We live in uncertain time. But we also live in times of great hope and opportunity thanks to forward-thinking entrepreneurs who are determined to change the world for the better.

That’s why we are so proud to reveal the seven outstanding category winners of this year’s Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) competition that will go on to compete in the Global Finals on July 15th.

As many of you know, XTC is the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges. The goal of XTC is to connect game-changing innovators with a network of investors, corporations, and mentors to help them raise capital, launch corporate collaborations, and scale their startups.

The theme of the 2020 XTC competition is ‘Pitch for Hope’. And hope is exactly what these amazing startups are delivering at a time when the world needs it most.

This year’s competition kicked off in May 2019 with 2,419 applicants from 87 countries all with a common goal: to leverage technology to address the greatest challenges facing humanity and to make the planet a more sustainable and prosperous place for everyone. The applicants were then narrowed down to 52 finalists, which recently pitched their solutions to a panel of more than 80 leading investors and industry experts.

These incredible startups have come so far in such a short period of time, and now we are down to the remaining seven finalists! The finalists will make their pitch to a star-studded panel of 6 investors that now includes internet legend and Yahoo! Co-founder, Jerry Yang, as well as Young Sohn, Corporate President and Chief Strategy Officer, Samsung Electronics, and Co-founder of XTC; Tim Draper, Founding Partner, Draper Associates; Philippe Botteri, Partner, Accel; Rafaèle Tordjman, Founder, Jeito Capital; and Bill Tai, Partner Emeritus, Charles River Ventures, and Co-founder of XTC.

Without further ado, here are the top seven startups:


Genecis (Cleantech & Energy):

Genecis converts food waste into biodegradable plastics and other high value materials, helping to reduce the 18 billion pounds of plastic polluting our oceans every year. A key advantage is that plastics made by Genecis can be disposed of in any waste stream without causing problems, unlike other bioplastics, which can contaminate recycling.

Hala Systems (Enabling Technologies):

The Hala platform uses IoT, AI, remote sensing, and distributed ledger to prevent violence and mitigate social challenges in the most dangerous places on Earth. For instance, Hala’s early warning system has helped to predict airstrikes in Syria and save civilian lives.

MicroGen Biotech (Agriculture, Food & Water):

Two billion children ingest unsafe levels of toxic heavy metals like arsenic through the everyday consumption of food brands. MicroGen develops a technology to block the uptake of heavy metals by crops while restoring contaminated soil.

ReWire (Fintech):

ReWire boosts economic growth and financial independence in developing countries through a digital banking platform designed for the world’s 270 million migrant workers. The platform offers complete transparency, equal opportunity, and a fair banking system that’s available to everyone.

Saathi (Healthcare):

This 13-person startup makes eco-friendly hygiene products for women from banana tree fiber. Saathi’s sanitary pads biodegrade within six months—1,200 times faster than plastic pads. And since the pads don’t contain chemicals, they provide a rash and irritation free experience.

SPRK.Global (Transportation & Smart Cities):

Each year, 1.6 billion tons of food goes to waste. SPRK is on a mission to turn this wasted food into a global business by using AI to understand and anticipate oversupply patte

TOMi.Digital (Education):

Thousands of K-12 teachers are using the TOMi app to create interactive classes to engage students remotely and in-person, even without classroom internet. And, in a time of COVID, TOMi has become a prominent teaching tool for virtual classes, even when students cannot use video conferencing.


As a bonus, this year’s XTC competition also features two inaugural awards that will go to a breakthrough startup responding to the global COVID-19 crisis and to a female-founded startup whose innovations are driving solutions to global challenges. These two special awards will be announced at the XTC Global Finals.

As we enter the homestretch of the 2020 competition, our category winners are now preparing to face off in the XTC Global Finals on July 15th, when we will crown the overall winner. We encourage everyone to tune in live as the seven finalists from across the globe pitch their groundbreaking businesses and prepare to change the world.

To register for XTC Global Finals, please visit https://extremetechchallenge.org/GlobalFinals2020