Tech-I Overview

The GIST Tech-I Competition is an annual competition for science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide. Aspiring innovators submit their ideas and startups online which are then reviewed by experts before they enter a global public vote to pick the top entrepreneurs who compete in the Tech-I finals.

For the 2019 competition, twenty-four finalists received an all-expense paid trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Bahrain to showcase their venture and to receive intensive training. GIST Tech-I winners, selected by experts at the GEC, won prizes and received one-on-one mentorship and training.

Since 2011, innovators from around the globe have showcased their science and technology ventures to the world through GIST Tech-I pitch competitions. Thousands of expert reviews have taken place and the online voting public has cast over 1 million votes in support of these talented young innovators.

The Tech-I competition has been implemented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Tech-I Success Stories

Sadaf Naz, Her Ground, Pakistan

Her Ground is committed to helping women get the products they need, for topics they’re usually too uncomfortable to talk about. Her Ground is an online subscription service that delivers feminine hygiene products to users’ doorsteps every month.

Tonee Ndungu, Kytabu, Inc., Kenya

Tonee is the founder and director of Kytabu Inc., an Ed- Tech company based in Nairobi, and the co-founder of The Nailab, a Kenyan tech-company incubator in 2009. Kytabu is a textbook subscription application for android tablets. Reducing the cost of a book by more than 40%, users can buy books on a daily, weekly, monthly, school term or annual subscription. Tonee won 1st place in the 2013 GIST Tech-I competition.

Queenny Lopez, Anuka | Ecuador

Queenny founded Anuka, which uses microalgae to consume large amounts of carbon dioxide and cleans the air we breathe. The goal is to fix large amounts of CO2 present in the environment in a highly effective manner (100 times more than 1 tree). Queenny is from Ecuador, and is devoted to finding sustainable energy solutions. She was named the Outstanding Female Entrepreneur at the GIST 2019 Tech-I competition at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.

Isaac Sesi, Sesi Technologies, Ghana

Isaac Sesi decided to commercialize the output of a research project he worked on as a Research Engineer at his former university, KNUST.

After learning about the pressing global problem of post-harvest losses and realizing the impact this simple technology could make in the lives of smallholder farmers, he decided to found Sesi Technologies to put this technology in the hands of the 33 million smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Hoang Dao Xuan, Monkey Junior | Viet Nam

Hoang is the founder of Monkey Junior, currently the highest ranked language literacy app in the Android app store and Google Play, and 2016 GIST Tech-I winner. Monkey Junior provides a comprehensive curriculum to systematically teach young children to read from single words to phrases and complete sentences. Each lesson lasts for 5-7 minutes. Children can take one or more lessons each day. The program is available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and Vietamese. Hoang said he witnessed his company quadruple in size within months of participating in GIST. Additionally, he was recognized by the Vietnamese Government for his outstanding contributions following GIST Tech-I.

Past Tech-I Events

April 2019

GIST Tech-I 2019

1st Place Startup: Donatus Njoroge, Kenya, Vinis Limited

2nd Place Startup: Syed Abrar Ahmed, Pakistan, AzaadHealth

3rd Place Startup: Varinder Singh, India, GFF Innovations

Outstanding Female Entrepreneur: Queenny Alvarado, Ecuador, Anuka

Spirit of Tech-I: Heriberto Solano, Colombia, Black Square


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April 2018

GIST Tech-I 2018

1st Place Startup: Wassim El Hariri, Lebanon, SASHA

2nd Place Startup: Ja'far Albadarneh, Jordan, ARtour

3rd Place Startup: Sadaf Naz, Pakistan, Her Ground

Amazon Outstanding Woman Entrepreneurs: Sadaf Naz, Pakistan, Her Ground

Best Alumni Pitch: Anwar Almojarkesh, Syria, Braci Limited

Outstanding Woman Alumna Pitch: Jihane Laraichi, Morocco, EducationCM; and Almas Taj Awan, Pakistan

Spirit of Tech-I: Shahd Douglas, Jordan, TechTeb

June 2016

GIST Tech-I 2016

1st Place Startup: Hoang Dao Xuan, Vietnam, Monkey Junior

1st Place Idea & Outstanding Female Entrepreneur: Samina Sarwat, Bangladesh, Astha Purifier

2nd Place Startup: Yap Chee Wei, Malaysia, HiGi Energy PTE LTD

2nd Place Idea & People’s Choice Idea & Science and Technology Prize: Maher Yousef Maymoun, Jordan, Solar PiezoClean

3rd Place Startup: Muhammad Waqas, Pakistan, WonderTree

3rd Place Idea: Layth Hamad, Jordan, Clev-G

Honorable Mention Startup: MD. Samid Razzak, Bangladesh, 10 Minute School

silicon valley
July 2015

GIST Tech-I 2015

1st place startup: Carlos Francisco Bernal, Mexico, Eido Innova with GlucosAlarm

1st place idea: Rudi Cooke, South Africa, Water Bros

2nd place startup: Taita Ngetich, Kenya, Illumininum Greenhouse

2nd place idea: Mojisola Ojebode, Nigeria, BioResources

3rd place startup: Blessing Mene, Nigeria, UNFIRE

3rd place idea: Charles Batte, Uganda, Tree Adoption Uganda with Tree Capital

Honorable mention startup: Gabriel Gurovich, Chile, Snapp

January 2014

GIST Tech-I 2014

1st place startup: David Gluckman, South Africa, Lumkani

1st place idea: Mixon Faluweki, Malawi, Padoko

2nd place startup: Mawano Kambeu, Zambia, Bus Tickets Zambia

2nd place idea: Cynthia Ndubuisi, Nigeria, Kadosh Production Company

3rd place startup: Edmund Ainebyona, Uganda, Cipher256

3rd place idea: Alim Khamitov, Kazakhstan, RobiGroup

Most Potential for Societal Impact: Onyedikachukwu Igili, Nigeria, DS-Project Waste to Point

Best Female Entrepreneur: Cynthia Ndubuisi, Nigeria, Kadosh Production Company

October 2013

GIST Tech-I 2013

1st place startup: Tonee Ndungu, Kenya, Kytabu Education

1st place idea: Badreddine Zebbiche, Algeria, GuideMe

2nd place startup: Chris Asego, Kenya, Eneza Education

2nd place idea: Anum Imtiaz, Pakistan, NANOTECH

3rd place startup: Dr. Lojain Jibawi, Lebanon, Votek Technology

3rd place idea: Ala' Kalifeh, Jordan, Presto Wireless

4th place: Sandra Aoun and Wissam Daou, DAWTEC

5th place: Alex Muriu, Kenya, Farmspace Africa

6th place: Mert Kucukozkan & Serkan Ari, Turkey, TaxiBUL

December 2012

GIST Tech-I 2012

1st place: Natali Ardianto, Indonesia,

2nd place: Mohamad Taha, Lebanon, ma2too3a!

3rd place: Khaled Wagdy, Egypt, Motion Capture Systems

4th place: Saman Khan & Syed Irteza Ubaid, Pakistan, Nanocides

5th place: Laurent Liautaud, Senegal, Niokobook

6th place: Rachid Harrando, Morocco, COREvidence

7th place: Bassam Seif & Nadi Chemali, Lebanon, Kactus

8th place: Tamer Ahmed, Egypt, Assly

9th place: Abedul Azez Kasaji, Jordan, Mallna

Best female entrepreneur: Jolene Sim, Malaysia, Centsless

April 2011

GIST Tech-I 2011

1st place: Najwa Sahmarani & Zyad Sankari, Lebanon, Cardio Diagnostics

2nd place: James Khoo Chen, Malaysia, SecQme

3rd place: Mahmoud Shattel, Jordan, Taquetna

4th place: Farhan Masood, Pakistan, Bloodline

5th place: Rofaida Awad Abdelaal, Egypt, With Love from Me

6th place: Moshin Islam Tiwana, Pakistan, Artificial Brain Controlled Upper Limbe prosthesis

7th place: Momal Mushtaq, Pakistan, Saltech

8th place: Anwar Almojarkesh & Saif Shoqerat, Jordan, Movement Charger

Best female entrepreneur: Iraq, Smart Crib


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