WORLD’S LARGEST STARTUP COMPETITION SEMI-FINALISTS PITCH AT CES IN VEGAS 17th January, 2019

The 5th annual race to Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island continues to heat up for Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), the world’s largest startup competition. 

 

XTC Top 10 Semi Finalists awaiting results

After announcing the Top 25 teams on Necker Island this past October, the list of contenders has now been narrowed down to the Top 10 Semi-Finalists. This year’s XTC semi-finals took place on January 10th, 2019 in the Bellini Ballroom at the Venetian Hotel.  Each of the 10 companies pitched to a captured audience in the packed room, the judges found it extremely difficult to pick the Top 3. It was one of the most divers Top 10’s to date with companies from Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey and throughout the United States, presenting a variety of inspiring technologies, including blockchain, transportation, wearables, IoT and biotech. 

 

Dave Shor, Founder / Lynq

 

Drew Lakatos, Founder / ActiveProtective

 

The XTC 2019 Top 3 Finalists are ActiveProtective (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), developing a wearable that protects the hips of older adults using wearable airbags, Elevian (Boston, Massachusetts), creating regenerative medicines, with the potential to treat and prevent many age-related diseases and Lynq (Brooklyn, New York), the the world’s most advanced long-range tracker.

 

XTC Top 3

 

Congratulations to the XTC Top 3!

The Top 3 Finalists will now compete for the top spot at the XTC Finals on Necker Island on April 3rd, 2019.

Since 2015, XTC has established itself as the premier competition empowering entrepreneurs with visibility, and resources, leading to and enabling exponential growth. Semi-finalists represent a broad range of industries, including Biotec, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Energy, Accessibility, Transportation, Internet-of-Things, and more. As a worldwide competition, semi-finalists were travelling to Las Vegas from Australia, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Switzerland, and throughout the United States to make their presentations to judges and the crowd. The diversity in the industries, backgrounds, and current stages of the finalists adds an extra layer of complexity and intrigue to the competition as the judges evaluate each company. Each year it has proved to be an exciting event for all present.

 

XTC judging panel evaluating the Top 10 presenters

 

The fate of the 10 Semi-Finalists rested in the capable hands of an expert judging panel including Veronica Serra (Founding Partner, Pacific Investimentos and Innova Capital), David Hagan (CEO, Boingo Wireless, Executive Board Member CTA), Shankar Chandran (Sr. Vice President & Managing Director, Samsung Catalyst Fund), Lisa Andrews (CEO, Ignite Alliance), Larry O’Connor (Founder & CEO, OWC).

XTC is proudly partnering with well-known companies in the tech industry, including Bitfury, Cisco, OWC, Zoom, Joy Ventures, INCmty; event partners CES, Necker Island, IBM and Revl as well as supporting partners AP Live, Beep, Onkaro, The Confluence, Imaginex, The Ticket Fairy, Poltio, F6S and VR Fest. Together with XTC, these sponsors offer support and exposure that money cannot buy with this showcase event at the world’s largest technology trade show, CES, and then also at Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island in April 2019.

Learn more about all the semi-finalists, and additional details about the event here: https://goo.gl/UZJM6V.

To learn more about accessing these start-ups and how to attend the finals on Necker Island, contact: info@slingshotsponsorship.com or call +44 (0)207 145 0150


Top 5 Sponsorship Predictions For 2019 7th January, 2019

As a new year begins, it’s not only a time to reflect on what has come before, but a time to look forward. So, Slingshot sat down and brainstormed what we think will be the biggest trends in sponsorship for 2019. Without further or do, here are our predictions.

Content is Still? King:

It might sound like nothing new here, as content has been a pinnacle focus for years now, but without leveraging partnerships with content, organisations run the risk of missing key audience engagement. We predict that content-centric partnerships will become more prevalent: partnerships which actively revolve around the shared creation of content for mutual use. Social platforms have invented multiple great ways for brands to capitalise through sponsored content and this is ever evolving, with Instagram’s new swipe up function, IGTV and direct purchasing through the app. There is truly no end to content leveragability when it comes to sponsorship.

eSports:

2018 was another incredible year for eSports, with battle royale games such as Fortnite, PUBG and Black Ops 4 seemingly bringing eSports from the fringes into the homes of the many. With 2019 global eSports revenues set to reach a milestone $1 billion and expected viewership to rise by another 100 million, 2019 is shaping up to be even bigger than 2018. What does that mean for sponsorship? eSports is by no means saturated and non-endemic brands have yet to really take the bait. If we remove energy drinks and the odd fast-food chain from the equation, very few sponsors are from outside the gaming industry.  Hence, with a millennial demographic and constantly rising viewing figures Slingshot sees huge potential for more brands to partner with eSports organisations.

Technology:

Technology is an ever-evolving space, with new applications, services and products almost sprouting out of thin air! With the expansion of the tech space comes a need for brands to stand out amongst the crowd or drown in the sea of competitors. Thus, we expect more tech brands to enter the sponsorship industry. Some of the brands currently leveraging the partnerships the best are GoPro, Samsung and OWC.

A new trend that is emerging out of the tech market is AR/VR activations in the home of the viewer. AR and VR have been a useful activation tool at sporting events for the last few years, but what has begun to emerge is its use as a fan engagement tool in their homes. Take RedBull’s 360 Degree course preview and live VR camera at 2018’s RedBull Rampage event, this revolutionary tech saw fans being able to ‘walk’ the track from their phone screen and allowed access to camera angles exclusive to the live broadcast via the app.

Betting:

2018 Brought a surge of sports betting properties to the English Premier League and Championship alike, and with that surge came a rise in concern for consumer health and gambling addiction. As such there had been calls on the FA and Parliament to put restrictions on sponsorship from sport betting companies. Thus, we feel that betting sponsorships will likely slow on our side of the Atlantic. However, we expect that across the pond, the reverse is the case. Numerous law changes made 2018. the first year betting organisations could sponsor leagues and teams with the NHL and MLB making the most headway in this space. Time will tell if the NFL will receive its own exclusive betting partner in 2019 (our gamble is that it will) as many teams within the league have set up their own gambling partnerships.

CSR:

Numerous studies suggest that CSR partnerships boost employee satisfaction and have a positive effect on brand perception, and this year we expect brands to buy into this more than ever. More specifically Slingshot suggests that more brands will migrate from sports properties across to CSR led partnerships. This is inevitable due to the purchase intentions and priorities of the millennial demographic who are seeking brands that care. One of 2018’s biggest shocks was Sky announcing that they will be pulling their sponsorship of Team Sky in 2019. Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch stated “the end of 2019 is the right time for us to move on as we open a new chapter in Sky’s story and turn our focus to different initiatives including our Sky Ocean Rescue campaign.”

If you are looking for advice on any aspect of the sponsorship industry, we would be more than happy to offer our expertise, please email info@slingshotsponsorship.com or call 0207 145 0150 to get started.


Slingshot: Brand Side. 19th December, 2018

Chances are – if you’re reading this – you’re aware of Slingshot and what we do. Or are you?

Our work with rights holders all over the world has been well documented, whether through our own channels or through numerous industry awards. We have worked as the exclusive sponsorship agency for many of the world’s most innovative platforms to identify and secure strategic brand partnerships. But what may be less known is our brand consultancy service: working also on the other side of sponsorship with global brands to highlight the most relevant partnership platforms in order to achieve the biggest cut-through, awareness and equity.

Our expertise, developed over many years working on the rights-holder side, has led us to understand exactly what brands are looking for when they are considering sponsorship opportunities. Thus, on the flipside we know precisely what assets are needed to be secured to achieve brand marketing objectives, regardless of industry or budget.

How can Slingshot help?

Dream Package:

 A crucial step which is often overlooked by brands is the creation of an asset list or dream package. By creating an essential asset list, brands can identify exactly what they require to achieve key objectives and generate a strong ROI. Too often we see brands being one dimensional when it comes to aligning with events and failing to make full use of the opportunity and their budget. A classic case being the purchasing of activation space without making use of the wider PR, marketing and social benefits that would help them cut through at a much higher level with their intended audience (sometimes these extra assets can be bargained within the original price!)

Negotiation:

Many agencies, when given a brief and a budget by a brand will look to spend the whole wad of cash, even if the package offered isn’t worth its price in the current market. With extensive knowledge of sponsorship valuation and sales: Slingshot can negotiate on the brands behalf to get the assets they require at the best possible value. Saving valuable sponsorship monies which can be used to leverage the partnership through activation instead.

Efficiency:

Our extensive network within the industry provides the perfect platform to take a brands’ vision for their sponsorship strategy to market. Building a network takes time and surprisingly, approaching a rights holder for sponsorship enquiries can actually be a lengthy process. However, by utilising an agency who already has an established name in the sponsorship field your brand can save exponential amounts of time, helping you to understand and evaluate the available opportunities more promptly.

Unique Events:

 Lastly, Slingshot is renowned for being at the forefront of the industry as one of the most innovative sponsorship agencies. Our position within the sponsorship industry means that we regularly work with niche, innovative and exciting events. Rather than pitch you the same old generic properties, we have access to platforms with specific demographics and highly engaged audiences which stand out from the crowd and can deliver a far better ROI at generally a far better price too. Some of our current clients include Extreme Tech Challenge, a start-up competition held on Necker Island with a B2B focus and a HNWI audience and London New Year’s Day Parade a mass consumer event with 650,000 attendees. Thus, we may already be working directly with a rights-holder which would deliver the cut-through needed for your next product release, re-brand or campaign push!

If you are looking for advice on any aspect of the sponsorship industry, we would be more than happy to offer our expertise, please email info@slingshotsponsorship.com or call 0207 145 0150 to get started.


Slingshot Sponsorship wins SME News’ most innovative sponsorship agency award for 2018. 27th November, 2018

Slingshot Sponsorship wins SME News’ most innovative sponsorship agency award for 2018.

 

London, UK, 27/11/18 – Slingshot Sponsorship, a strategic sponsorship agency, has today been named 2018’s most innovative sponsorship agency by SME News as part of their Business Elite Programme.

SME News (a brand of AI Global Media) is a quarterly publication which draws on a UK wide network of industry insiders to provide CEO’s, leaders and decision makers with cutting edge features, the latest news and industry deals.

The awards programme, strives to showcase the talent, hard work and commitment of SME firms from a vast array of industries across the UK. Its Business Elite program is formulated on the back of months of qualitative and quantitative research to ensure that its awards are a true representation of the very best that the SME environment has to offer. This tried and tested method ensures that each and every award is given on a strictly a merit basis,

Kieran Morris, Director of Slingshot Sponsorship stated: “We are extremely proud to win this award from SME News. We have had a great year creating and evaluating sponsorship opportunities for our clients including Extreme Tech Challenge, London New Year’s Day Parade, NOW TV and Southbank Wintertime Festival. Winning this award has topped a great year and we can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!”

To see the full list of winners, click here.

About Slingshot Sponsorship

Slingshot Sponsorship is an innovative strategic sponsorship agency based in Central London with offices around the world.  Slingshot works across all industry sectors to help organisations identify, create and optimise assets so they become engaging marketing opportunities for brands to partner with.  Clients include diverse verticals such as publishing, events, music artist rights, award programmes, music festivals, business conferences, sports teams and charities – all with a desire of pushing the boundaries in traditional sponsorship.

For comments and information, please contact:

Kieran Morris, Director, Slingshot Sponsorship

Telephone: +44 (0)7527 784019

Email: kieran@slingshotsponsorship.com


Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) announces Top 25 for Fifth Annual Competition 25th October, 2018

Passion, purpose and innovation are key characteristics of the Top 25 Challengers poised to take on ACTAI Global’s Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) 2019; the fifth annual race to Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island. Unveiled during the XTC 2018 Finals on the island this week, the Top 25 contenders will now embark on the world’s ultimate startup competition.

XTC 2019 unfolds across key stages throughout the year leading up to the finals on Necker Island, scheduled to take place April 3rd 2019. This year’s top 25 features companies from twelve countries including Thailand, Estonia, Switzerland, Norway, Israel, Australia, Turkey, USA, Mexico, and more.

There is also a wide variety of industries represented, with this year’s top 25 featuring an increase in energy, environment, and wellness categories. Other highlights include almost half of the companies represented on the list having female founders. More info on the top 25 below in alphabetical order!

  • ActiveProtective: A belt that promotes safer mobility of older adults using wearable airbags. The company is based out of Philadelphia and focuses on the wearable industry.
  • bitlumens: Based out of Switzerland, their mission is to offer a peer to peer platform where users adopt off-grid Solar systems to reduce carbon emissions and get access to lighting and water in places where there is no power grid.
  • Civic Eagle, Inc: This Atalanta based company helps organizations automate their discovery, tracking, and analysis of important legislation with artificial intelligence.
  • Earth Ledger: Based out of Estonia, Earth Ledger looks to resolve climate change using blockchain technology.
  • echoAR: A cloud platform for augmented reality (AR) apps based out of New York City.
  • Einride: Based out of Sweden, Einride provides a system for autonomous and zero emission road transportation.
  • Elevian: A company that develops regenerative medicines to treat and prevent age-related diseases. They focus on the Biotech industry and are based out of Boston.
  • Empower AS: Based out of Norway and focused on the environment, Empower AS is a digital plastic waste deposit system.
  • EnlightAID: A company fighting corruption in aid through transparency technology. They are based out of Norway and focus on the FinTech industry.
  • eWATERpay: Based out of the United Kingdom, eWATERpay uses IOT & Mobile Money to deliver sustainable water supply to 1 billion. Their main industries are energy and cleantech.
  • Liven: A digital currency company based out of Australia that focuses on lifestyle rewards and a mobile payment wallet.
  • Lynq: The only location tracker that works over miles – without phones, networks or infrastructure, founded in New York.
  • MicroEra Power – CHPplus: Based in New York, the company was founded on the belief that Engine + Fuel cell + Storage = onsite cooling, heat, power, and a fast payback!
  • Mymee Inc: A healthcare focused company from New York City that has created a digital therapeutic program to reverse the symptoms of autoimmune disease.
  • Nori Carbon Removal Marketplace: Nori is a Seattle based company that is creating a new way for anyone in the world to pay to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Its purpose: to reverse climate change.
  • NurtureCo: A healthcare focused company out of New York City that makes elder home care management easier. 
  • Nyx Technologies: A Neurotechnology company out of Israel that is currently developing a wearable headband that monitors and changes brain activity in real time. 
  • re:3D: A company out of Houston making human-scale 3D printing accessible.
  • Synapbox: Based out of Mexico City, Synapbox is a content testing platform that helps you measure consumers’ emotional and visual real-time responses that turn into sales.
  • Team uSens: Launched in 2013, uSens is headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley and build interactive virtual experiences.
  • The Last of Ours: A platform for conservation initiatives to raise awareness and funds. They are based out of blockchain and centered around the blockchain industry. 
  • Uizard: Based out of Demark, Uizard has created the world-first AI to transform user interface images to code automatically.
  • WeWALK: A smart cane for visually impaired. The company is based out of Istanbul and focuses on the world of accessibility.
  • WILD Technologies AI: Based out of San Francisco, WILD Technologies AI empowers humans to reach their personal best.
  • WOMIN.IO: This New York City company provides a platform offering peer to peer engagements, verification, and the use of escrowed compensation through smart contracts on a blockchain.

 

Beyond the top 25, XTC would also like to provide an honorable mention to three companies with scores close to the finalists. These companies are Chai EnergyNorby Robotics, and ZON Products, all creating functional consumer products that improve people’s lives.

If you are interested in getting exclusive access to any of these start ups – or looking for one of the most unique B2B marketing and networking opportunities on earth – get in touch with Slingshot Sponsorship  to discuss partnership opportunities.

Original: http://www.extremetechchallenge.com/2018/10/24/xtc-2019-top-25-announcement/


AND THE EXTREME TECH CHALLENGE 2018 WINNER IS… 25th October, 2018

Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) announces 2018 winner of its fourth annual competition

Every year, the Extreme Tech Challenge launches its contestants into unprecedented levels of notoriety while exposing them to some of the most influential people in the tech industry. In addition to taking place across four stages where contestants were given the opportunity to publicly pitch their ventures at The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s largest technology trade show in Las Vegas, the top three finalists were sent to Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands for the XTC Finals on October 19th.

XTC had the pleasure of being Necker’s first guests since the hurricanes and there, a panel of judges, spearheaded by Branson himself, selected a winner. XTC is thrilled to announce that the winner of the fourth annual competition is Power Ledgerthe software company from Perth, Australia, using blockchain technology to enhance the adoption and accessibility of clean energy worldwide.

“We are honoured and delighted to receive this award and excited for the additional opportunities available to us from this endorsement.” – Dr Jemma Green, Co-Founder, Power Ledger

From hundreds of world-changing innovations and ideas, only three finalists could be selected at CES to move onto the championship round on Necker Island. While many of the contestants showed promise as the competition was extremely fierce, these three finalists can say with pride that they made it to XTC’s top three—a prestigious accomplishment in its own right:

  • Owlet Baby Care: Founded in 2013 by a team of passionate parents who believed there had to be better resources for infant healthcare in the home. The team’s goal is to bring themselves and other parents around the globe peace of mind and assurance by developing a device that tracks the baby’s oxygen and heart rate while asleep. Using clinically proven technology called pulse oximetry, the Owlet Smart Sock is designed to notify parents if something appears to be wrong.
  • Power Ledger: Power Ledger is a blockchain software company developing solutions for the energy industry. The Power Ledger Platform is an ecosystem of blockchain applications that enables peer-to-peer trading between households that own energy assets to trade electricity with their neighbors as well as set their own prices.
  • Revl: Revl provides AI video editing as a service for experience providers like zip-lines, racetracks, skydive drop zones and soon cruise ships and theme parks. Our system uses Revl Arc cameras to capture the experience and Artificial Intelligence to edit a full social media package including 2 cinematic videos in less than 90 seconds.

 

The winner was selected by a panel of elite judges across the fields of entrepreneurship and tech which included the aforementioned Sir Richard Branson alongside Bitfury co-founder Valery Vavilov, United Arab Emirates’ Prince Zayed Suroor, Ignite Founder & Singularity University Co-Ambassador, Lisa Andrews and Head of Marketing at Zoom Communications, Janine Pelosi.

As the XTC team comes down from yet another superb competition, they are already looking toward 2019 as they have already set a new date for the next XTC Finals which will be held on April 3, 2019 and they will soon announce the top 25 candidates who will compete.

 

Original: http://www.extremetechchallenge.com/2018/10/24/and-the-extreme-tech-challenge-2018-winner-is/


Top 3 Tips When Prospecting For Sponsorship Sales 19th September, 2018

 

All too often, people in the sponsorship industry dive into sales headstrong, without proper justification behind each of their approaches. This leads to poor performance and a lack of interest from prospects and can be avoided simply by taking the time to identify fit.

 

The role of a sponsorship sales professional is to prove value through sponsorship to the brand they are approaching. It is crucial that before starting to sell sponsorship, key research is undertaken and brands are targeted which align closely to the specific assets, and have the best fit with the specific demographic.

 

Below are Slingshot’s top three tips when prospecting brands.

 

  • Visualise the audience experience: The first step before doing anything is to brainstorm the experience an attendee will get and to then understand how a brand would want to engage. This paints a picture as to which industries and brands would benefit the most from sponsoring and which might improve the experience for attendees.

 

  • Zeroing in on targets: Armed with an idea of what industries to consider, build a prospect list based on the synergies between specific brands and the demographic. The main point of sponsorship is to enable a brand to access an audience they couldn’t target otherwise, or to showcase that by engaging in sponsorship they can do this in a cost-effective way. It is important to consider what new products and services a brand is offering and how these can be integrated.

 

  • What’s the hook. With a solid prospect list in hand, outlining a tailored approach for each prospective client based on their current marketing objectives is essential before picking up the phone. A good tip is to think of 3 key points as to why the brand in question should become a sponsor. Pair the brands objectives with specific assets and use these assets to showcase how they solve a brands problem. For example; a consumer electronic brand is trying to increase it’s B2B capabilities and engage more with senior-decision makers in large organisations. The rights holder has a database (GDPR compliant of course…) of decision makers that would be the perfect potential clients of this brand, therefore the sales pitch becomes about utilising this database to engage and create new leads for the brand – something they couldn’t do without sponsorship.

 

It is essential to perform this research before diving in to sponsorship sales. It will ensure that the rights holder will understand what the sell is to each brand, and can therefor tailor their approach, solving a problem and not just asking for money.

 

At Slingshot we pride ourselves on the fact that each call is tailored for that brand in order to add real value to their marketing spend, and satisfy their marketing objectives. It is this highly tailored and specific sales strategy which has led to our impressive roster of clients, and testimonials which praise our “attention to detail”.

 

If you are looking for advice on sponsorship sales or any aspect of the sponsorship industry, we would be more than happy to offer our expertise, please email info@slingshotsponsorship.com with any enquiries.


Charity Sponsorship: Change your mindset – change your fortunes 21st August, 2018

Charity partnerships have shown they can be extremely effective when done right; you only have to look at partnerships between LEGO and WFF, Pampers and Unicef and the I am Shaquem Griffin video, which shook the internet to see this. But for many years, there has seemed to be a reluctance to maximise charity sponsorships.

In the digital age, modern high-level sponsorships have formed a crucial component of the strategic marketing mix, but it could be argued that CSR focussed sponsorships have seemingly been behind the curve. Although in recent times there has been a noticeable shift in CSR sponsorships, Slingshot believes that more can be done so that brands and charities can harness each other for a greater mutual gain.

Charities have the potential to offer brands so much more than CSR alone. In many cases, charities can offer everything that a normal rights holder can: brand awareness, experiential opportunities, direct sales, digital marketing and access to high-profile ambassadors. On top of this, CSR partnerships offer great client hospitality opportunities, and are generally linked to internal stakeholder and employee satisfaction. However, for more charities and brands to take advantage of these benefits, attitudes to these types of partnerships need to change.

Changing the Charity Mindset

Firstly, the charities themselves need to realise their commercial potential. Historically, charities have fallen into the trap of leading with a philanthropic pitch when in-front of brands rather than showcasing the value of a sponsorship deal. Charities are so unique and varied that they have assets and activation opportunities that many properties cannot offer, so charities must invest in the understanding of their audience, realising their USP and harnessing this for their commercial benefit. Additionally, we stress that charities need to be proactive! To get sponsors, you can’t wait for the proposals to come to you, you need to make them yourselves.

Changing the Brand Mindset

Attitudes of brands need to adjust too. There’s generally a timid behaviour towards charities: ‘we have to do this for goodwill, but we can’t use this as a commercial opportunity’… Of course, you can! Charities want to work with relevant brands to create value for their audience just like a music festival or sports team does. Being actively involved in a sponsorship that has a strong fit with your demographic will create value for the charities consumers and help your brand reach a more holistic set of objectives. This will lead to a more authentic long-term relationship, which will be far more effective than simply donating to a goodwill cause.

One charity that is following our approach is Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK). We spoke with Ramon Smits, the charity’s Business Development Manager, to understand what they think sets them apart and what their advice for other charities is: “MDUK understands that charities usually represent an opportunity for corporate philanthropy, but in recent times we have realised the commercial value of our own brand. We are the leading charity for muscle wasting diseases, which is a great title for partners to align themselves with! Through Slingshot, we have understood how to use our unique assets to boost our sponsorship revenue. We believe that other charities can benefit massively from truly understanding who their audience is and what they could offer potential partners; knowing that is vital to showcase your value and attract sponsorship!”

Slingshot can help with any enquiries about sponsorship. If taking your sponsorship strategy seriously is of interest to you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!