GIST Tech-I Competition: Win Upto $15,000 and Trip to Global Entrepreneurship Summit

A major part of being a human being is having the ability and the sense to give back to the world. Afterall, we all benefit from the resources present in this world and it is a moral duty to reciprocate that favour in the best way we possibly can.

What better way to accomplish that than using modern day technology to your advantage? Global Innovation Through Science & Technology (GIST) Tech-I competition is a great platform to bring such ideas to light and get rewarded for your efforts at the same time.

What does GIST stand for?

GIST is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State that has been set up to empower the youth to tackle development and economic issues. This is made possible with mentoring, skill building exercises, financial aid and networking assistance. Online programs, startup boot camps and competitions arranged under GIST since 2011 have helped accomplish that across 86 developing economies.

What is GIST Tech-I competition?

A key part of GIST, Tech-I is an annual competition that invites young entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors to channel their ideas or startups that can change the world for the better. These ideas could potentially address issues linked with the environment, health, ICT, energy or conservation.

Who are some of the past winners?

GIST continues to highlight winners from the past during the application process to motivate the applicants. Ever since its inception, Tech-I has had winners especially from all across Asia, Africa and Middle East. Last year’s winners include: David Gluckman (South Africa), Mixon Faluweki (Kenya), Nermin Sa’d (Jordan), Jolene Sim (Malaysia), Tonee Ndungu (Kenya) and Ziad Sankari (Lebanon). You may read up on the exciting ideas and products they presented to clinch awards here.

What to expect from this year’s event?

As usual, ideas as well as startups submitted by aspiring young people will be reviewed by regional and technical experts in fields of business and science. Once the applications are received and approved online, public voting will commence all over the world which will decide the finalists for the competition. These finalists will then fight tooth and nail for funding of upto $15,000.

That’s not all; thirty of these finalists will win a free trip to sub-Saharan Africa to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) where there are even more prizes to be won besides the luxury of the prestigious company of venture capitalists and angel investors. To top it off, three months of intensive mentorship will immediately follow.

Who can apply for the competition?

The two main requirements for participants to be able to take part in the competition are: be 18 to 40 years of age on the 20th of March and be a citizen of a GIST eligible country. The comprehensive list of eligible countries across Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa is available online on GIST official website.

How to apply to GIST Tech-I competition?

All eligible participants are to compile promotional materials for the online application. These include an executive summary as well as a 90-second promotional video. The former is to be attempted using the application tool available online in under 750 words. It would cover matters such as commercial potential of the idea, its significance along with scientific as well as technical merit.

The promotional video will highlight the purpose and efficacy of the presented idea. It’s clearly an avid way to promote it on a global scale and spread awareness as to why and how it could be of benefit to the world. More details on both of these promotional resources can be found in the program announcement document here. A series of webinars arranged by the team, starting from 25th February will also help with these matters. You may sign up for them here.

Multiple application stages

Applicants will be asked a number of questions along with their choice on Idea or Startup science and technology product, research or service. You are suited to the Idea stage if you have commenced market research, engaged in identifying advisors, considering the credentials of management required to accomplish the idea and genuinely feel your idea has commercial potential.

Startup stage application applies to you only if you have external financing to your benefit or are funding it on your own, the product or service is not currently available for launch but is still in its testing phase and most important of all, the venture is not older than 3 years operating with the view to earn profit.

What is the deadline?

The application process has already commenced and is supposed to last till March 20, 2015. All those interested may sign up and apply here.