GIST Innovates the Balkans Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Requirements

The applicant must be 18-40 years old on the application deadline, 31 March 2023. 

The applicant must be a citizen of one of the countries in the Balkans region: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia. The applicant does not need to be currently residing in the country.

The applicant must not submit more than one application for the GIST Innovates program.

The applicant must be eligible to travel to participate in the program, if selected. The applicant must have a valid passport with an expiration date after the end of 2024. The applicant must be able to provide a copy of his or her passport immediately upon acceptance into the program.

Applicants who have previously participated in a GIST Innovates program will not be eligible to apply.

While there is no limit to the number of people on a project team, only 2 people per team will participate in in-person activities in the program. All teams must appoint one person to represent the team throughout the entire program. This person is required to meet all of the eligibility requirements and is the person under whose name the application should be submitted.

All applicants are required to have sufficient proficiency in the English language to successfully participate in the program and to function on a day-to-day basis.

All applicants must have a valid, active business. This will be proven by the applicant uploading proof of funding, proof of customer sales and/or proof of partnerships on the application. 

The U.S. Department of State will provide you with an offer letter as proof of your acceptance into this program. We will also work with a J-1 visa issuer to attempt to facilitate your visa issuance. You must get a J-1 visa to participate in this program - no other type of US visa will be eligible. Please read and understand all the J-1 visa requirements at the State Department’s website before applying for this program. It is the participants’ obligation to adhere to the requirements associated with a J1 visa.

Application Requirements

The application must be received by the announced submission deadline.

Application must be filled out in full, in English. All answers must be "real" and complete (i.e. not random keystrokes). Staff will not follow up with applicants who do not submit a full application.

The application must be the original work of the Idea or Startup applicant.

For proposals of similar merit, the gender of applicant, region, and subject area will be given consideration, in order to ensure equity and diversity.

Business/Technology Requirements
The business/technology must be the original work of the applicant.

Applications that fall under the following categories will not be accepted:
-Research projects with no demonstrable commercial potential
-Teams based at a charity or foundation (not-for-profit) organization
-Teams based at organizations that buy and resell technologies and other goods

Priority will be given to applications where the applicant has a strong and specific plan for how they would use their time in the program.

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