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Curtin partners with Extreme Tech Challenge on global startup competition

Media release

Curtin and Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) have partnered to bring the Extreme Tech Challenge startup competition to Australia through West Tech Fest.


XTC is the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs which addresses global challenges aligned with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The competition provides early stage entrepreneurs with opportunities to raise capital, network with global entities, such as corporations, VCs, partners, and gain mentorship they need to pioneer technological breakthroughs and help power a sustainable future.

XTC Australia will take place during West Tech Fest, which is WA’s biggest tech startup event. Speakers joining the event via Zoom will include Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom, Young Sohn, co-founder of XTC, President and Chief Strategy Officer, Samsung Electronics and Chairman of HARMAN International, and Curtin visiting Professor Bill Tai, co-founder of XTC and one of the world’s most successful angel investors.

Co-founder of XTC Mr Young Sohn said they are delighted to partner with Curtin for this important event, which shines a light on up-and-coming entrepreneurs around the world.

“In these times of global pandemic and ever-increasing and destructive natural disasters, there is an urgent need for innovative solutions that can help address the world’s most extreme problems,” Mr Sohn said.

Curtin University Director of Commercialisation Mr Rohan McDougall said XTC is a valuable stepping stone for local businesses to access networks of global partners, investors and experienced entrepreneurs.

“Local company Powerledger was one of the previous winners and rate its participation in this competition as a game changer. Curtin is delighted to partner with XTC and we look forward to being part of this global competition,” Mr McDougall said.

Co-founder of XTC Mr Bill Tai said Australian startups have a rich history of creating cutting-edge technologies that help drive social change and improve the lives of many.

“I’ve been involved in the establishment of both XTC and West Tech Fest, so it’s great to see them converge to provide opportunities for Australian startups,” Mr Tai said.

The XTC Australia Evaluation Committee will review all applicants. Ten startups will then be selected to pitch leading regional and global venture capitalists in a virtual event on December 1, 2020.

Judges will select three winning startups that will advance to the Extreme Tech Challenge Global Finals in May and June 2021. Additionally, the three selected finalists will be eligible to participate in the XTC Bootcamp in May 2021, with mentorship and training provided by world-leading tech leaders and investors. They will also get the chance to vie for the title of Global Winner of Extreme Tech Challenge.

Australian startups that are building scalable businesses with positive societal impacts in the fields of healthcare, education, financial tech, transportation, smart cities, clean tech, energy, agri-tech, food, and water, and enabling technologies are invited to apply at by November 20, 2020.