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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 trainings, and interactive online programs, implemented by AAAS, Global Entrepreneurship Network, VentureWell.

GIST Programs

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  • GIST Pitch Competitions

    The GIST Network hosts GIST Catalyst, GIST Tech-I and co-hosts the Imagine Cup at premiere international entrepreneurship gatherings including the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and Global Entrepreneurship Congress. These competitions provide science and technology entrepreneurs around the world the opportunity to elevate their pitch and showcase their startup on a global stage. Both GIST Catalyst and GIST Tech-I offer young innovators training and mentorship during the competition, and the opportunity to win startup resources from GIST Network U.S. partners such as Alice, Google, Microsoft, Dell, Amazon Web Services and the U.S. Department of State.

  • Startup Trainings and In-Country Activities

    By combining its online platform with on-the-ground partners, GIST creates education and training opportunities for young innovators in more than 130 countries around the world. Online programs like GIST TechConnect offer entrepreneurs in emerging economies the chance to learn from U.S. experts in entrepreneurship, investment and even technology. Similarly, GIST partnerships with startup incubators, including GIST Startup Trainings and GIST Innovation Hubs, promote in-country entrepreneurship networks, develop local role models and strengthen innovation ecosystems.

  • GIST Investors

    In order to create sustainable investment networks around the world, the GIST Investor Mobilization Training program – or GIST Investors – partners with in-country stakeholders in entrepreneurial ecosystems to bolster local financial support for startups. Through GIST Investors, GIST is able to bring American investment experts to different regions around the world. By doing so, GIST provides an opportunity for in-country investors and ecosystem actors to learn how to create and sustain investor networks for entrepreneurs.

  • GIST Mentor Match

    Through the GIST Mentor Match portal, GIST is breaking down the barriers that prevent young innovators from finding the perfect mentor. By using the portals comprehensive search options, an entrepreneur can sort through more than 300 potential mentors to find the one that best fits their needs or the needs of their startup.

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

  • "Everyone has a turning point in his life. And in my business life, GIST is my turning point."

    Nermin Sa'd

    Founder of

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


    Alexander Pizzarro

    Founder of Movivan