What is GIST Innovates Thailand?

GIST Innovates Thailand is an 8-week program of intensive training for startups working to take the next step in their ventures. Entrepreneurs will gain critical venture development skills, including using agile customer discovery and the Lean Startup process to identify and evaluate scalable opportunities, allowing participants to make informed decisions on the best approach for moving forward with commercialization of their innovation. Through the trainings, participants will be encouraged to engage with and understand the perspectives of potential customers in order to apply customer insights to the design of their product and/or business model.

Selected participants will be eligible to attend:
-A 2 day, in-person opening workshop in Bangkok, Thailand
-6 weeks of virtual coursework and guided study to accelerate startup development
-A 2 day, in-person closing workshop and demo day


Important Dates

We will accept up to 12 teams (2 members per team) for this program. We encourage teams to apply as early as possible.

  • Phase 1: Submission April 6 - May 24, 2023 (CLICK FOR APPLICATION)

  • Phase 2: Expert Panel Review & Quarter-Finalist selection May 25 - June 1

  • Phase 3: Program Open (in-person) June 22 - June 24

  • Phase 4: Virtual Program June 26 - Aug 4

  • Phase 5: In Person Close & Demo Day Aug 10 - Aug 11

Difficulties creating your account? Email [email protected]


Program Launch

Participants will be invited to a two-day in person workshop in Bangkok, Thailand where they will (1) meet program instructors and peer-entrepreneurs (2) participate in trainings that introduce key course concepts and (3) receive assignments from Innovates instructors, which will be employed throughout the program.
Virtual Coursework:

Course participants will attend a six-week virtual program where they explore the commercial potential of an innovation, primarily, by using  agile customer discovery tools from the Lean Startup framework. Participants will attend zoom sessions as a cohort once per week, and will each receive one hour of 1:1 mentorship from a course instructor. During these sessions, participants will apply course concepts to their own innovation/venture and workshop next steps with the instructor.

Program Close

Participants are invited to a two-day in person workshop in Bangkok to close out the program. During this workshop, participants will review key concepts from the course and present their findings and business-model pivots to the instructors. Additionally, participants will showcase their innovations through a demo day, which will be open to members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and supporting stakeholders. 

Support for Participants

Selected participants from outside Bangkok will receive a modest transportation stipend to support travel to Bangkok, as well as accommodation during the in-person portions of the course. 



Who Should Participate?

This program is perfect for Thai startups that are looking to take their innovations to the next level by getting mentoring, U.S. market expertise, and valuable business model training. All Thai science and technology startups whose founder is 18 - 40 years of age are eligible to apply. Please read the full eligibility requirements before applying. The broader aim of GIST Innovates Thailand is to reinforce productive values in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Thailand, including merit-based competition, diversity of experience, scientific rigor, societal impact of technology, ethics, transparency, and inclusion of traditionally underrepresented groups. Apply today! Questions about this program: [email protected]

Eligibility Summary
The applicant must:
Be a citizen of Thailand
Be the founder of a science / technology startup with operations in Thailand
Be between the age of 18-40 years old
Submit a complete application

Intensive training in startup methodology & acceleration support
Access to business mentors

What is GIST?

Since 2011, the Global Innovation through Science and Technology initiative (GIST) has partnered with the private sector to train thousands of innovators at more than 100 events and has awarded more than $1.5 million in startup resources. GIST catalyzes startup solutions that address economic and developmental challenges through networking, skills building, mentoring, and access to financing. GIST has provided training for over 15,000 startups who have gone on to generate over $250 million in revenue.

Click the video to learn more about our programs and meet some of our superstar entrepreneurs!

Application Instructions

The application must contain two components: 

1) Completed online application form, which includes demographic information, information regarding the development of your business, revenue, team composition, and growth plans.

You must create a GISTNetwork account to access the application. Once you create the account, you will receive an email with a link to confirm your account. Click the link and then navigate to the application. If you have trouble accessing the application after you have created your account please email [email protected]

2) Pitch deck, which should be a powerpoint presentation detailing:

  • The problem you are solving with your product or service
  • The solution you propose to address that problem
  • Your next steps for developing your product/service/company
  • Profiles of the two individuals who would attend the training
  • Any other information you wish to include in your application


Each eligible application submitted will be reviewed by a panel of experts, including regional experts, scientific and technological experts, and innovation and entrepreneurship experts. 

The panels of experts will evaluate the merit of applications using the following criteria and weighting.

Innovates Thailand | FAQs


Q. How do I apply?

A. The application is available on this page from 6 April, 2023 - 24 May, 2023. Once it is available, click the APPLY NOW button, create an account on GISTNetwork.org, and complete the application. 

Q. Can I complete the application in a language other than English?

A. No. All applications must be completed in English. 

Q. Is knowledge of English required to participate?

A. Yes. Participants must be able to converse in English.  

Q. How much of the course is in-person versus virtual?

A. There will be 2-day in-person in Thailand training followed by 6 weeks of virtual training. A final 2-day in-person training and demo day will occur at the end of the program.

Q. Where will the in-person training take place?

A. The first 2-day in-person training will be in Bangkok. A specific venue will be announced to the selected participants.

Q. What is the average age of selected participants?

A: The age of the selected participants is usually between the ages of 18 and 40.

Q: How much of a time commitment (hrs/week) should be expected from selected participants during the entire program? 

A: You should expect to spend an average of 10-15 hours per week.

Q: Do I need a fully working prototype to apply or will a proof of concept (very rough prototype) suffice? 

A: A fully-working prototype is not required. A proof of concept will suffice. The purpose of this program is to talk to potential future customers to help shape the initial minimum viable product.

Q: Do I need Intellectual Property (IP) to participate?

A: No.  But if you do have IP we will not ask you about it during the program nor will we expect you to share that information. This program is not about your technology - it is about the process of exploring market potential and whether you are solving a need in the marketplace.

Q: What specific measures will help prevent IP theft? 

A: IP information will not be shared by anyone during this program.

Q: Can the same person apply with multiple teams?

A: We will only accept one application per applicant.

Q: Can the same team apply with multiple projects? 

A: Each team can only submit a single innovation.

Q: Are there any fees for participants in the program?

A: No. All fees are covered by the program.


About the Implementer

GIST Innovates Thailand is administered by VentureWell. VentureWell is a nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate a diverse pipeline of inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges and create lasting impact. In 27 years, VentureWell has helped bring scientific and technological advancements in the fields of energy, agriculture, water, environment, and healthcare to millions of people in more than 90 countries. 15,000 innovators have been trained and supported by VentureWell, who have created over 3,000 businesses that have gone on to raise over $3.5B in private and public investments. VentureWell’s large network of partners span the fields of higher education, research, government, and industry, and includes many leading private and public partners including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State (DOS), The Lemelson Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

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