Partnering for Global Innovation

We are at a pivotal point for responding to many of our most pressing global challenges. As a flagship partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the private sector, the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative seeks to continually scan the horizon to find the best science and technology innovators, and to connect them to U.S. businesses and investors. From climate change to global health, the GIST Initiative remains one of the USG’s most agile tools to leverage innovative startup solutions to address these challenges. GIST and the American private sector share a common interest in engaging with the best of global science and technology entrepreneurs. Working together and pooling resources extends our outreach into the innovation community while at the same time increases our ability to learn about foreign generated innovation, gain market access, and facilitate business connections.

GIST's Global Reach:

  • 130+ Participating Countries
  • More Than 100 Events Since 2011
  • 15,000 Startups Mentored
  • $1.5 Million Awarded to Innovators
  • $250 Million Revenue Generated
  • 6000 Jobs Create in the U.S.
  • 10 Million Women Innovators

Some of the many ways GIST partners with the private sector:

  • Cross-Promotion and Co-branding
  • Entrepreneur Travel Support
  • Prize Pot Contribution (Cash, Cloud Credits, Fellowships, Internships, etc.)   
  • Participant Mentorship
  • Judging/Session Leading
  • Sponsored Events

Strategic Partners

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Kauffman Foundation

Established in the mid 1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and is among the largest private foundations in the United States with an asset base of approximately $2 billion. The foundation's vision is to foster a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens in their communities.

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Angel Capital Association

The North American professional association of active accredited investors provides unparalleled access to trending ideas and professional knowledge to help improve returns and promote effective public policies for angels and startups. Although not a funding source, ACA provides entrepreneurs an inside view into how angels think.

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The Halcyon Incubator is committed to solving 21st-century challenges throughout the nation and the world. By helping social entrepreneurs transform audacious ideas into scalable and sustainable ventures, the Halcyon Incubator acts as a catalyst for measurable social outcomes. It's perhaps the most immersive incubator in the world that focuses on both social impact and profit.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow.  The AWS Cloud provides a broad set of infrastructure services, such as computing power, storage options, networking and databases, delivered as a utility: on-demand, available in seconds, with pay-as-you-go pricing.

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Founder Institute

The Founder Institute is the world's largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program, helping aspiring founders across the globe build enduring technology companies. Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 40 countries, the Founder Institute has helped launch over 1,310 companies in 5 years. The company's mission is to "Globalize Silicon Valley" and build sustainable startup ecosystems that will create one million new jobs worldwide.

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Gust is a global platform for the sourcing and management of early-stage investments. Gust enables skilled entrepreneurs to collaborate with the smartest investors by virtually supporting all aspects of the investment relationship, from initial pitch to successful exit. The platform is endorsed by the world's leading business angel and venture capital associations, and powers over 1,000 investment organizations in 80+ countries.

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GSVlabs is an innovation center that cultivates Innovation Labs around high-growth, high-impact verticals in the areas of EdTech, Sustainability, Big Data, and Mobile. In order to support these verticals, GSVlabs maintains a expanding global ecosystem of startups and partners. In addition to providing Silicon Valley access, GSVlabs supports a diverse community of the founders, perspectives, and ideas that drive innovation.

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NovoEd is the social online learning environment, partnering with leading education institutions and corporations to offer collaborative, experiential online courses. NovoEd's platform is the only one designed to connect students to each other and to their instructors around content at scale. Students take courses from thought leaders and distinguished professors from top universities, collaborate with fellow students around the world, and work on real-world course projects that make a difference.

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Stanford Technology Ventures Program

STVP accelerates entrepreneurship education at Stanford and around the world. As the entrepreneurship center in Stanford’s School of Engineering, the Stanford Technology Ventures Program delivers courses and extracurricular programs to Stanford students, creates scholarly research on high-impact technology ventures, and produces a large and growing collection of online content and experiences for people around the world.


Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in devices and services that help people and businesses realize their full potential. At Microsoft, we're motivated and inspired every day by how our customers use our products to find creative solutions to business problems, develop breakthrough ideas, and stay connected to what's most important to them.

University of California, Berkeley

Founded in 1868, The University of California, Berkeley is a top-ranking public research university. UC Berkeley has 14 schools and colleges, including a number of graduate and professional schools such as Haas School of Business and College of Engineering.



TechWadi is the leading non-profit organization building bridges between Silicon Valley and the Arab world. From its beginnings as the community of top Arab American technology professionals in Silicon Valley, TechWadi has evolved into a powerful platform for collaboration – with members and events spanning across the world.

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Venture Capital Institute, United States

Established in 1974, The Venture Capital Institute (VCI) provides training for new entrants into the venture capital industry in the United States. Leading members of the venture capital industry serve as VCI faculty members, providing programs that represent the current condition of the venture market and the latest professional standards, techniques, and tools employed by practicing venture industry professionals.

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U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State's mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.


VentureWell is a non-profit organization that supports the creation of new ventures from an emerging generation of science and technology inventors and supports the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems that are critical to their success. VentureWell has funded or trained over 8,400 science and technology inventors and innovators and nurtured nearly a thousand of their startups reaching millions of people in over 90 countries.

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