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GIST Catalyst Rules, Eligibility and Judging Criteria


Please note these are only highlighted rules. Please read the linked Terms and Conditions thoroughly.

  1. All applications need to be submitted by eligible attendees of GES 2019. Please see the “Eligibility” section below for more information.

  2. All parts of the application must be uploaded by the deadline. There will be no extensions. Please note the application deadline for the GES is 11:59 p.m. January 30, 2019.
  3. During the public voting period, the competitors will not engage in any cheating behavior by using voting bots, paid voters, etc. Only one vote is permitted per person, per day. If it is determined that a competitor has illegitimately manipulated the results, he or she will be immediately disqualified.
  4. VentureWell and Department of State staff, participants, and judges will be unable to sign any non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Please do not disclose confidential business or technological information.
  5. All competitors will be expected to engage in any and all educational webinars and read any provided resources.
  6. Selected semifinalists will attend and participate in all GIST Catalyst activities at GES.

Full Terms and Conditions (



GIST Catalyst pitch competition applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible to participate at the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES):

1) The applicants will only be selected from the invited and registered attendees of GES 2019 who indicated an interest in the pitch competition in their application

2) In order to progress in the competition applicants must submit all required components (i.e. headshot, 90 second pitch video, business summary and background).

3) All application materials must be received by the submission deadline.

5) All applicants must have an investment ready scale-up. This pitch competition will not accept startup ideas or early stage startups.

4) Only applications with scale-ups that focus on solutions with market potential in the following sectors will be eligible:

  • Health
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Food/Agriculture
  • Connectivity/Infrastructure

5) Applicants can be male or female.  GIST strongly encourages female entrepreneurs.

6) Teams/individuals may only enter the competition once.

7) For a team application, each team must select one member who will be the applicant for the team in the competition. In team situations, eligibility is determined by the applicant team member, not the team as a whole. This member does not have to occupy a particular position on the team, (e.g., CEO); however, their role and responsibilities within the team must be documented in the application. Should the application progress to the finals, the applicant team member will represent the team at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). The applicant team member is hereafter referred to as the applicant and will be the recipient of any prizes.


Judging Criteria:

Positive consideration will be given to applications that focus on the following:

  • Empowering women, either internally as a company or externally through the company’s product or service;
  • Science or technology based products or services; and 
  • Novel ideas, either by concept, approach, technology, or market.