We are launching 50’000 robotics startups by 2020

It has been 18 years since the concept of Robotex was first launched. Whereas, in 2017, we already had over 25’000 humans and 1346 robots attending the festival, making it simple to say that we could finally be considered a grown up.

Which means we can now leave the nest to take on some big hairy audacious goals!

Throughout the formulating years, Robotex’s team has had various missions the undertaking has carried. First, we’ve been striving to enable undergraduates to put their academic knowledge to practical use. Then, we’ve been encouraging secondary school students to take the path of becoming engineers. And recently, Robotex’s team has been helping the public get used to living with the robots.

All this has led us to set up a global organisation — already reaching from China to Colombia. And with such a scale we have to ask ourselves: What is the whole point of Robotex?

Why not launch 50’000 robotics startups by 2020?

Robotex International in 2017

Education is the core of everything!

Hosting a robotics competition with few teams in a small basement — that is how our undertaking got started.

The only thing that has changed since a few years back is the scale!

In 2017, there were 1346 robots from 30 countries participating in 25 competitions at just one event — Robotex International.

In 2018, we will see all these stats growing by 300%, maybe even 400% at Robotex events globally.

That is a lot of intelligent minds working with metal and plastic.

However, the numbers are not important.

Of course, it is amazing to see thousands of young and old people get excited about something so little as robots following a line or throwing balls into a basket. Yet that is not helping the society!

What the world needs is people that know how to build solutions that impact the entire globe. And Robotex has a fantastic concept of how to produce more of such people.

“We were promised flying cars but so far only have 140–280 characters. “ — Peter Thiel

Fundamentally, we are a 20-year-long incubator that takes a 4-year-old and has him/her start a deeply technical company by the time they finish the university (or earlier).

We do it by first getting young people excited about STEAM, then teach them coding and the use of various sensors. All this so they would be able to design more complex systems later — working through a set of problems until finding the one they want to devote their entire career to.

It is a long process! But that is the only one we have until it becomes possible to upload knowledge directly to our brain via a cable. AKA for a decade or so…

Entrepreneurial Challenge is the key!

Having competitions alone is clearly not enough. Thus, all Robotex events host inspiring exhibitions full of the latest technology companies and thought-provoking workshops. Because the only way for any of the attendees to start thinking about their own businesses is to show them what is already possible.

At the same time, Robotex International also holds a multi-day conference for corporates and public officials to get them into the mindset needed to support the upcoming deep tech startups and change the education system.

Yet the most important part is the Entrepreneurship Challenge!

The general concept of Entrepreneurship Challenge is that teams of any age, from 4 and above, have built their versions of prototypes/products solving real-world problems and get feedback from us throughout the whole Robotex festival, thanks to us bringing the people who can give constructive feedback and advice to their stands.

Some of them might be building things that only kindergarten kids want to make, while others are helping to generate concepts that enable us to reach next levels, such as flying cars, lightsabers or gateways to other planets.

On one side, we do not want to limit their imagination and thus only propose some vague borders to play in: HealthTech, EdTech, industrial tools made usable for SMBs (small and medium business) etc.

At the same time, we believe into the X Prize model and thus propose some concrete problems from the real world with some real awards to encourage teams to seek solutions to particular issues.

However, the general vision is to generate 50’000 new robotics (AKA frontier tech) startups globally!

Why 50’000? Because we expect only 2–4% of them to survive the initial 12–18 month period and another 2–4% of those to actually build something world changing.

So we need to help start 50’000 new frontier tech projects to see the rise of around 50 companies.

Student built formula racing car

How shall we reach there?

We launched our first franchise in 2017 after Cyprus asked whether it is possible to hold an event with Robotex name on the island.

Since then, we have already opened in Cyprus, China, Greece, Colombia, Finland and India (in that order), while expecting to set up at least 15 more by the start of 2019.

It used to be 2020, but well, sometimes things evolve faster…

In any case, the general idea has not changed!

We still believe we need to open up at least 20 franchises over all six continents and have them all start the entrepreneurial challenges.

Why so?

Because most existing robotics competitions only focus on one age group, while not really enabling people to progress into evermore difficult levels of the field.

However, as mentioned before, we have got a syllabus for talented children to become superstars! One that first enables them to learn the necessary skills and then pushes them to pursue their dreams by starting new robotics startups.

And that is exactly what we will use to get them start 50’000 robotics startups globally.

If you think about it, it is just 2’000 per every country in Robotex family, and Finland has already created a way for them to launch 1’000 by bringing in 5’000 foreign students to their new robotics and AI campus

So it is all doable!

Especially with China in our team, as they will start at least 10’000 robotics startups…

Listing the action plan:

First, we will open up the minimum amount of 20 Robotex franchises across all continents.

Then, we will do the following:
- Make sure that everyone in Robotex family is hosting the local entrepreneurship challenge;
- Start the first Robotex Bootcamp for gifted engineers and expand it throughout our network (starting with Estonia and Colombia in 2018);
- Start the Robotex Teacher Training program that we will take global in 2019/20;
- Launch the decentralised platform on which all future engineers connect;
- Have all the robotics competitions’ participants upload the schematics of their robots online for other teachers to use and learn from;
- Start generating content for facilitators to use when teaching the future innovators;
- Host the biggest robotics/future technologies conference in Estonia to bring all forward-looking corporates, investors and public officials to Tallinn;
- Raise a development fund to invest in innovators that cannot afford the travel expense to Robotex International in Tallinn, Estonia;
- Make sure we will have some (couple of hundred thousand or millions) money to invest into newly founded 50’000 frontier tech startups globally;
- Think about the things to do in 2019…

In any case, we have already set all this in motion and there is no way back!

So let’s see what 2018/19 brings, and prepare for 2020!

It’s going to be an awesome ride!

Robotex International (November 29 — December 2) is our annual event and the biggest robotics festival on the Planet. Thousands of engineers, executives, students and families come together to be inspired by industry leaders, build robots for various challenges and learn about the latest technology innovations.

We’re excited to announce that Robotex International is hosted in Tallinn, Estonia in 2018 for the 18th time in a row. The festival will be jam-packed with spectacular competitions and amazing keynotes, buzzing Expo hall, workshops, and much more.

Let us meet at Robotex International!