What is the 2018 GIST Tech-I Competition?

The GIST Tech-I Competition is an annual competition for science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide. Aspiring innovators submit their ideas and startups online which are then reviewed by experts and voted on by the global voting public in order to determine the finalists. New this year, U.S. Department of State is inviting all former GIST Tech-I finalists to participate in the program to recruit and mentor the next generation of science and tech entrepreneurs.


The 2018 GIST Tech-I Competition offers young science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs an opportunity to compete for mentorship, training, and seed capital to advance their ventures.  The early stage science and technology startups will earn a spot by applying to join one of the over sixty GIST Alumni Mentors Tech-I teams.  Each GIST Alumni Mentor will select three startups to represent them in the global public voting, and the top ten startups and their GIST Alumni Mentors will receive a paid trip to the 2018 GEC in Istanbul for the final round of the Tech-I Competition.  Finalists will both gain international visibility from pitching their ideas at GEC 2018, and compete for at least $10,000 in seed capital.  In addition, all finalists will receive extensive training and mentoring before the GEC, and up to three months of mentorship following the GEC.  The GIST 2018 Tech-I Competition implementers are the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and VentureWell.

In 2018, the GIST Tech-I competition is seeking startups from all areas of science and technology (S&T) innovation (examples include: agriculture, education, energy, environment, health, information communication technologies (ICT), oceans, and space science) who are still early stage (example, companies that have completed some market analysis, have a launch timeline or have recently launched a product/service for distribution, or have a realistic strategy to sell a product/service).

Applications for the 2018 GIST Tech-I Competition will be accepted now through December 28, 2017.  Applicants should submit an executive summary of their science or technology innovation along with a 90 second video explaining their idea or product/service at www.gistnetwork.org/tech-i.  Applicants must be citizens of the West Bank or Gaza, must be between 18-40 years old on January 15, 2018, and either have a business or be willing to start a business in a GIST eligible country.

GIST equips young men and women around the world with the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs by helping them turn their ideas into new ventures that have the potential to transform their communities.  As such, the program is an integral part of the U.S. government’s efforts to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems—slow economic growth, unemployment, the social inclusion of women and minorities, security—through the promotion of S&T entrepreneurship.

  • The GIST Network online innovation hub helps the most connected generation in history learn from peers and successful entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • GIST TechConnects are monthly, interactive webchats where a live panel of U.S. experts field questions on entrepreneurship topics from the international community of startups.
  • GIST Startup Boot Camps offer on-the-ground training and mentorship to promote in-country entrepreneurship networks, develop local role models, and strengthen innovation ecosystems.
  • The annual pitch competitions allow entrepreneurs from emerging economies to compete for mentorship, training, and seed capital.  Check out www.GISTNetwork.org for details on this year’s competitions.