GIST Catalyst 2021 Pitch Competition

GIST's first ever virtual pitch competition

Congratulations to our winners and all the participants!


Every participant at this year's GIST Catalyst Pitch Competition brought amazing talent and drive to their pitches. Each and everyone should feel proud of their accomplishments and we wish them all the best!

1st Place: Selen Şenal of ALGBIO (Turkey)

2nd Place: Mark Musinguzi of Hya Bioplastics (Uganda)

3rd  Place: Ayman Sabae of iCheck (Egypt)

Outstanding Woman Entrepreneurs
Selen Şenal of ALGBIO (Turkey)
Vira Hovorukha - The biotechnology for accelerated treatment of organic waste (Ukraine)
Kemi Olawoye - Babymigo (Nigeria)

Spirit of GIST Awards: 
Jay Arneil Gajudo - Galansiyang Inc. (Philippines)SEMIFINALS
Kemi Olawoye - Babymigo (Nigeria)
Vira Hovorukha - The biotechnology for accelerated treatment of organic waste (Ukraine)
Alejandro Valdés - Pro-viden (Mexico)
Saif Eddine Laalej - Recy-Block (Morocco)
Mehwish Anwar - SavCon Energy (Pakistan)

People's Choice: 
Jay Arneil Gajudo - Galansiyang Inc. (Philippines)

Watch the Catalyst Finals and relive the excitement!


Meet the amazing five Finalists! 

Meet all of our 25 Semifinalists! 


What is GIST Catalyst?

GIST Catalyst offers young STEM entrepreneurs the opportunity to elevate their pitch and showcase their scale-up on a global stage, while receiving valuable mentorship from American entrepreneurs and academics who are leaders in the field of entrepreneurship.

Catalyst also provides participating entrepreneurs with the opportunity to increase the visibility of their scale-up. Because the live semi-final and final pitches will be held on a virtual platform, the viewers will not be limited geographically. This is an opportunity to promote your scale-up to your community, network, and the world – showcasing your innovation and attracting support. GIST Catalyst has helped innovators secure funding for their ventures, collaborate with the U.S. private sector, and build new partnerships. Launched during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017 in Hyderabad, India and repeated in 2019 at the GES in The Hague, Netherlands, Catalyst gave more than 60 entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their scale-ups to high-impact investors, policy makers, and leaders in the U.S. private sector, and compete for generous startup resources.




Participants of the 2021 GIST Catalyst Virtual Pitch Competition will be competing for tens of thousands of dollars in mini grants and entrepreneurial resource prizes, the opportunity for mentorship and training, a chance to showcase their innovative solution to the entire GIST community including investors, and the prestige that comes with every GIST event. 

1st Place: $15k

2nd Place: $12k

3rd  Place: $10k

Outstanding Woman Entrepreneurs: 3 awards totaling to $8400
Spirit of GIST Awards: 6 awards totaling to $6500
People's Choice: $1500


Important Dates

Applications Open: 2 August, 2021 (Close 11:59pm ET on 22 September)

Judging of Contenders: 27 September - 13 October


Semifinals Live Virtual Pitching

1 November, 2021
Sub-Saharan Africa: 10:00 AM EST (03:00 PM UTC)

2 November, 2021
Europe: 11:00 AM EST (04:00 PM UTC)

Americas: 03:00 PM EST (08:00 PM UTC)

3 November, 2021
Middle East North Africa: 12:00 PM EST (05:00 PM UTC)

Asia/Pacific: 3 November, 2021, 11:00 PM EST (4 November, 04:00 AM UTC)
NOTE: for participants in Asia this event will occur on 4 November

Finals Live Virtual Pitching

9 November, 2021, 10:00 AM EST (03:00 PM UTC)


Revisit Past Years

Meet the 2019 Winners
Meet the 2017 Winners
News & Past Winners

Follow GIST on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to the GIST Newsletter to receive updates on the next GIST Catalyst pitch competition.


catalyst 2021

A global, virtual event with more than two dozen countries represented.

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