cases of how it will be deployed in the real-world, so it can be done responsibly. Our coalition has come together to help advance this discussion, and we're thrilled to partner with XTC on this new, and important, specialized award."

The Positive Home Award, presented by global home improvement specialist Adeo, builds off the growing interest in sustainable living and what that means in today’s world. According to Adeo, a positive home provides individuals with a safe and secure, healthy, comfortable environment that reflects their personalities, gives them peace of mind, respects the needs of our planet, and is adaptable to different phases of life. Adeo is looking to support innovative, sustainability-focused startups from our dynamic pool of XTC competitors.

"Adeo's mission is to make home a positive place to live: a healthy, comfortable, soothing, joyful and adaptable dwelling, respectful of the planet’s resources and nurturing to the inhabitants' personalities," said Clara Lorinquer, Global Positive Impact Leader, Adeo. "We're thrilled to be supporting Extreme Tech Challenge 2021 to identify future partners that make the Positive Home a reality in our everyday lives, and that do so in harmony with our broader ecosystem."

The four Specialized Award winners will be selected from among the entire pool of XTC 2021 Competition finalists, independently from the seven category winners and the overall global winner. All finalists will be invited to the final judging round for category winners and XTC’s Virtual Bootcamp in June, where they engage directly with senior startup investors, corporate leaders and industry experts.

For those who have already applied, and would like to be considered for these specialized recognitions, please reach out to us at For those still considering an application, it’s not too late! Applications to XTC's independent track will be accepted through April 25th and are open to any companies worldwide with innovative applications addressing one of XTC’s Tech for Good categories, inspired by the UN’s SDGs.