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, Vietnam
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
GIST Tech-I 2012
1st place: Natali Ardianto, Indonesia, Tiket.com
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
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