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GIST Pitch Competitions

Wassim El Hariri from Lebanon Wins First Place at the 2018 GIST Tech-I Competition

Wassim El Hariri from Lebanon has been named the 2018 Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I competition Grand Champion. His company SASHA uses a uniquely designed robot to fully automate food distribution in hospitals. El Hariri was one of 10 Tech-I finalists competing for more than $170,000 USD in startup resources, thanks to Tech-I partners Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Alice.  GIST is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship science and technology entrepreneurship program.  GIST works to empower and strengthen science and technology entrepreneurs to create markets, promote security, and grow opportunities for all in over 136 emerging economies through online and in-country programming, partnerships, and pitch competitions. Meet all the 2018 Tech-I winners here.

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The GIST Tech-I Competition is an annual competition for science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide. Aspiring innovators have submitted their ideas and startups online which were reviewed by past competition finalists. It is now your chance to play a role in the competition. Starting January 26, 2018, people from around the world will have the opportunity to watch the semi-finalist pitch videos and vote for their favorite startup. People can vote for a semifinalist once a day, every day until the public vote closes on February 22, 2018. Vote Now!

New this year, past GIST Tech-I finalists will play an active role in soliciting, selecting and mentoring the 2018 Tech-I participants. Throughout the course of the competition, the past finalists will function as Alumni Mentors who work with competitors to improve their ideas and perfect their pitch. New 2018 applicants were able to choose which Alumni Mentor they wanted to work with when they applied to the competition. Alumni Mentors then selected the best applications from the 2018 applicant pool to move on to the semi-finals. Those semi-finalists are now competing in a global public vote. The top 10 semi-finalists with the most public votes, along with their Alumni Mentors will advance to the Tech-I finals during the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul, Turkey. At the finals, competing entrepreneurs will pitch their startups to a global audience with the chance to win prizes and seed capital.

Since 2011, innovators from around the globe have showcased their science and technology ventures to the world through GIST Tech-I Competitions. Thousands of expert reviews have taken place and the online voting public has cast over 1 million votes in support of these talented young innovators.

The GIST initiative is led by the U.S. Department of State, and the Tech-I competition is implemented by AAAS with VentureWell serving as the training partner.

Applications for Tech-I 2018 are no longer being accepted.