A startup that focuses on providing a digital solutions for distribution of aid is taking home the top prize at the GIST APEC Catalyst Pitch Competition in La Serena, Chile.
Sara Dhewanto from Indonesia has won first place. Her startup, Duithape is an e-payment system aiming provide clients (donors and lenders) a cashless distribution system that enables massive, safe, efficient, and accurate payments to the unbanked with high accountability through redemption of goods/ services at our network of distribution points.
The winners won $20,000 USD in cash prizes from Amazon Web Services. That includes the GIST First Prize winner, Sara Dhewanto, who has won $10,000 USD.
The competition was part of APEC’s Women in STEM events which specifically worked with startups that support women entrepreneurs, vulnerable communities or rural communities.
Jackie Hind from the United States is taking home the second place prize, which includes $5,000 USD. Hind’s startup is Plumb Pharmaceuticals which has developed a patented drug delivery platform called Advanced Quantload (AQL) which extends drug release from 72 hours to more than 3 months compared to current delivery systems.
Jessica Moldez Wu from the Philippines competed with her startup, Lesstics. She is going home with $3,000 USD. Lesstics is a startup Moldez Wu co-founded to help the garbage problem in her City. They recycle single use plastics and turn it into different reusable objects such as floor tiles, insulators, Lego Bricks and many more.
Natalia Mykhalova of Weavair, has won the Outstanding Science & Technology Prize, which includes $1,500 USD. WeavAir built the world‚ first device that harnesses environmental, mechanical and human metrics as well as predictive AI algorithms to manage high-value air conditioning systems, improve indoor air quality, save energy & streamline operations.
The Spirit of GIST Award went to Suki Chen who received $500 USD.
The event included featured startups from around the APEC economies. Through the competition, young entrepreneurs had an opportunity to elevate their pitches and showcase the startups.
The teams also learned how to pitch their business ideas to investors and potential partners—a critical skill for entrepreneurs.
All teams who participated were women-focused or women-led and there was a preference for teams who have overcome economic hardship and/or identify as a member of a vulnerable community.
During the 2019 APEC Chile, startup teams gave three minute pitches, without slides, to a small panel of judges followed by two to three minutes of questions.
Finalists from the public voting and review were given online and in-person coaching at the 2019 APEC Chile before competing in the GIST APEC Catalyst Pitch Competition.
A full list of participating startups can be found by clicking here.
The GIST APEC Catalyst Pitch Competition is one of several programs by the GIST Initiative that supports women founders and entrepreneurs from more than 130 emerging economies. GIST is the U.S. Department of State flagship science and technology entrepreneurship program. To learn more about the GIST Initiative, click here.