APEC Catalyst Pitch Competition Announces Semifinalists for 2023 ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎

APEC Catalyst Pitch Competition Announces Semifinalists for 2023 ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎

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September 22, 2023

The APEC Catalyst Pitch Competition is thrilled to announce the Semifinalists for its 2023 edition. Organized in collaboration with the APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) and the United States' GIST Initiative, this competition centers on empowering female innovators in the field of climate solutions. Seventeen founders will receive training, with 11 semifinalists having the opportunity to pitch their startups to a global audience in San Francisco this November. 

Since its inception in 2017 at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, India, the APEC Catalyst Pitch Competition has continued to provide invaluable opportunities to entrepreneurs. In support of these visionaries, GIST has provided the chance for them to showcase their groundbreaking innovations to high-impact investors, policymakers, and leaders in the U.S. private sector. Moreover, they compete for generous startup resources that can help turn their ideas into reality, and receive invaluable venture development training along the way. 

This year's competition is poised to follow in the successful footsteps of its predecessors, offering not only an opportunity to compete but also learning and networking experiences for all participants--from quarterfinalists up. With the world in dire need of innovative climate solutions, we are proud to work with global partners in bringing these extraordinary ideas to life. 

Meet This Exciting Cohort!

This competition is a testament to the power of innovation, collaboration, and gender equality in addressing one of the most pressing global challenges – climate change.  It's heart lies not only in the competition itself but in the exceptional cohort of women climate entrepreneurs it brings together. Beyond the competition, this event presents a unique opportunity to connect with and be inspired by some of the most dynamic and visionary emerging innovators in the world.

Get ready to meet the Semifinalists and discover the innovative solutions they're bringing to the forefront in the fight against climate change, and stay tuned for more updates as we approach the exciting Finals events in November! 


Natalie Duncan - Bug Mars (Canada): 

Innovation: AI and precision agriculture for insect farming.
Why It's Important: Bug Mars AI software enhances insect farming efficiency, reducing operational costs and promoting insect-based protein sources for a sustainable food future.


Nhung Hoang - Derma Gel (Vietnam):

Innovation: Bamboo leaf extract and coconut oil-based treatment for atopic dermatitis.
Why It's Important: Derma Gel offers a natural, effective treatment for a common skin condition. Its use of eco-friendly ingredients not only improves patients' well-being but also promotes environmental sustainability.


Roikhanatun Nafi'ah - Eco-Aerator (Indonesia):

Innovation: Smart aerator with microbubble technology for shrimp farming.
Why It's Important: Eco-Aerator increases shrimp productivity, reduces mortality, and lowers operating costs. This innovation supports sustainable aquaculture and addresses environmental concerns.


Vo Quoc Thao Nguyen - Green Joy (Vietnam):

Innovation: Compostable straws and utensils made from native grass.
Why It's Important: Green Joy addresses plastic waste while providing sustainable alternatives for various applications. It supports eco-conscious consumption and environmental conservation.


Phuong Thuy Dinh - Mana.st (Vietnam):

Innovation: Eco-products and environmental services using reed-based technology.
Why It's Important: Mana.st offers sustainable alternatives for various applications while contributing to reed-based environmental conservation efforts.


Carolina Aguila - NanoInGreen (Chile):

Innovation: Green synthesis of functional ingredients for plant-based foods.
Why It's Important: NanoInGreen improves plant-based nutrition and flavor, supporting healthier diets and sustainable food choices.



Mar Velasco - NetaCarbon (United States):

Innovation: A carbon credit issuance platform that reduces overhead costs and enhances transparency.
Why It's Important: NetaCarbon is democratizing access to the carbon market for pro-climate businesses, removing barriers and increasing production especially in the Global South.


Maria Jose Tamayo - ParenTeen (Peru):

Innovation: Online platform for parents to address concerns during adolescence.
Why It's Important: ParenTeen provides data-driven support for parents and promotes mental and physical well-being in adolescents, strengthening family bonds.


Nurmaisarah Mizan - Seaweed Mulch (Malaysia):

Innovation: Fertilizer-infused seaweed mulch for enhanced crop growth.
Why It's Important: Seaweed Mulch improves crop yields and promotes sustainable agriculture by providing a natural and effective soil amendment.


Cherry Murillon - TrACE.AI (Philippines):

Innovation: AI-powered catch documentation and traceability software for fisheries.
Why It's Important: TrACE.AI combats illegal fishing, a critical issue in the Philippines. Its traceability system reduces carbon footprint and ensures sustainable seafood, safeguarding both marine ecosystems and fishing industry integrity.


Mild Karoon-ngampun - UPCYDE (Thailand):

Innovation: Upcycling agricultural waste into natural, non-woven materials.
Why It's Important: UPCYDE addresses waste management challenges and reduces environmental impact in industries like fashion, furniture, and automotive, while promoting sustainable alternatives.


Follow this exciting group of young innovators as they come together in San Francisco for training, mentoring, and the chance to win resources for their startups. 


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