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GIST Initiative

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The GIST initiative is led by the U.S. Department of State, and the Tech-I competition is implemented by AAAS. 

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"We believe entrepreneurs can create jobs that fortify relationships between countries, build global markets, and help fulfill the dreams of all who desire the freedom to make of their lives what they will."

- President Barack Obama

GIST (Global Innovation through Science and Technology) operates at the intersection of science & technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship to empower individual innovators and to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems. GIST equips young men and women around the world with the skills they need to be successful entrepreneurs and leaders who turn their ideas into new venture that transform their communities.

GIST empowers young people to use their science and technology (S&T) based ideas to commercialize new products and create companies that address economic and development challenges. GIST takes innovators from around the world, augments their skills, builds networks, and connects them with mentors and investors - from New York to Silicon Valley - that can help them realize their ambitions. Since 2011, GIST has mentored over 3,500 startups, generated over $21 million in financing, and engaged over 1 million innovators and entrepreneurs.

GIST inspires, identifies, supports, and connects young innovators across the globe through:

Tech-I Competition

The GIST Tech-I Competition is an annual competition for science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide. Aspiring innovators pitch their ideas and startups through videos voted on globally and reviewed by experts to determine the finalists who will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). Finalists also receive 3 months of one-to-one mentoring. Through two days of intensive training and pitching their ventures at the GES, GIST Tech-I finalists make connections and gain international exposure. Tech-I winners receive funding to help advance their innovations.

Tech-I inspires: Since 2011, innovators from over 86 countries have showcased their science and technology ventures to the world through GIST Tech-I Competitions. The online voting public has cast 700,000 votes in support of these talented young innovators, selecting finalists representing sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean.

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"[GIST] was our shortcut towards better connections and visibility." 

 

- Ziad Sankari, GIST Tech-I winner, and Cardio Diagnostics founder

 

 

 

 

 

Tech-I inspires: Since 2011, innovators from over 86 countries have showcased their science and technology ventures to the world through GIST Tech-I Competitions. The online voting public has cast 700,000 votes in support of these talented young innovators, selecting finalists representing sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean.

"The program gave me tremendous exposure, and I don’t think I would be here today if it weren’t for (GIST’s) help."

- Hind Hobeika, GIST entrepreneur, named by Forbes as one of its “Hottest Global Startups of 2013"

 

Startup Boot Camps

On-the-ground training and mentorship to promote in-country entrepreneurship networks, develop local role models, and strengthen innovation ecosystems. Training and mentorship combined with exposure and access to capital encourages entrepreneurs to confidently apply their skills to creating science and technology ventures. GIST Boot Camps impact: Since 2011, GIST Boot Camps have trained 975 entrepreneurs from 26 countries, including more than 260 young women. As a result of GIST support, many participants have moved their ventures forward. At least two GIST Startup Boot Camp winners have exited their startups and others have incubated at Google’s startup accelerator in Silicon Valley and 1871’s entrepreneurial hub in Chicago.To find out more visit, www.gistnetwork.org/programs/gist-startup-boot-camp.

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"GIST has been the most awesome startup boot camp! The lineup of mentors and judges is phenomenal."

 

- Microsoft, Malaysia

 

 

 

 

 

GIST TechConnects

Live webcasts on entrepreneurship topics that enable global youths to ask inspiring experts for advice. TechConnects have reached tens of thousands of viewers worldwide and prove that innovation and entrepreneurship know no boundaries in today’s global marketplace. TechConnects are available on demand on the GIST Network Learning and Resources page, www.gistnetwork.org/resources.

"A really inspirational and awesome panel. One of the most useful hours I’ve spent in my life."

- Turkish participant, TechConnect, March 2013