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Meet the 2018 Tech-I Finalists

March 06, 2018

After an intense voting round that mobilized more than 200,000 votes around the world, the U.S. Department of State is excited to announce the 2018 GIST Tech-I Finalists. The 10 finalists represent eight countries from around the world and have created startups or ideas in many different sectors.

The 10 finalists were selected based on their review by the GIST Tech-I Alumni Mentors and their performance during the GIST Tech-I public vote. From January 26 through February 22, 106 semifinalists embarked on a huge marketing campaign to advertise their projects and encourage people to vote in the GIST Tech-I competition. Their efforts and the incredible support they received, highlight how amazing ideas and hard work can not only benefit an individual, but also a community, a country, a region and the world as a whole. 

The 10 GIST Tech-I Finalists will now undergo online training prior to flying to Istanbul, Turkey to participate in the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Congress. At GEC 2018, the finalists will receive one-day of intensive entrepreneurial skills training, mentorship and the opportunity to network with global leaders in their fields. The GIST Tech-I Finals will culminate in a live pitch before a panel of expert judges, to decide who will return home with capital seed prizes to help grow their business.


The Finalists

Iheb Eddine Imad – Algeria – Student @ work

Sector: Information Technology and Communication

Student @ work will facilitate the recruitment of students for work opportunities, such as internships and freelance jobs. Through the platform, companies and students can connect over potential job opportunities – ultimately reducing the youth unemployment rate.


Jafar Albadarneh – Jordan – ARtour

Sector: Information Technology and Communication

ARtour is a platform that helps museums and tourist sites create visiting experiences through Augmented Reality (AR) technology. The platform aims to improve the visitor’s experiences and expectations while preserving a historic site’s cultural heritage and value.


Okey Esse – Nigeria – Peachwater Consulting

Sector: Energy and Materials

Powerstove is an ultra-clean cook stove with a built-in, self-powered control unit that sends real time data over the web and to android devices. Powerstove is smoke-free, reducing the amount of pollutants created by cooking, and provides enough power to charge phones and light homes.


Paul Semivumbi – Rwanda – With-Zero Pollution

Sector: Environment

With-Zero Pollution collects waste paper and other dirty paper bags to be recycled into new, usable paper and paper bags. The goal is to reduce the number of trees cut down for paper products and to reduce the amount of pollution from polythene papers and other plastic covers.


Sadaf Naz – Pakistan – Her Ground

Sector: Health Care/Medical

Her Ground allows women to easily choose a date and delivery time for their menstrual hygiene products by ordering online, or through WhatsApp or text message. Her Ground is addressing menstrual hygiene issues in Pakistan, where 79 percent of women do not have access to buy sanitary pads.


Shahd Douglas – Jordan – TechTeb

Sector: Health Care/Medical

TechTeb is a mobile app that allows users to book at home medical appointments instead of going into a clinic – which increases patient privacy and reduces patient time and effort. The app allows the patient to sort by location, health care provider and medical specialties.


Sylvia Azi – Nigeria –

Sector: Information Technology and Communications is an online writing service that offers users the ability to request custom content from a pool of talented writers. The service offers writers who can help with web content, ad copy, proposals, blog posts, academic essays and several other writing projects.


Taeef Najib – Bangladesh – Ghoorni

Sector: Information Technology and Communications

Ghoorni is a campus-based classified ads portal for university students in Bangladesh that allows students to search for ads posted by fellow students at their university campus. The portal also creates a marketplace where local businesses can also advertise to students at certain universities.


Wassim El Hariri – Lebanon – SASHA

Sector: Health Care/Medical

SASHA is an automated robot that can pick, sort and serve meals to patients in hospitals. The robot can eliminate errors in meal distribution by making sure every patient gets the right meal at the right time.


Zulkhaidir Purwanto – Indonesia – Mac Beanbag

Sector: Environment

Mac Beanbag produces the first eco-friendly and locally made bean bag chairs in Indonesia. Branded in Makassar, the chairs offer a sustainable solution to Styrofoam and fabric waste by recycling the materials to make the bean bags.