Fast-growing social knowledge network EdCast just announced it is partnering with Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), the first start-up competition in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Sir Richard Branson. XTC’s top 25 semi-finalists will be featured in live, interactive interviews starting today right here. EdCasters can ask questions and receive answers in real time. By partnering with EdCast, XTC is “allowing audience members at home to ultimately factor into the judges’ decision-making process to choose the top 10 finalists,” says Karl Mehta, EdCast CEO and Founder. “We are thrilled to bring the Live Insights Series to the next level through this partnership, where we’ll be offering a unique learning experience unlike anything CES has seen before,” he says. More than 1,000 startups around the world entered for a chance to present live on stage in Las Vegas at CES for a shot at pitching Branson. This year’s Top 25 list includes innovative companies from the U.S., London, Spain, France, and Ireland. Representing some of the biggest trends in technology, they are taking innovative approaches to solving pain points across many industries from healthcare and finance to emergency services and robotics. EdCast’s Live Insights Series launched back in September and is one of the first interactive settings for global influencers to share their specialized insights to help better the world. The series’ mission is letting knowledge seekers and lifelong learners interact and gain bite-sized pieces of knowledge from a wide range of specialists to help understand and answer global issues. Participants who join the series can ask questions and connect with influencers in real time—for free. And it’s pretty fun. Check it out.