Venture Capitalists and Tech Leaders Share Key Insights for Startups Seeking Funding

Bill Tai, Gary Shapiro, Lars Rasmussen, Othman Laraki and John Souza Offer Five Key Tips for Tech Entrepreneurs

Startups participating in The Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) ( will have the opportunity to be mentored by some of the world’s leading venture capitalists and tech leaders. Members of the all-star judging panel and advisory council offer five key tips for tech entrepreneurs as they compete against hundreds of startups vying for capital, world class coaching and a chance to pitch Sir Richard Branson.

“Always surround yourself with the highest quality people you can,” said Bill Tai, Extreme Tech Challenge co-founder and legendary venture capitalist. “In the end, the best teams win.”

“Forget a lengthy business plan,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association. “Quickly test your concept with feedback from scores of potential customers, then respond like a ninja and go to market.”

“Innovation happens outside the comfort zone,” said Lars Rasmussen, Facebook’s director of engineering for Facebook and the co-inventor of Google Maps. “Most people can do more than they think they can.”

“Choose the one thing that is going to matter the most to your users and customers,” said Othman Laraki, Color Genomics co-founder and former Twitter VP Product. “Take your best shot at making it awesome.”

“An overnight success is many long nights in the making,” said John Souza, founder of Social Media Marketing University, serial entrepreneur and veteran investment banker. “And it’s not about coming up with more ideas, it’s about making things happen.

More than 1,000 startups have already entered the Extreme Tech Challenge, a unique competition designed to fuel the world’s top emerging tech entrepreneurs and accelerate their success. Launched by MaiTai Global, the event gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their ideas at CES 2015. The top three finalist will venture to Sir Richard Branson’s private Necker Island to pitch him and our all-star team of judges, including the inventor of Google Maps Lars Rasmussen, Samsung President Young Sohn, CEA President Gary Shapiro, and Felix Baumgartner, who jumped from the edge of outer space.

Submissions for the Extreme Tech Challenge will be accepted until September 30, 2014. Participating startups should be tech-based with less than $10 million in revenue and have a working demo and product/market fit. Prizes include access to funding, free infrastructure, distribution support, investment banking consultation, legal and tax advice, social media training and social media management services.

To enter, visit To view an infographic that maps the path to the finish line for this year’s startup participants, visit The infographic was created by SMMU and Right Source Social, two of this year’s XTC partners.

Infographic brought to you by Right Source Social.

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