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Meet the 2019 Tech-I Finalists!

Text: Finalists Announced!

After an intense voting round that mobilized over 120,000 votes around the world, the U.S. Department of State is excited to announce the 2019 GIST Tech-I Finalists. The 24 finalists represent 18 countries from around the world and have created startups or ideas in many different sectors.

The 24 finalists were selected based on their review by the scientific and technical experts and their performance during the GIST Tech-I public vote. From January 30 through March 1, the 80 semifinalists embarked on a huge marketing campaign to advertise their projects and encourage people to vote in the GIST Tech-I competition. Their efforts and the incredible support they received, highlight how amazing ideas and hard work can not only benefit an individual, but also a community, a country, a region and the world as a whole. 

The 24 GIST Tech-I Finalists will now undergo online training prior to flying to Bahrain to participate in the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Congress. At GEC 2019, the finalists will receive two days of intensive entrepreneurial skills training, mentorship and the opportunity to network with global leaders in their fields. The GIST Tech-I Finals will culminate in a live pitch before a panel of expert judges, to decide who will return home with capital seed prizes to help grow their business.

Headshots of 24 Finalists




The Finalists (Listed Alphabetically by Emerging Economy):

Ali Reza Hussaini, Afghanistan                                                                                                                                                        

Startup/Idea:       MEND Afghanistan             

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: MEND's mission to bring social change and development in Afghanistan through initiating digitized systems. One example is E-Watch an election monitoring mobile application. E-Watch is developed to provide technological support to Afghan electoral stakeholders to ensure a transparent election, and to engage the citizens in the macro-level projects like elections. 


Svetlana Jaghatspanyan, Armenia                                                                                                                                                 

Startup/Idea:       Hi-Tech Gateway Vanadzor branch

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Environment

Elevator Pitch: We have a worldwide problem of illegal logging, illegal entrance and forest fires. So we have developed smart sensor system, for forests and rest-zones which is unique, is cheap and works fast. It detects logging, transport entrance, fires, immediately sending an emergency signal and showing the coordinates on the map.


Elbak Elbakyan, Armenia                                                                                                                                                                 


Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Energy & Materials

Elevator Pitch: We have developed transparent thin films for converting solar energy into electricity. These transparent thin films are based on zinc oxide. Research shows that the obtained transparent thin films by absorbing the ultraviolet rays of the sun can serve as transparent solar panels.


Ives Saraiva, Brazil                                                                                                                                                                             

Startup/Idea:       Rachar-o-Frete    

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: Rachar-o-Frete is a startup with the objective of offering a fair price delivery service and efficient delivery time through the grouping of digital buyers that will divide the freight value between them by a platform of grouping of digital buyers associated to a service of fast delivery of orders.


Heriberto David Solano, Colombia                                                                                                                                                

Startup/Idea:       BLACK SQUARE    

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Agriculture

Elevator Pitch: We would like to develop affordable precision agriculture tools for growers from under-developed countries, so that they can identify crop issues before the appearance of visible symptoms, and then apply the chemicals only where it is needed, resulting in saving money, increasing productivity and less environmental impact.


Queenny Kelly López Alvarado, Ecuador      

Startup/Idea:       Anuka, biodiversidad aplicada         

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Environment

Elevator Pitch: Anuka (algae in kichwa) is a research about endemic microalgae from Ecuador to fix large amounts of CO2 present in the environment in a highly efficient manner (100 times more than 1 tree). With urban biological filters fight climate change and create environmental justice.


Isaac Sesi, Ghana                                                                                                                                                                               

Startup/Idea:       Sesi Technologies Ltd         

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Agriculture

Elevator Pitch: FarmSense is a low-cost soil monitoring solution which helps smallholder farmers increase yield and productivity by providing them with essential insights to help them make data driven decisions about their farms.


Kartik Vij, India                                                                                                                                                                                   

Startup/Idea:       BhuGoal - Predicting Moods of Globe            

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: Imagine that BhuGoal tells you at 4:30 PM that it is going to rain exactly at 05:48 PM what will you do to exploit the information? Farmers save thousand dollars and grain warehouse owners save million dollars with BhuGoal. No bulky satellites just the television signals offer this precise information.


Varinder Singh, India                                                                                                                                                                        

Startup/Idea:       GFF Innovations Pvt Ltd    

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Agriculture

Elevator Pitch: MOKSH converts wet bio-mass into very fine dried powder and activated carbon through RF based novel. The products so formed enable farmers to earn USD 70/acre which otherwise is burnt in open fields creating pollution and delaying the sowing time for next crop for 5-10 days.


Fadli Fadli, Indonesia                                                                                                                                                                        

Startup/Idea:       Poopook               

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Sanitation / Water

Elevator Pitch: We build and operates an off-grid "human waste-to-fertilizer" treatment plant that is affordable and low maintenance.


Agung Ardhi, Indonesia                                                                                                                                                                    

Startup/Idea:       PT Ikigai Solusi Internasional            

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Education

Elevator Pitch: Ikigai is a unified student identity, comprising of psychological, academic, and aptitude profiling. With Ikigai identity, students are able to easily apply to universities and be scouted by scholarship provider as well as top universities worldwide.


Abbas Al Asmar, Jordan    

Startup/Idea:       Qaleb Studio        

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: Qaleb Studio is an online platform that offers in-house created pre-designed templates and mockups with Arabic & Islamic flavor targeting designers, agencies and freelancers. These templates & mockups can be edited and customized online easily, instantly and downloaded by users.


Donatus Njoroge, Kenya                                                                                                                                                                  

Startup/Idea:       Vinis Kenya Limited            

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Agriculture

Elevator Pitch: Vinis ltd is a social venture that manufacturer and distribute novel bio bio pesticide formulation isolated from plants essential oils to curb post-harvest losses of maize and other grains. This creates jobs, lift people out of poverty, improve health, nutrition, and deliver investors double-digits returns.


Alinafe Kaliwo, Malawi                                                                                                                                                                    

Startup/Idea:       Mechro Limited   

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: TempCras is an innovation that enables managers and asset owners to monitor their fixed and mobile refrigeration systems to avoid high temperatures that can damage their products. TempCras is cheap, easy to use on any part of Africa, reliable and readily available for both in-house and mobile asset monitoring.


Jasmine Lim, Malaysia                                                                                                                                                                      

Startup/Idea:       The Blue Rangers

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Healthcare / Medical

Elevator Pitch: If a man can't get a hard-on when aroused, that's called erectile dysfunction (ED). Causes of ED are broadly divided into organic and psychogenic reasons. With our BluBox technology, we would be able to diagnose psychogenic-related ED in a simple, accurate and easy manner.


Ariuntuya Altangerel, Mongolia                                                                                                                                                     

Startup/Idea:       Brighton - English Speaking Center 

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Education

Elevator Pitch: “KNOWLEDGE AND LANGUAGE” together in an very interesting way. This is the whole idea of BETME educational application from Mongolia. You will happily practice your English for every day accepting gifts from sponsors, and at the same time you can gain more knowledge just by using English learning application.


Mend-Orshikh Amartaivan, Mongolia                                                                                                                                          

Startup/Idea:       erxes Inc LLC        

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: Erxes is an open source growth marketing platform designed to help your business attract more engaged customers. It’s available for businesses in any stage it is in for free.


Olugbenga Ogunbowale, Nigeria                                                                                                                                                   

Startup/Idea:       Comcastle Plus    

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: From Bad roads to poor power supply, Polivoice helps you voice out your frustrations in your location directly to your elected leaders. Instead of waiting 4years to cast a ballot, use your phone to share what needs fixing in real time, every time. Lend your voice at


Oghenetejiri Emuveyan, Nigeria                                                                                                                                                    

Startup/Idea:       Legulp Enterprise

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Sanitation / Water

Elevator Pitch: Legulp Water bank is the first of its kind in Nigeria, a solar powered eco-friendly water dispensing machine that dispenses clean water, recycles waste water and artificially replenishes ground water to prevent depletion of ground water resources and reduce the effect of global warming to an unprecedented level.


Syed Abrar Ahmed, Pakistan                                                                                                                                                           

Startup/Idea:       AzaadHealth Private Limited            

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Healthcare / Medical

Elevator Pitch: AzaadHealth is on a mission to prevent every death and suffering caused by medical errors. Lack of verifiable patient health information is the main cause of medical errors which prevents doctors from seeing the complete picture about a patient's health.


Anatoli Kirigwajjo, Uganda              

Startup/Idea:       YUNGA TECHNOLOGIES     

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: Meet Yunga, a local rescue digital network for neighbors that allows them to communicate with each other in real time in case of an attack or emergencies. It intends to bridge the communication gap among neighbors and security agencies in order to reduce crime in our communities.


Rigina Madiyarova, Uzbekistan      

Startup/Idea:       ERG        

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Energy & Materials

Elevator Pitch: Designing and development of a highly efficient free-flow hydraulic turbine. These hydro turbines can be used to supply electricity to remote undeveloped areas and/or to pump water to irrigated lands without using electrical and diesel pumps.


Huong Thuy Ngo, Vietnam               

Startup/Idea:       ChatBot Viet Nam ,.JSC      

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: The boom of conversational commerce and problems faced by online businesses motivated us to create Bot Bán Hàng, applying Big Data, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. This is not simply only a chatbot but also a platform supporting sales and marketing automation, customer relationship management as well as omni-channel commerce.


Huyen Thi Ngoc Nguyen, Vietnam                                                                                                                                                 

Startup/Idea:       Medlink Investment Joint Stock Company     

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Healthcare / Medical

Elevator Pitch: Medlink is a platform that connects pharmaceutical company and pharmacy directly by passing salesman.


Hannah Weiss

Senior Program Associate

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