This sponsored post is produced in association with Nvidia.

With $100,000 prize up for grabs, the third Early Stage Challenge, part of NVIDIA’s Emerging Companies Summit, is set to help entrepreneurs disrupt their industries.

On April 6, 2016, in Silicon Valley, one dozen entrepreneurs leveraging GPUs to create groundbreaking tech will go through a Shark Tank-like challenge designed to showcase their next big thing in front of an audience of industry leaders.

The top challenger will be awarded a $100,000 check, plus exposure in front of an audience full of leaders that can launch companies far, and fast.

The 8th Emerging Companies Summit is a highlight of the annual GPU Technology Conference, which drew more than 4,500 attendees from 40-plus countries last year — a crowd of thought leaders and tech innovators, NVIDIA says, who “get it” when entrepreneurs talk about the powerful potential of GPUs.

Last year’s winner, Artomatix, has already won key endorsements from some of the gaming and visual effects industry’s biggest names.

“I told my team we’re here to get exposure on a much grander scale than ever before because these are really the leaders in our industry,” Artomatix CTO Eric Risser says.

Artomatix harnesses GPUs to power a deep learning system that helps automate the creation of digital visual effects based on just a few key examples — helping artists move far faster than ever before.

The company has gone on to release a beta product at TechCrunch Disrupt in September, and has been working with an iconic AAA game franchise for about a year now, Risser says. Not only are other studios now trialing its offering as a beta product, Artomatix is also in “advanced discussions” about integrating its product with the offerings of other companies that build tools for game developers.

“We’ve got NVIDIA saying ‘you’re the next big thing,’ which is really just unbelievable validation for us,” Risser says.

MapD, another $100,000 Early Stage Challenge winner, has already won early backing from Google Ventures and Vanedge Capital in Vancouver. Their tech innovation has caused a sensation in the GPU community: With the application of GPU computing capabilities to big data problems in the business world, analysts can now turn huge datasets into stunning visual intelligence.

Early customers include a major social media company, a telecommunications giant, a government research lab, and a major retailer.

Got what it takes? NVIDIA is looking for startups that have raised no more than $1 million in capital and use GPUs for AI, visualization, robotics, automotive technology, entertainment, cloud, or mobile computing.

The application deadline is coming up fast — they’re due by January 12, 2016. Interested companies can apply here.

The Emerging Companies Summit will take place at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference, on April 6, 2016, in Silicon Valley.

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