By XTC Co-Director Barrett Parkman

We greet 2021 with a sense of cautious optimism. AI and Digital Health innovations have enabled unprecedented progress in COVID-19 vaccine development, yet new lethal mutations of the virus are emerging. On the tech front, Cloud computing with AI and automation are driving a revolution in Applications development, however, the ever-expanding digital footprint exposes new surface area for security concerns and cyberattacks. Promising new public and private initiatives are surfacing around climate change, and yet extreme weather events are on the rise. Irrespective of the zone, the unified Imperative is to Act Now.

XTC injects new force to address these zones. By catalyzing Innovation with Entrepreneurship focused exclusively on advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Extreme Tech Challenge is enabling Startup leaders to come forward and be the problem solvers for our planet.

Our growing coalition of 45+ partners representing leading corporations, VC’s, universities and events has made meaningful advances in ushering in the class of 2021, and we are excited to share with you our progress. XTC is currently on track to qualify over 75 finalists in 2021! With 11 more regional competitions planned and 10 competitions completed, we’ve secured applicants from 52 countries, and have selected our first 27 finalists! You can read more about those here.

Looking back at 2020, we’ve come a long way. Last year, applicants from 80 countries -- already a supremely qualified group of entrepreneurs -- endured a rigorous evaluation process in hopes of winning the exclusive opportunity to meet with, and pitch, more than 100 XTC evaluation committee members featuring the most sought after celebrity judges in the industry. Some 52 finalists made it to the XTC Bootcamp, and received a total of 70+ hours of hands-on mentorship from XTC’s judges, thought leaders and tech influencers.

We’re extremely proud to report that the XTC Class of 2020 has raised $100M+ since being selected as finalists! As our 2021 application deadlines near, we encourage you to extend an invitation to those in your network and in your extended virtual families. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to an exciting year ahead!