CES, formerly an acronym for "Consumer Electronics Show," is an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association and held annually in Las Vegas. The event has established a global reputation for itself among innovators, serving as both stage and proving ground for the introduction of breakthrough technologies to the consumer marketplace for over 50 years. This year, on January 8, a significant block of time will be dedicated to presentations on The Future of Blockchain.
On January 11, CES will provide a live stage for the ten semifinalist teams from the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) to present their startup ideas to a panel of judges lead by Sir Richard Branson, in hopes of being chosen among the three finalists that will continue onto XTC's final round on Necker Island. Branson, has a history of supporting projects centered around blockchains, and his private island also hosts the Annual Blockchain Summit.
XTC is organized by Branson in conjunction with MaiTai Global with the mission of "empowering entrepreneurs and their companies with visibility, resources and a rolodex that together, bring a company more visibility, the ability to scale at low to incremental cost, and to surround entrepreneurs with mentors that can help them build on product success with business success."
The ten semifinalists are taken from an international group of applicants hailing from Rwanda to Los Angeles. They include Abra (Mountain View, CA), AirSwap (Brooklyn, NY), Revl (San Francisco, CA), Chooose (Oslo, Norway), Neurotrack (Redwood, CA), Owlet Baby Care, Inc. (Lehi, UT), Power Ledger (Perth, Australia), Rayton Solar (Los Angeles, CA) SafeMotos (Kigali, Rwanda) and Tissue Analytics (Philadelphia, PA). In addition to the ten semifinalists, XTC has also awarded a wild card slot to Piaggio Fast Forward (Boston, MA), bringing the XTC semifinal competition at CES to eleven teams.
XTC co-founder Bill Tai stated: "We are incredibly proud of this year's group as they exhibit variety and are poised to disrupt current technology trends, and tackling the most pressing issues of our generation."
Three of the ten semifinalists, Powerledger, Airswap, and Abra, have chosen to build their startups around the Ethereum platform.
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, will lead a panel of experts in judging the XTC semifinalists from the Bellini Ballroom at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
With global exposure and the backing of invaluable resources at stake, the competition to move onto Branson's private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands is sure to be fierce. The XTC finals are due to take place in late February 2018. ETHNews will be following developments at both XTC and CES.