Never been a better time for founders to build purpose-driven innovations: Victoria Slivkoff at TechSparks 2021
Based in Silicon Valley, Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) is the world's startup ecosystem for powering a better world via purpose-driven innovation and technology inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In her keynote address at TechSparks2021, India's most influential startup-tech conference, Victoria Slivkoff, Executive Managing Director, XTC, announced a partnership with YourStory to find outstanding startup companies in the Indian ecosystem, working to build a better future through tech innovations.
“This year, we will advance three startup winners from TechSparks Tech50, to become global finalists of the 2022 Extreme Tech Challenge competition, culminating in our global finals conference in June next year,” announced Victoria.
Innovation for a purpose and across boundaries
In a session titled ‘The era of sustainable innovation’, Victoria spoke at length about the need for startup founders to build purpose-driven innovations.
“As we've seen a confluence of several major social trends as well as tech trends that are driving this real shift that companies can do well, by doing good. And we've seen more investor interest and capital flowing into purpose-driven startups with the potential for commercial success,” said Victoria.
Innovation today has crossed the barriers of boundaries, especially when it comes to the flow of capital, believed Victoria. To support such a global ecosystem, a platform like XTC was created.
“Our initiative is grounded in the belief that a combination of innovation, entrepreneurship and investment can really move the needle and help to solve the world's most pressing challenges; one that welcomes ideas from all corners of the globe. And our job is to equip emerging startups with the resources, support and guidance to bring their innovations to life,” she added.
Victoria further credits the current advancements like Data, AI, and cloud computing in revolutionising the way we work, live and play to create a better environment and better society.
“The capital markets today recognise the urgent need for sustainable development. So, you're starting to see this oversized reward going to entrepreneurs who are pursuing responsible innovations for a radically better world,” she shared.
Speaking on the purpose of relaunching the XTC in mid-2019, Victoria said, “We wanted to focus on addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. And now two years after our relaunch, we have showcased hundreds of companies from every continent, from Silicon Valley to Mexico to Israel, and of course to India, which each showcase what it means to birth and scale disruptive Tech for Good startups with the potential to impact the lives of many people.”.
Stating a few examples of XTC winning startups innovating for a cause, Victoria shared, “Our 2021 COVID innovation winner is a YourStory Tech 30 company, SomeFox. When the second wave COVID-19 hit India hard this past spring, they rapidly adapted their cardiac monitor device into a type of home ICU monitor system, in collaboration with one of our startup companies from XTC, Multinano sense. Working together for micro oxygen sensor chips really made a difference in how COVID was addressed in India.”
“Another Tech30 XTC finalist, Cognizable is using AI to provide better education tools for parents with autistic children in a way that is affordable and accessible for the broad population in India,” she added.
Such startups participating in XTC have benefited from its global pool of investors and a platform that offers global visibility.
Concluding her address, Victoria says, “Events like TechSparks and XTC are platforms that can democratise opportunities everywhere. I am energised by the innovative spirit and the bold mindset of entrepreneurs in the Indian ecosystem. And, also look forward to developing broader relationships with the Indian investor, community, and corporate community to better connect our ecosystems. I hope to see many startups applying to the Extreme Tech Challenge this year. Together, we can build a better tomorrow via innovation, startups and global partnerships.”
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For a line-up of all the action-packed sessions at YourStory's flagship startup-tech conference, check out TechSparks 2021 website.