Power Ledger named as finalist in Richard Branson’s tech competition
The founders of an Australian blockchain company found out today they’re heading to the luxury Caribbean island of Sir Richard Branson in the hope of winning endorsements worth millions as part of a global technology competition.
Power Ledger, an electricity provider that uses an energy network based entirely on blockchain technology, has been named in the final three of the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) and will be judged in February by a panel of global CEOs, including Branson himself.
Joint founder Dave Martin told 9NEWS that Power Ledger edged out thousands of other groups from around the world to make the final stage.
“It’s really important because it’s global recognition of not just the solutions and the capabilities of Australian entrepreneurs to develop these strategies, but it’s global recognition of the problem we’re trying to solve at Power Ledger,” he said.
“We look locally and see that the world is in need of a low-carbon, low-cost and accessible energy supply. There are billions of people in the world that still don’t have access to electricity.
“We need to find a solution to this problem of expensive, inaccessible and carbon-intensive electricity supply and generation. The Power Ledger platform is about providing an economic model that provides that.”
Blockchain technology is a peer-to-peer database system that simplifies and democratises the transaction of financial value and commodities – the most popular of which at the moment is cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Now in its fourth year, the XTC is designed to allow entrepreneurial groups “to break out of the pack, in a world crowded with interesting companies”.
The winning company will be awarded access to networking, mentoring and infrastructure support from global tech companies such as IBM and Amazon and endorsements from Mr Branson.
Smart action camera company Revl, which uses artificial intelligence editing software, and infant health platform Owlet were the other two finalists to make the XTC top three.
According to Mr Martin, Power Ledger’s rise to the final is a strong representation for Australian technology entrepreneurs on the global stage.
“It’s a fantastic profile for Power Ledger and for Australian entrepreneurs who can bear with the best in the world,” he said.
“That demonstrates that, when we invest in the part of the economy that entrepreneurs occupy, we have the ability to compete and outshine the rest of the world.”