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About GIST

Mission image

The U. S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative empowers young innovators through networking, skills building, mentoring, and access to financing to develop startup solutions that address economic and development challenges.


Since 2011, GIST has engaged with science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs in 136 emerging economies around the world, providing training and resources to help them build successful startups. This is done through competitions, startup boot camps, and interactive online programs, implemented by VentureWell and AAAS.

GIST Programs

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  • GIST Tech-I

    An annual competition that attracts the most promising entrepreneurs from emerging economies. Online public voting and entrepreneurship experts decide who competes in the Tech-I Finals, a highly anticipated event at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

  • GIST Online

    Provides in-country entrepreneurs with direct access to leading U.S. talent from business and academia, but without the travel and event costs. Young science and technology entrepreneurs across the globe engage with experts and the larger GIST community proving that innovation and entrepreneurship have no boundaries in today’s global marketplace.

  • GIST Boot Camps

    On-the-ground training and mentorship to promote in-country entrepreneurship networks, develop local role models, and strengthen innovation ecosystems.

  • GIST Innovation Hubs

    Innovation Hubs are designed to build strong and vibrant networks of young science and technology entrepreneurs around the world. Through community-driven meetup groups, the program aims to bolster the participants' networking and entrepreneurial skills to build durable, long-term, supportive networks. The ultimate goal is to stimulate local entrepreneurial activity and ensure participants can grow their skills and businesses together.

GIST Partners

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Kauffman Foundation
Founder Institute
Stanford Technology Ventures Program
U.S. Department of State
GEN Global


  • “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting young entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe, and the raw energy and creativity coming out of GIST was terrific. When we unleash entrepreneurial minds to explore and seize the world’s opportunities, magic can happen.”


    Rich Barton

    Co-founder and Chairman of Zillow and Glassdoor

  • "The experience of the GIST Tech was one of the most enriching moments I lived."


    Alexander Pizzarro

    Founder of Movivan