Archive for the ‘XTC Blog’ Category


Posted on: July 27th, 2017 by xtc_admin No Comments

Are you thinking about applying for the Extreme Tech Challenge? The 4th XTC competition is well under way, and applications are closing soon. Check out our list of the Top 10 Reasons to apply, and embark on the Ultimate Startup Adventure today.

  1. Gain unprecedented access to key investors
  2. Scale your business rapidly
  3. Get the chance to form strategic partnerships
  4. Gain experience and assets that “money can’t buy”
  5. Pitch live on stage at CES, the world’s largest technology tradeshow
  6. Experience a once in a lifetime opportunity to pitch on Necker Island in front of a judging panel, spearheaded by Sir Richard Branson
  7. Expose your business to a global audience
  8. Receive widespread public recognition
  9. Gain access to a high caliber community with movers and shakers across various industries
  10. Hang out with fellow entrepreneurs, investors, lemurs, flamingos, turtles and lots of like-minded people on Necker Island and at other XTC related events


Still not convinced? Here’s what our XTC 2017 Winner, Tobin Fisher, had to say about the competition:

“Winning the Extreme Tech Challenge has resulted in tremendous public recognition. It opened a number of doors to investments and to partners. Running a business is ultimately all about the people.”
Tobin Fisher, Vantage Robotics

and XTC 2015 Finalist Polina Raygorodskaya;

Being a part of the Extreme Tech Challenge allowed us to present our product directly to some of the biggest names in the tech industry and gather valuable feedback that helped us shape the next steps in the development of Wanderu. We also used the opportunity to garner high-quality media coverage which, in turn, brought many new users to the Wanderu platform. Most importantly, though, Sir Richard Branson’s own favorable comments about our product helped establish Wanderu as a powerful brand within the travel field.”
Polina Raygorodskaya, Wanderu

It’s not too late to apply for the Extreme Tech Challenge. Applications are open until August 15th. Apply today and you could be heading to Necker Island in just six months.

Apply Now

Submission deadline is August 31st, 2017.

 If you’d like to stay up to date with XTC 2018, sign up to our newsletter via the form at the bottom of this page.

Say More with Less: Creating the Perfect Pitch Deck

Posted on: July 14th, 2017 by Leanne Kent

recent study shows that investors spend an average of 3:44 minutes viewing a pitch deck. As you can imagine they spend a bit more time on important slides such as your financials (23 seconds) and team slide (22 seconds). So, with about 10 seconds per slide you really need to do a good job communicating the key takeaways clearly on each slide.

14 Top Tips to Say More with Less

  1. Keep it concise and don’t reveal too much information. Decks are great tools to intrigue your audience enough so they set up a meeting to hear your story from you.
  2. Keep it to less than 20 slides (See Below: figure 1).


Figure 1

  1. Make sure that every slide has ONE clear message. (Example: Why Now Slide Key Takeaway: “There’s a 775% annual increase in Emoji usage in marketing messages”).
  2. If you have technical information on “how it works”, detailed financials or anything else that won’t make or break the deal within the first 5 minutes, then have appendix slides or additional documents which you could send separately upon request.
  3. The first slide after the cover should be a clear description of what your company offers, why you exist and what your vision is — preferably in one coherent sentence. (Example: Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world; and with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.)
  4. Try to shorten big chunks of text into a few keywords and use visuals and icons to make them easy to read and remember (see below figure 2). (Free icon sites:,,


Figure 2

  1. Make sure the numbers are big and bold with clear captions.
  2. Use high quality images with no watermarks (no cheesy stock photos).
  3. Light backgrounds with dark text are easier to read and better for printing. Pick two main colors and stick to those and their shades. (Go to for color pairings).
  4. Use at most two fonts. Check out GoogleFonts to find font pairings that work well, that are also free.
  5. Customize your decks based on your audience and setting. Investor decks have slightly more text because you usually SEND them. Whereas, decks for demo days are meant to be PRESENTED and should have less text with bigger fonts and more visuals. That way your audience can engage with you and listen to what you are saying instead of trying to read the slides.
  6. Use 16:9 slide dimensions — unless you print your deck a lot. Most people view everything on screens that are wider than print materials.
  7. Always send PDF versions or use DocSend.
  8. “Steal like an artist” — Study other deck templates, learn from them and copy their style.

Your investor deck is probably your first point of contact with a potential investor. And, a well-designed and organized investor deck that clearly hits the big points makes a great first impression. It shows that you care about your business, and believe in it that you want to do it justice by presenting and communicating properly. So, invest some time, money and energy in your investor deck to make a great impression and get investments!