3rd Annual XTC 2017 Concludes on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island – Congrats to Winner VANTAGE ROBOTICS! 15th February, 2017

After narrowing down the competition at CES 2017, the final three competitors headed down to the Caribbean for the finals.

XTC Finals – Necker Island, British Virgin Islands – The race to Necker Island culminates with an unprecedented, photo-finish judging: Separated by less than half a percent in point total, Vantage Robotics is named of winner of Extreme Tech Challenge 2017!

XTC 2017 Champion Vantage Robotics (San Francisco, CA) has created the best flying camera in the world, making it easy and safe, for anyone to capture stunning aerial video and stills. Their team includes DARPA Grand Challenge winners, IDEO alumni, and experienced entrepreneurs spearheaded by founders Joe van Niekerk and Tobin Fisher. Three years ago, Tobin Fisher, CEO and co-founder of Vantage Robotics, cut his hand on a plastic-bladed quadrotor; inspired by his injury, he set out to design flying cameras with the same ease of use as products he helped create at IDEO. Vantage’s first product, Snap, is a fully portable, safe, and incredibly easy-to-use 4K flying camera.

Tobin Fisher remarks: “We’re honoured beyond words to be selected amongst such a prestigious group of companies. After working on hundreds of product iterations over four years to realise the goal of true freedom of perspective for aerial video, we feel incredibly grateful to get this level of recognition for our solution from such an amazing group of judges. Thank you to Bill Tai, Sir Richard Branson, the judges, XTC, and everyone else who believed in us along the way.”

As the last rays of sunlight fell across the glistening beaches of Necker Island, the evening gave way to the final round of the swift competition. Each finalist took to the stage to present their ventures to the final round of judges and – for the first time ever – to a global audience via MaiTai Global’s livestream. Following an intensive Q&A with the three finalists, the judges deliberated privately to determine the winner, which proved to be a tight race down to the last minute.

Winner Vantage Robotics was selected by a prestigious panel spearheaded by special guest judge Sir Richard Branson, who hosted the final round of the challenge on his own Necker Island. Branson was joined by Venture Capitalist Jim Breyer, Founder and CEO of C3 IoT Tom Siebel, CTO for the Hillary for America campaign Steph Hannon, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Aspect Ventures Theresia Gouw, and Chief Operating Officer, iTutor Group Jerry Huang.

An all-encompassing experience, the judges expressed excitement over the integral role they played in shaping the challenge and the calibre of competitors XTC draws. “The process was fascinating; the contrasting teamwork, listening skills, intense passion – all of this was demonstrated in all three of the finalists and that part of it was really exciting. I congratulate the XTC team for pulling all this together; great deal of fun, intellectually energising and very enjoyable.”Jim Breyer, Founder & CEO, Breyer Capital

“The ambition and innovation of all the contestants was mind-blowing, including the semi-finalists, each of which could have taken the top prize. The judges deliberation was intense as Vantage Robotics and Cresilon were a dead heat by our scoring system.”Steph Hannon, CTO for the Hillary for America campaign

A fierce competition spanning several months and crossing three critical judging platforms, XTC invited over a thousand world-class entrepreneurs to showcase their cutting-edge innovations. The contest is designed to provide winners with valuable infrastructure to scale at low incremental cost, and exposure to a network of world class advisers to help them turn their venture into a successful business. With the first two rounds of the competition taking place at MaiTai Global’s annual Ocean Gala in December and the world’s largest consumer electronic showcase in January at CES® 2017 Las Vegas, XTC traverses the globe in search of the next great startup.

As part of the Finals, Special guest judge Sir Richard Branson took to the stage to deliver his take on winning company Vantage Robotics: “There’s fantastic intensity around the Vantage Robotics team, the judges thought it was wonderful the way they have driven towards simplicity. I personally think the market is very large and I just love the product…and the fact that it’s not going to cut your head off.”

Congratulations to the Extreme Tech Challenge 2017 Participants!

Redefining the way military, first responders, and doctors handle medical emergencies, Second Place Runner Up Cresilon (New York, NY) is a plant-based hemostatic gel that accelerates the natural blood-clotting process. Founders Joe Landolina and Isaac Miller are connected by one shared mission: to improve wound care and advance the standard of medical treatment.

Third place finisher ReDeTec (Toronto, CAN) is the producer of a desktop filament extruder and recycling unit for 3D printers. The innovative company creates novel plastic processing technology with significantly reduced energy and space requirements, freeing plastic recycling from the factory floor and making it a much more accessible technology for everyone. ReDeTec is the brainchild of Dennon Oosterman and Alex Kay, who deliver a free, safe way to recycle virtually anything plastic.

Joining the XTC Finalists onstage was winner of principle sponsor iTutorGroup’s China Vertical, Co-Founder of Best Sign, Joy Wan. Best Sign allows users to view, sign and send important documents from anywhere in the world and has the industry’s first ISO27001 international safety certification, providing comprehensive, financial-level security.

XTC is presented by MaiTai Global, a vanguard collective of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, creators, and athletes. Participants combine their energy, network and resources to help each other achieve professional success, pushing the limits of work and play while also fuelling philanthropic activities around the world.

MaiTai Global would like to express their deepest gratitude to the 2017 Sponsors: Founding partner iTutorGroup, Semi-Finals partner CES® 2017 and vertical sponsors Deloitte, Dianrong, IBM, Living In Digital Times, Treasure Data, VR Fest and Zoom for their generous support and insight to further enhance the XTC experience for both participants and spectators.

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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 [email protected]