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 past competition finalists before they enter a global public vote to pick the top entrepreneurs who compete in the Tech-I finals.
Starting in 2018, past GIST Tech-I finalists will play an active role in soliciting, selecting and mentoring the 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 applicants are also able to choose which Alumni Mentor they want to work with when they apply to the competition.
Beyond helping new applications, Alumni Mentors select which startup or idea advances to the Tech-I semifinals. Semifinalists then compete in a global public vote, which determine who advances to the Tech-I finals. The semifinalists with the most public votes, along with their Alumni Mentors, then advance to the Tech-I finals -- where competing entrepreneurs 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 pitch 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.