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/


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!


Slingshot Sponsorship nominated for four ESA Excellence Awards 2017, including Agency of the Year 7th November, 2017

Slingshot Sponsorship is pleased to announce that they have been shortlisted for four awards at the prestigious European Sponsorship Association Awards.

The ESA Excellence Awards, hosted by the European Sponsorship Association, is an awards show that recognises and celebrates the achievements within the sponsorship industry across Europe. The European Sponsorship Association is in charge of regulating shareholders and owners in the sponsorship sector and making sure members are being sustainable and ethical. They also maintain a duty in improving and keeping standards in the sponsorship industry, which they do by educating members, through policy and networking opportunities.

Slingshot Sponsorship’s nominations at this year’s ESA Awards include:

  • Rights Holder of the Year: having won this category for the last two years, Slingshot Sponsorship are thrilled to be nominated again for two clients: The Holi Festival of Colours and the Extreme Tech Challenge held on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island.
  • B2B Sponsorship of the Year: a sponsor with the Extreme Tech Challenge, the activation of iTutorGroup showcased how the tech event could support female entrepreneurs in China, providing them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend and pitch.
  • CSR Partnership of the Year: a deal brokered with Slingshot the Aramco and Bloodhound SSC partnership aims to engage 50,000 children in 6 months in STEM.
  • Agency of the Year (Single Nation): after a highly successful year, Slingshot are delighted to also be nominated in this category at the prestigious ESA Awards.

Slingshot Sponsorship, renowned for disrupting and moving away from logo-centric partnerships, specialise in brokering sponsorships for their rights holder clients. Through a highly strategic approach, Slingshot Sponsorship continually delivers world-class partnerships.

Jackie Fast, the MD of Slingshot Sponsorship, commented “It’s a wonderful achievement to be shortlisted for so many awards, for an association that holds as much weight as ESA. But we are not content, we are aiming to get better every year and show the same level of quality at all times with all our clients.”

The winners this year will be announced at the ESA Awards on the 7th of February 2018 at the Science Museum, London. The event will be attended by over 350 people across Europe.


Slingshot Sponsorship Wins European Sponsorship Association Rights Holder Award 2016 10th February, 2017

Slingshot Sponsorship has won the Rights Holder Award for the second consecutive year, at the 2016 European Sponsorship Awards for their work with Snowboxx Music Festival. The category celebrates the rights holder that has gone out of their way to support sponsoring brands, offering innovative solutions and opportunities.

 

With Snowboxx confirming the relocation of the festival to a substantially larger site in 2016, Slingshot were appointed to complete a strategic analysis of the property in order to utilise sponsorship (both funds and contra) to ensure an effective and profitable transition.

 

Since the launch of the event in 2012, the event had only ever secured 1 sponsorship from a brand. Within 3 months, Slingshot and the Snowboxx managed to secure crucial additional revenue and support from 3 global brand partnerships with Coors Light, Rockstar Energy Drink & Jungfrau, which ultimately contributed towards a sold out festival and through integrating bespoke brand activity the festival experience was enormously enhanced.

 

Slingshot approached Coors Light with an integrated proposition to support the brand message of #DammeCold and the positioning as the ultimate in ice cold refreshment. Coors Light signed as the ‘Official Beer Partner’ of Snowboxx Festival 2016. Utilising the natural synergies through the shared passions of music and the cold nature of the event Coors Light developed a sponsorship campaign focused on digitally amplifying onsite content & activity to the wider UK audience.

 

Slingshot also brokered the partnership between Snowboxx and Rockstar Energy Drink the ‘Official Energy Drink’ for Snowboxx Festival 2016. Rockstar Energy Drink has always had a close connection with music and winter action sports and as such the partnership was a natural fit. Rockstar Energy Drink were granted use of use of a range of Snowboxx imagery and assets as well as the support of VIP competitions to offer attendees the opportunity to experience Snowboxx 2016 as a true Rockstar.

 

Jackie Fast, MD of Slingshot Sponsorship was absolutely thrilled to win the award, commenting:

“Absolutely delighted to win this prestigious ESA award for the second year in a row, thank you to ESA for supporting the work that Slingshot does with rights holders. We are so happy to have helped Snowboxx enhance their event and look forward to seeing this event continue to flourish in years to come.”

 

The winners of the European Sponsorship Association Awards were announced at the awards ceremony in London on Thursday, 9th February 2017.

 

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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, and charities – all with a desire of pushing the boundaries in traditional sponsorship.

For comments and information, please contact Kieran Morris:

Telephone: +44 (0)207 226 7839

Email: kieran@slingshotsponsorship.com


Charity Challenge appoints Slingshot Sponsorship to boost commercial revenue 3rd November, 2016

Charity Challenge, the charity expedition company behind the Red Nose Kilimanjaro Climb for Comic Relief, is launching its next series of world first expeditions and has appointed Slingshot Sponsorship to manage its commercial rights for the official kick-off to the series – a trek through the Andes Mountains in Peru to the mystical Inca city of Machu Picchu in October 2017.

Slingshot Sponsorship, the award-winning commercialised marketing agency, will handle all commercial rights and partner opportunities, ahead of the 2017 expedition.

Charity Challenge, which has raised almost £50m for numerous worthy causes, is creating an epic challenge with a star-packed group of celebrities to take on the trek to Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site one of the most famous destinations on the globe. At the end of the challenge, under the stars and amongst breath-taking scenery, an intimate concert will be performed by a Global Superstar – who is soon to be revealed.

This will be the first in a series of nationally and internationally produced documentaries that will be shown on various broadcasters with one main aim, to raise life changing funds for a globally recognised charity.

“We’re delighted to have Slingshot Sponsorship join the Charity Challenge team. The entire agency truly understands our unique vision for this series of ground breaking events” said Simon Albert, Managing Director at Charity Challenge. “I’m confident that with Slingshot’s support we can continue to grow our specialist challenge events commercially through partnerships and ensure we maximise the potential to raise vital funds for worthwhile causes.”

Slingshot Sponsorship enhances its clients’ commercial rights by uncovering new value through development and creation of sponsorship assets – supporting an execution that is mutually beneficial as well as sustainable.

“Charity Challenge have an innovative and unique approach to raising much needed funds for global causes,” said Jackie Fast, Founder and Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship. “Charity Challenge and Slingshot have a shared interest in creating unique ways of shaking up a traditional fundraising market, so watch this space.”

Commercial opportunities are now available for the 2017 Machu Picchu expedition.

 


The Pitfall of Long Term Sponsorship Deals 27th July, 2016

English football team Chelsea and global sportswear brand Adidas outline the potential challenges that long termed partnerships can create. In early May this year, a mutual agreement was made to end the sponsorship deal that short-fell Adidas’ potential and failed to reflect the value of Chelsea FC.

The 10-year sponsorship deal ended after only four year on the basis that the partnership was not benefiting either party.  Chelsea felt the £300million deal did not reflect their success nor their value, whilst Adidas felt the deal was not in line with their new business strategy of maintaining a lesser number of sponsorships at an increased sponsorship sum for their sponsees.  Having recently made a £750million sponsorship deal with rival team Manchester United, Adidas left Chelsea FC feeling undervalued and believing they could achieve greater sponsorship than what had been offered to them 4 years ago. On the other end, with Chelsea’s shocking performance this past season, there was no incentive for Adidas to increase the amount of the sponsorship deal in a way that offered enough benefit and still aligned with their new strategy.

Whilst the partnership proved to be mutually beneficial for the initial years, in recent times with both parties growing and evolving it only proved to be a hindrance to their futures. With the sponsorship industry constantly growing and as a result its costs ballooning, Adidas prioritising their new strategy of a more focused portfolio.  Additionally, Chelsea’s acknowledgement that their partnership did not reflect their market worth today was vital in their growth with a new partner.

The sponsorship industry evolves at a rapid rate, shifting away from logo badging to strategic business deliverables. Simultaneously the sporting world, and more specifically the football industry remains somewhat volatile – with politics and the economy affecting players and transfers amplified by team performance (Leicester City).

Although signing a 10-year contract may seem beneficial, the pace of the industry and media landscape evolution creates more risk.  Long termed contracts in such changing conditions mean that partnerships can get to a stagnant point where neither party can maximise the initial benefits sought. The idea that an extensive contract will provide security is predominantly only viable when looking at the monetary side of sponsorship, but sponsorship is more than money.  This façade of security tends to be a contradictory ‘benefit’ – potentially being more risky than short term contracts that evolve as both partners evolve.


It’s Not Who You Know 25th July, 2016

Far too many of our new business meetings focus purely on who Slingshot knows at Board level with brands. Undeniably, we know a lot. But that’s our business – it’d be like if McDonalds didn’t know what types of condiments to use for their hamburgers. It would be ludicrous if after 6 years of selling sponsorship rights to global brands, we didn’t make a friend or two along the way.

Unfortunately, almost all sponsorship sales agencies use this angle in their pitches – providing a false sense of security, to the potential new client, that sponsorship sales is all about speaking to the right person. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In my 15 years of selling “stuff”, it’s almost never about who you know. Bad salespeople focus on this in a new business pitch because it’s easy. Rather than take time to review the boring strategic processes that underlie sponsorship sales, it’s easier to provide wow factor by name dropping. This masks the fact that the challenge of selling sponsorship actually is controllable by a rights holder and can be fixed without hiring a specialist sponsorship sales agency, and no one really wants that do they?

Slingshot’s approach is never about the black book, which many think is unconventional and also means we lose a lot of pitches to those that guarantee sponsors and often unachievable revenue targets. The smoke and mirrors sales pitch champion who they know, but if you are struggling to maximise your full sponsorship potential it’s not because of your sales people, your property or your access to LinkedIn – it’s your commercial strategy.

Without a commercial strategy that understands what assets you have, what assets brands require to drive ROI, your fair market value and a pretty spectacular proposal – you honestly don’t really have a chance. I am pretty good friends with a lot of big brand buyers, but even I can’t flog something without the above. Gone are Chairman’s Whim days, but it means you have got to start thinking about your proposition if you are going to invest time and resource into selling sponsorship.


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 heads to India 7th April, 2016

Slingshot Sponsorship are heading to India later this month to work with IDBI Federal Life Insurance, one of India’s fastest growing life insurance companies.

Slingshot’s remit is to help build sponsorship strategy into the marketing team at IDBI Federal and support the team in their role to maximise the potential of their current and any future sponsorship investments.

Karthik Raman, Chief Marketing Officer, IDBI Federal Life Insurance, said:
“As a growing organisation operating in a highly competitive marketplace, it’s important for us to have a differentiated marketing approach. In the last couple of months we have taken important steps to boost our brand building efforts using sponsorships and experiential marketing initiatives. We’re eager to work with Jackie and the team at Slingshot to help us to further derive the long term value of our brand and brand associations. We know that bringing practical implementation solutions to our sponsorships will result in increased benefits to our customers which we’re always striving to deliver.”

Jackie Fast, MD of Slingshot explains; “We’re looking forward to working with IDBI Federal and helping them leverage their sponsorship assets further than typical logo badging. It’s also very exciting for us to be working with firms in India as expanding our client portfolio within the World’s largest democracy is a central element to our global growth strategy.”