Engadget’s Insert Coin: New Challengers competition is aimed at helping to make inventors’ dreams a reality.

For our Expand NY 2014 competition, we are happy to announce Noke as our Reader’s Choice winner and Poursteady as our Judge’s Choice winner!


Here were our 2014 Insert Coin Competition judges:


Cyril Ebersweiler, Founder, HAXLR8R

Cyril is a venture partner at SOSventures and the founder of LEAP Axlr8r in San Francisco, hardware startup accelerator HAXLR8R in Shenzhen and San Francisco and the first mentorship-driven seed-funding program China Axlr8r in Shanghai.

He is a mentor at Techstars and 500 Startups, an advisor to the Global Accelerator Network and a board member/advisor to startups including Leap Motion, OrderWithMe, Nextly and gTar.

Places where Cyril has given lectures, went on panel or organized startup competitions include the Pioneers Conference, the New Context Conference, AdTech, MIT Global Startup Workshop, MIT China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, Global Mobile Internet Conference, China Early-Stage Investor Forum, Samurai Incubate, Rails Rumble, Node Knockout and IBM SmartCamp.


Chris Quintero, Program Manager, Bolt

Chris is currently the program manager of Bolt, a seed-stage fund that invests capital, personnel, equipment, and expertise in startups at the intersection of hardward and software. Bolt provides companies with capital, staff, shop equipment, and extensive expertise with manufacturing and commercialization. Prior to Bolt, Chris led development projects in Chile, Vietman, Cambodia, and Cameroon and has experience in engineering and product development. He currently focuses on finding great founders for Bolt to partner with.



Rahul Sood, Creator of Voodoo and Microsoft Ventures, and now CEO of Unikrn

Rahul Sood the Creator of Voodoo and Microsoft Ventures, and now CEO of Unikrn. Sood joined Microsoft in 2011 and created Bing Fund in February 2012. In 2013, Microsoft consolidated its global startup activities under Sood’s leadership. He launched Microsoft Ventures in June of 2013.

A serial entrepreneur, Sood spent 18 years in multiple startups, including luxury and gaming computer manufacturer VoodooPC which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2006. He is a cofounder of Brightsquid Medical and Brightsquid Dental, creator or retail investment platform BullsOnWallStreet and an angel investor in a number of small Canadian-based energy companies.

He is active in the entrepreneurial community and often speaks of creating balanced teams by bringing design, technology and business together to create beautiful products.

Our co-host this year:


Benjamin Heckendorn, Master modder and host of element14’s The Ben Heck Show

Benjamin Heckendorn, more commonly known as Ben Heck, is a master modder and host of element14’s The Ben Heck Show. Sponsored exclusively by the element14 community and dedicated to the science and art of system and hardware modding, the show caters to a global audience of design engineers, students and tech enthusiasts. Each episode spotlights a mod of popular electronic devices and educates viewers on the underlying technology powering each project. Viewers are then encouraged to share ideas and ask Ben questions. Currently in its fourth season, the show has reached more than 15.5 million views globally and more than 285,000 subscribers on YouTube. A self-taught electronics engineer with a background in design, Ben is well-known in the maker space for his knowledge of 3D printing, circuitry, computing and more. When he’s not in his workshop or filming the show, you can find Ben building custom pinball machines.


Check out some of the action from our past Insert Coin competitions: