The Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) is the world's largest startup competition for social entrepreneurs tackling sustainable development goals. The XTC JAPAN Steering Committee, the organizer of the Japan preliminary round, has announced the 10 companies that will compete in XTC JAPAN 2021, which will be held online on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

What is the Xtreme Tech Challenge (XTC)?

Over 6,000 companies from around the world have entered each year since 2015, and past contestants such as Lynq, Elevian, Doctor on Demand, Wanderu, Cresilon, and Bloomlife have since successfully raised a total of 44 billion yen in funding.

Conscious of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the UN Summit, this year's competition will discover and support innovators who use technology to solve the biggest challenges facing the planet and humanity.

Features of XTC JAPAN (Japan Preliminary Round)

Two companies will be selected to represent Japan in the XTC 2021 finals to be held in June 2021.

Until 2019, the only way to enter XTC was to apply directly through the official application form, which was narrowed down to about 30 companies from over 1,000 applications worldwide, making it a narrow gate for startups from Japan.

The two companies making it through the Japan preliminary round will not only advance to the XTC Global Final Round as representatives of Japan, but will also be able to present their businesses to the investment managers of world-class companies under the mentorship of IT Farm Corporation, a venture capital firm with extensive experience in overseas investment.

Japan has many social issues with domestic as well as global implications, such as the declining birthrate and aging population, increasing food loss and food waste, production of microplastics, inefficient energy policy, and insufficient regional revitalization. XTC can offer a gateway for such startups from Japan to participate on global scale.

Last year's event

Companies participating in the XTC Japan preliminary round

The competition brings together some of the most promising companies in Japan, including startups that have already raised several hundred million yen in funding. For more information, please visit their website here.

Plantx Corporation

Designs and manufactures world-first “Closed-type” plant production machines for indoor vertical farming, thus achieving increased productivity.


Braizon Therapeutics Inc.

Saving people from intractable brain diseases through innovative technology for drug delivery into the brain from the blood.


Unifa Corporation

A total solution for supporting childcare sites using IoT and AI to realize "Smart Nursery Schools"


Hakki Africa Limited

Used car financing using credit scoring for customers in Africa


CRUST Japan K.K.

Fighting food waste and food loss by upcycling food surplus (we recently featured their Crust Pilsner on grape Japan).


Wasteless Ltd.

AI engine for discount optimization to reduce waste and increase sales in fresh food retail



Critical illness management solution using AI


Otetsudai Corporation

Creating a system to establish a fan base bringing people to local regions in Japan


Sustainable Lab Inc.

Democratizing sustainability to illuminate the future


Unito Inc.

Providing a lifestyle where you only need to pay rent for the days you use a property



Two companies representing Japan will be selected. The speakers will be startups that are currently gaining momentum in Japan. Special lectures will be given by experts on the current trends of social impact in the world and the current status of SDGs in Japan.

  • Date & Time: April 14, 2021 (Wed) 15:00-18:00
  • Venue: Online
  • Tickets: Free
  • Official website

Timetable (tentative)

  • 15:00 : Opening
  • 15:10 : Keynote 1
  • 15:25 : Keynote 2
  • 15:40 : Startup Pitch (10 companies: 5-minute presentation + 5-minute Q & A)
  • 17:30 : Panel Discussion
  • 17:50 : Announcement of results and award ceremony
  • 18:10 : Closing

Contest Judges

  • Mr. Tomy Kamada (President, TomyK Ltd.)
  • Nobuhiko Nishio (Professor, Department of Information Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University)
  • Mr. Shumpei Kobayashi (Ventures Associate, Mobility, Plug and Play Japan K.K.)
  • Mr. Takehiro Shirai (General Partner, IT Firm Co., Ltd.)


  • Startups and entrepreneurs
  • People who are interested in entrepreneurship
  • People who are interested in solving global issues.
  • People who are interested in solving global issues.
  • Venture capitalists

By - Ben K.