XTC stands for eXtreme Tech Challenge, the world’s largest startup competition, providing an exciting global platform to showcase the most innovative and purpose-driven startups. The competition promotes tech for good, supported by leading corporations, venture capitalists, foundations, policymakers, universities and tech conferences, who pool their talents and resources to tackle some of the world’s toughest technological challenges. Each year since 2020, XTC has had several thousand applications from nearly 100 countries across the globe, and roughly 20 regional competitions are held annually in all continents. Ho Wai Wong Lam (VP Strategy) describes herself as “the go-to person to represent NXP at XTC.” So, Impact sat down with her to find out more.
Ho Wai, what is NXP’s involvement in the competition?
NXP became an early sponsor of XTC when the competition was repurposed towards sustainability in 2019/2020. CEO Kurt Sievers is a big supporter and CTO Lars Reger is NXP’s executive sponsor, Lars was invited to join the XTC board in 2021. Besides that, more than 20 NXP employees have volunteered as judges in the XTC categories of CleanTech, mobility, EdTech, Sustainable Smart Cities and Enabling Tech.
I believe that NXP India is also involved in some way?
Yes, thanks to the enthusiasm and leadership of India Country Manager Sanjay Gupta and Ankit Pal, the NXP India Tech Startup Challenge has become a yearly event since 2021. The winners from NXP India Tech Startup Challenge are automatically promoted to the finalist round at XTC.
What is NXP Netherlands’ role? In 2022, LUMO Labs worked with XTC, NXP and a few partners to launch the XTC Netherlands and Belgium regional competition at Eindhoven High Tech Campus. NXP Netherlands Country Manager Maurice Geraets has been instrumental in this initiative. NXP also funded the prizes for the three winning teams and helped with the coordination of the event.
Tell us about the XTC boot camp.
XTC finalists are invited to a boot camp training, where speakers share their insights in interactive sessions with startup companies, on a wide range of topics relevant to entrepreneurs. In 2020 and 2021, Lars and I were speakers and on panel sessions at the boot camps. In 2022, NXP contributed two boot camp sessions. Matthieu Deloge shared his MBA research insights on the topic of “Innovation through the collaboration between corporations and startups.” Sanjay Gupta presented on the topic of “Opportunities of New-Age Startups.”
Why does NXP get involved in projects like XTC?
XTC gets submissions from thousands of startup companies in all kinds of technology areas that generally do not overlap with semiconductor companies like NXP. Out of those, several dozen could be relevant for NXP as future customers, or technology suppliers, or possible acquisitions. Martin Gruber from Corporate Strategy Office and I are in the process of including XTC startup companies more systematically in our corporate technology scouting process moving forward. Besides that, I see XTC as an exciting opportunity for NXP to give back to society through financial support, and by volunteering time and expertise. It’s also good for employee engagement with volunteers contributing their knowhow toward Tech for Good, while getting inspired by the sense of mission, innovativeness, drive and entrepreneurship of the startup
XTC has three special awards. Let’s talk about the 2022 winners starting with the Female Founders Award.
Incooling won this award, as well as the Enabling Tech category. The startup is based in the Netherlands and was co-founded by a woman. Its mission is to cool down the planet one server at a time, by creating next-generation phase change cooling systems dedicated to increasing the performance and efficiency of data centers.
Who won the UNICEF EdTech Award?
This award was introduced for educational tech initiatives that can help improve the reading and math skills of children and young people across the world. The 2022 award went to Eduten, which is based in Finland. It is a gamified math learning platform that provides a scientifically proven method to improve learning results, student motivation and teacher satisfaction.
And finally, the People’s Choice Award?
The public is invited by XTC to vote for their favorite startup company for this award. This year, it went to Savvie, which was founded by an international team with the company being based in Norway. Savvie is an all-in-one app helping restaurant and cafe managers boost profitability, optimize operations and reduce waste via data-driven insights.
Anything you’d like to add?
I am very happy that Kurt has made sustainability an integral part of our fundamental DNA moving forward. We have come a long way as a company, building on our financial strength and expanding our purpose to include sustainability with a clear vision and mission. Being involved in XTC contributes to that.
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