On Sunday, The Extreme Tech Challenge announced the top-10 finalists in the competition. The Extreme Tech Challenge, as the name implies, is pretty damn extreme. The contest is the first startup contest to run in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show. The top-10 will be given the stage to pitch at CES, with the top 3 receiving a chance to pitch Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson at his private island:
More than 1,000 high quality startups around the world entered for a chance to present live on stage in Las Vegas at CES for a shot at pitching Sir Richard Branson on his private island. It’s a competition unlike anything other, providing the infrastructure, investment, promotion, and community support companies need to scale.1
This contest is much more than a simple pitch event. The judges speak to this fact:
Sir Richard Branson – CEO and founder of Virgin
- Gary Shapiro – CEO of the Consume Technology Association, which organizes CES and many other conferences
- Veronica Serra – Founding Partner of Pacific Investimentos
- Lars Ramussen – Co-Creator of Google Maps and Co-founder of Cute Little Apps
- Young Sohn – President and CSO of Samsung Electronics
- Tim Draper – Founding Partner of Draper & Associates
- David Cohen – Founder and CEO of Techstars
- Robert Scoble – Rackspace’s Futurist and Startup Evangelist
- Josh Constine – Senior Reporter at TechCrunch
- Charles Michael Yim – Co-founder of the 2015 Extreme Tech Challenge winning company, Breathometer
Without any further ado, here is a look at the 10 finalists:
Bloom Technologies is a consumer health company dedicated to helping moms raise healthy happy families starting with pregnancy.
We are designing a family of products that take the guesswork out of pregnancy while informing and inspiring healthy choices.2
Just watch the video below, it does a better job of explaining than anyone could ever hope to:
Genomic Expression has developed a new cancer screening and testing method that focuses on RNA, rather than DNA. Their method, “translates complex genomic data into information that is understandable and easy to use by the doctor to select more effective treatments for cancer patients.”3
Giroptic has built an incredible camera. “Three optics, three sensors, and just one video of photo file gets out…In a press of a button you’ll get to capture incredible 360° equirectangular video footages at a resolution of 2K (2048 x 1024) at up to 30 frames per seconds, and stunning 4K pictures (4096 x 2048).”4 What’s more, the camera works underwater.
Kickfurther has built a unique type of platform. It is, very, very loosely similar to Kickstarter. It is a three-step process:
- Backing an offer on Kickfurther is different than other crowdfunding sites. Each product on Kickfurther has a proven track record and is rasing money to help fund more inventory. Best of all, backers earn great returns when investing in offers.
- When you back an offer on Kickfurther, you own the inventory. The sooner the inventory sells, the sooner you will make a return on your investment. While it’s primarily the company’s job to sell the inventory, you can help market and sell the products you back on social media and through your Kickfurther Store.
- Every offer you back has a specified return. Because you help to fund a company’s inventory, you get a piece of their income! By funding businesses they receive the financing they need and you earn great return.5
MassRoots is a social network/community focused entirely on cannabis. The community is blowing up, with a whopping 625,000 active users. It is much more than a standard content/messaging network, however:
- Share weed-related content to an open-minded audience
- Meet fellow cannabis enthusiasts in their area
- Encourage and support marijuana legalization efforts nation-wide
- Discover new weed strains and marijuana products
- Find local cannabis dispensaries
- Learn about the legal marijuana culture
- Share and discover knowledge from glass artists, growers, strain reviewers, cannabis reporters, and much more…6
MegaBots are badass. That’s the best way to describe them:
MegaBots are 15-foot-tall, internally piloted humanoid robots that fire cannonball-sized paintballs at each other at speeds of over 120 miles per hour. As the robots battle, armor panels chear off and litter the field, smoke and sparks pour out of the chassis, massive robotic limbs tear off, and robots crumple to the ground until only one is left standing.7
Sixense Entertainment, Inc. is a privately held company of developers, engineers, experts and enthusiasts in the virtual reality (VR), 3D modeling and entertainment industries who share a passion for creating products that revolutionize the way we experience 3D content.8
SmartPlate by Fitly is the world’s first Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled device that instantly tracks and analyzes everything you eat, so you never have to enter anything manually again!9
Sphero is already pretty well established, but that doesn’t make their products any less cool.
As the industry leader in Connected Play, we are defining the future of fun. We create connected toys, fusing emerging technology with the latest innovations in robotics. Unlike traditional toys, our robots and software allow us to create ever-evolving experiences – changing the way people play, learn and explore.10