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/


The Extreme Tech Challenge Series Presents: Zoom – Main Communications Partner 1st June, 2017

Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) is proud to announce the return of Zoom Video Communications, Inc. to the 2018 XTC Sponsorship Series.  Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with a secure, easy platform for video and audio conferencing, messaging, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is their original software-based conference room solution used around the world in conference, huddle, and training rooms, as well as executive offices and classrooms. Zoom is proud to be the official sponsor and judge of the Productivity Vertical for XTC 2018.

XTC 2018 marks the fourth year of this exciting and innovating competition that brings together the world’s brightest entrepreneurial minds to compete for the chance to pitch their budding business ventures to an all-star panel of judges on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island. Zoom will be returning for it’s second year as an invaluable member to the team of global sponsors who will be on hand to guide and support this year’s applicants as they compete in the Tech Challenge of their lives.

“Zoom is proud to be a second-time partner of XTC. We had a great experience sponsoring the Productivity vertical last year, and we’re excited to support this group of world-changing entrepreneurs again. Zoom helps teams be more productive with high quality video meetings and powerful collaboration tools, and it’s a pleasure to support other productivity innovations by promising startups.”
– Eric S. Yuan, Founder & CEO, Zoom Video Communications

As part of their sponsorship, Zoom will offer free accounts to lauded competitors in the contest, with Head of Marketing Janine Pelosi representing Zoom as an XTC 2018 judge for the Productivity Vertical. First place in the Productivity category will receive five free Zoom Pro accounts for one year, while second through fifth place will each earn one free Zoom Pro account for one year. Additionally, the overall Top 10 Semi-Finalists moving onto CES this January 2018 will each get one free Zoom Pro account for one year.

The Final Champion of XTC 2017 will be awarded with the most sought after prize from Zoom—ten free Business accounts for one year. Over 600,000 companies trust Zoom and 94% of their IT organizations recommend Zoom to colleagues, a testament to the high caliber of Zoom’s sponsorship of XTC 2018.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available – contact Slingshot Sponsorship should you wish to discuss the potential of inclusion.


The Extreme Tech Challenge 2018 launches with style in Oslo 30th March, 2017

After a hugely successful XTC 2017 competition, which included some amazing sponsors, XTC 2018 has officially launched with a bang in Oslo.

The world’s largest technology start up competition, backed by Sir Richard Branson, hosted an intimate launch at SALT, Oslo with multiple budding start-ups, accelerators, athletes and the XTC team. Not only will this year be bigger and better than ever, there is also a new look website, new brand and, of course, new start-ups ensuring the best of the best can achieve greatness with their game changing ideas.

After a grand opening from XTC’s CEO Bill Tai, we were treated to some insight in to the success behind some of the world’s greatest technology companies, a look in to the future and how to keep ahead of the game. Here is what I learned from the best:

The 3 P’s of successful start-ups

Paul Herz (Apple and Facebook) gave the start-ups in the room invaluable tips on ensuring scalability and success. The three key areas are platform, partners and processes. Apple for example has iTunes as its main platform which is simple, easy to use and designed for the consumer. They have over 70 partners that produce different parts of their products better and cheaper than they could, which ensures the product quality and profit margins remain high. Finally, Apple’s processes are simple, streamlined and set to ensure everything is delivered on time. All start-ups should emulate this simplicity, over complicating everything and getting expensive partners on board wont attract VC’s or investors and will erode the profit margins.

Arnold Schwarzenegger might have got it right

Isabelle Ringnes, tech-evangelist, took us all through the exciting, and slightly daunting future of tech. It was incredibly interesting to hear about the realistic possibilities to connect our brains directly with devices and robots that have been designed to emulate feelings and facial expressions. Now, I’m not against robots or AI for that matter, but as long as there are restrictions in place to stop Arnie popping back and the Terminator films coming true!

Sport and start-ups are one and the same

To top it all off, legendary Olympic Nordic Skiier (and tech enthusiast) Axel Lund Svindal explained the need to overcome adversity, not just in sport, but in the similar competitive landscape of the start-up world. There are many attributes that cross-over between sport and start-ups; determination to succeed, competitiveness, hard-work and professionalism to name a few. Axel talked us through his incredible career and the mind-set in takes to be the best, some amazing advice for budding global disruptors.

In fine XTC form, it was all finished with a party integrating round table tech discussion. With XTC applications for 2018 now open, it is the perfect time for sponsors to integrate in to this exciting and growing industry with the next global organisations. Get in touch to find out more – kieran@slingshotsponsorship.com or 020 7226 5052.


Support the Startups Supporting You 16th November, 2016

Investing in innovation and entrepreneurship is necessary for any business to not only grow and evolve, but ultimately to survive. Becoming complacent and ignoring advances in your field can leave you left in the wake of competitors that mould themselves to adapt with changes in technology.

Given that it is not always possible to rely on your internal team for innovation many companies are recognising the need to invest in startups with new and fresh ideas. Not only does this foster creativity and innovation under their brand but it also is a way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to advances in their industry.

One company that has seen the need to foster talent early is Nestlé who have developed their own platform to actively invest in startups. Nestlé HENRi was created with the objectives to enhance quality of life, contribute to a healthier future, tackle global issues and make genuine positive effects for millions across the world. Not only is this socially constructive for Nestlé’s brand but it also has proven benefits for sales and engagement with Nestlé products.

For example, through partnering with the startup Blippar, Nestlé have since been able to unlock new levels of engagement with their customers for both Milo & Nesquik products in an untested AR territory. Without opening themselves up to external ideas and investing in start-ups, this would not have been possible.

It’s not too late!

For companies that do not have the resources to set up projects of this scale, there are alternative ways to invest in start-ups & innovation. Slingshot is currently working with Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), the world’s largest startup competition supported by Sir Richard BransonBill Tai (Twitter) and Jim Breyer (Facebook). XTC gives brands an opportunity to sit beside some of the world’s most influential business leaders, while ensuring that they are the first to have access to all new ideas & technology that this competition uncovers.

XTC gives brands the chance to integrate their entire suite of services throughout key events at the XTC Semi-Finals held at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January reaching over 170,000 tech savvy enthusiasts, and the XTC Finals taking place on Necker Island in February 2017.

Anchor judge of the program, Sir Richard Branson, sees the event as an opportunity to uncover untapped ideas and technology, “we are hunting for people and ideas that can literally change the world!”

Sponsor involvement is still available for the 2016/2017 XTC program. Sponsoring enables your businesses to align to a category specific to your industry, not only allowing your business to judge the entrants but also positioning you as an influencer among the best in global business. If you’d like to hear more information about partnership opportunities we have available, please contact Hayley Williams at hayley@slingshotsponsorship.com.

 


Slingshot Sponsorship MD, Jackie Fast, shortlisted in the ‘Micro Business category for the 2016 Great British Entrepreneur Awards. 14th October, 2016

A most prestigious and proud event, regarded as the benchmark for entrepreneurial success in the UK, the awards celebrate the contributions and innovations of British entrepreneurs and their impact on the economy. Where over 100 Great British Entrepreneurs have been announced as finalists in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, our very own Jackie Fast has been named amongst them.

Since launching in 2012, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards has received applications from over 1800 entrepreneurs. The Awards recognises business leaders from multiple industries across the 20 awards categories. Previous winners have included Julie Deane MBE, founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company, James Watt, co-founder of Brewdog and Alexander Solomou, founder of Lad Bible.

As Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship, Jackie has built the company from her bedroom to working with clients now such as XTC with Richard Branson and ‘Rock Star Racing’ within the Volvo Ocean Race. Slingshot’s plans for the future are to grow, develop and excel within the sponsorship industry as a flagship agency providing aid for a number of rights holders to acquire sponsorship.

On being shortlisted, Jackie commented: “It is always an honour to just be recognised amongst such a strong field of strong entrepreneurs, to be shortlisted within the Great British Entrepreneur Awards is a remarkable achievement personally, and from a company standpoint. We at Slingshot Sponsorship immerse ourselves as hard working individuals, and strongly believe that hard work does not go unnoticed”.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards is all about celebrating the wonderful stories that entrepreneurs have, and helping them on their journey to success.

Nick James, Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “This year we have yet again enjoyed an increase in the amount of entries for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, and every single category is fiercely contested. There is no doubt that Entrepreneurialism is alive and well in the UK despite any uncertainty over Brexit.”

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards will culminate at the Gala Final, taking place on Tuesday 22nd November in the ballrooms of the prestigious, Lancaster London Hotel.


Jackie Fast named as Entrepreneur of the Week 5th May, 2016

Jackie Fast has been announced Entrepreneur of the Week by The Budding Entrepreneur Magazine.

Jackie was interviewed for The Budding Entrepreneur Magazine, you can read the interview below:

Tell us about you and the business
Slingshot creates revenue for organisations through the process of transforming those organisations into viable marketing platforms for brands. Basically we get sponsors for events, online platforms, television, associations, celebrities and charities. Launched on the premise that sponsorship can do more than just brand awareness through logo badging, we uncover the true value and business synergies that deliver significant ROI for all parties involved. This approach is based on business value – we are essentially commercial experts for organisations wanting to grow.

How are you helping start-ups?
Almost 70% of our Bootcamps are with start-up businesses as creating a robust sponsorship strategy is vital to not only their ambitious growth plans, but tends to also be the only way the Founders can earn a salary.
We also have a quarterly training module with General Assembly, which is specific to the tech start up community. Many tech start-ups secure VC funding at product development stage; however, when they go to launch it – funds have dried out, so we teach tech start-ups (and VC fund managers) how to utilise sponsorship techniques to reach users critical mass for awareness (and sales).

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur, but I’m not sure I always wanted to be one (or really understood what one was) at a young age. I like executing ideas – in often controversial ways, so being my own boss is typically the easiest way to do this.

Where did the idea come from?
I’ve been known as a financial fixer in my previous roles – I find solutions to money problems using creative commercial strategies. It was a very simple step to go from that into sponsorship.

Do you have a business role model?
I don’t have a particular business role model, but I admire people who don’t take no for an answer and who aren’t worried about what other people think. I’m also a huge fan of Harriet Green as she cold called her last employer (Thomas Cook). I love anyone who cold calls a Chairman of a company outlining why things could be done better.

What were you doing before you started?
I initiated and led the first sponsorship division of the Direct Marketing Association in the UK.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Hiring the right people for business growth. Our people are so vital to our business and so it’s so important to work with the right ones. However, it can also be a challenging job with a lot of pressure – and it’s been a learning experience trying to identify the right types of people who can be successful in this environment.

What has been the biggest breakthrough?
Learning that the emotions in business come in cycles – and everyone goes through hard times, but the important thing is to keep your vision and keep a smile on your face.

Do you think there is enough entrepreneurship taught in the education system?
I actually think there is a lot of entrepreneurship education everywhere (including the education system); however, most of the time it’s has little awareness with actual budding entrepreneurs. I think we could do more to promote the available opportunities.

What are your plans for this year?
Slingshot have been actively opening our horizons globally – with projects already in India, Africa, and Asia this year alone, we are hoping to build our presence in these new markets.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
With a great team working on excellent partnership opportunities with brands you haven’t heard of yet.


Slingshot Sponsorship Wins Best British Small Business in the O2 Smarta 100 6th October, 2014

Smarta.com and O2 Business present the UK’s 100 most dynamic and innovative small businesses

Smarta.com and O2 Business proudly announce that Slingshot Sponsorship is a winner of the 2014 O2 Smarta 100, the ultimate index of the UK’s savviest, supremely disruptive, most resourceful and socially-beneficial small businesses.

The O2 Smarta 100 awards celebrates new UK tech powerhouses like Squawka, Rant & Rave and Pact Coffee, as much as those dedicated to changing thousands of lives for the better – Two Fingers Brewing Co, whose profits go in full to prostate cancer research.

In total, 2014’s Smarta 100 are generating revenues of over £70million a year and employing more than 640 people. More than a quarter are female-run businesses and half are self-funded, with just 5% borrowing from a bank. 35% have taken angel, private equity or VC funding. The oldest company founder is 56; the two youngest are just teenagers at 19.

Commenting on their inclusion in the Smarta 100, Slingshot Sponsorship’s Managing Director Jackie Fast said:

We are absolutely thrilled to be part of the Smarta 100 list this year.  It’s fantastic that our specialist work in helping organisations commercialise through sponsorship is being recognised by the larger business community.  Even just being judged by such an esteemed panel from businesses that we find truly inspiring including Naked Wines and Ella’s Kitchen is an honour in itself, and winning is just that much better!

Jackie Fast is also up for the Young Female Entrepreneur Award at the Smarta100 through a public vote.

Discover more business stories and to vote for Jackie Fast under the Young Female Entrepreneur Award category please visit: www.smarta.com/smarta100

 


Slingshot’s MD Jackie Fast named as one of UK’s Hottest Entrepreneurs Aged 35 or Under 15th September, 2014

Growing Business today names its 12th annual list of the entrepreneurs aged 35 or under behind 30 of the UK’s brightest companies.

Jackie Fast, MD of Slingshot Sponsorship, has been named one of the UK’s most outstanding entrepreneurs aged 35 or under, revealed today in Growing Business’ Young Guns ‘Class of 2014′.

Recognised at an awards luncheon held at the prestigious Kensington Roof Gardens, this year’s crop is made up of 54 entrepreneurs behind 30 of the country’s fastest-growing firms.  The Class of 2014 join an alumni already containing the founders of 330 businesses named since the Young Guns awards began in 2003.  Sponsored by law firm Keystone Law and chartered accountants haysmacintyre, Young Guns celebrates the most outstanding crop of young entrepreneurs the country has to offer with only 30 companies selected each year, and no repeat appearances.

Commenting on the win, Jackie Fast said: “It is an absolute honour to be recognised amongst this incredibly influential and successful group of people shaping the future of business in the UK.  As our agency is driven to enable and secure the future of other businesses commercially through securing partners, this award is particularly relevant to us.  We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Slingshot Sponsorship as well as the other Young Guns!”

Now in its 12th year, the awards has a track record of talent spotting, previously recognising the fledgling businesses started by the likes of Michael Action Smith OBE of Mind Candy, Holly Tucker MBE of Notonthehighstreet.com, Neil Hutchinson of Forward Internet Group, Matthew Riley of Daisy Group Plc, and the co-founders of Innocent Drinks, Huddle, YPlan, Nails Inc., Chilango, and Made.com.

 

View the full list of 2014 Young Guns and their profiles here:www.growingbusiness.co.uk/young-guns

In numbers: Who are the Young Guns Class of 2014?

  • There are 54 qualifying co-founders
  • The 30 businesses are 4 years old on average
  • The mean age between the qualifying founders is 29, with the youngest just 18
  • On average their companies employ 36 people, with the highest employing 200
  • Between the 20 companies that are equity backed, the total they’ve raised stands at over £114m
  • That means those 20 companies have raised £5.7m on average – the highest being House Trip, which has raised $60m and Nutmeg with $50m.
  • It also means 10 companies in this Class have grown organically
  • Their average turnover (for the 26 who told us) is £4.1m and they’re forecasting to grow that to £7.2m this year
  • Of the 26 who told us, they still own 61% of their equity