Top Innovators Advance to GIST Catalyst Semifinals at the 2017 GES

Top Innovators Advance to GIST Catalyst Semifinals at the 2017 GES

November 26, 2017

Some of the most innovative startups of 2017 are advancing to the live semifinals of the GIST Catalyst pitch competition. The semifinals are taking place at the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, India. The 24 competitors who have made it to the semifinals will have the opportunity to elevate their pitch, showcase their startups on a global stage and compete for over $400,000 USD in startup resources.

To reach the live semifinals in Hyderabad, GIST Catalyst competitors had to advance through several rigorous stages of the competition. These stages included an initial application review to compete, creating a 90 second pitch video for their startup and placing among the top competitors following a global public vote. In order to qualify for the competition, all participants needed to already be attending the GES.

The 24 startups that are advancing to the semifinals were chosen based on a combined score that took into account their performance during the public vote, their pitch video and feedback from expert judges who reviewed each of the over 75 startups that competed.  There are six semifinalists for each of the four focus industries, which are Healthcare and Life Sciences, Digital Economy and Financial Technology, Energy and Infrastructure and Media and Entertainment.

During the semifinals, each startup will give a three-minute pitch followed by five minutes of questions from an expert panel of judges. Judges include some of the top executives and innovators from companies like Dell and Google. At the end of the semifinals, these judges will pick a startup from each focus industry to compete in the finals.

Finalists will compete one more time, giving a 90-second pitch to the judges followed by two minutes of questions. From this final pitch session, a Grand Champion for the GIST Catalyst pitch competition will be chosen.

Finalists qualify for several prizes, including Amazon Web Services credits, Digital Acceleration credits from Hello Alice and a dell laptop computer. On top of the finalist prizes, the Grand Champion will also be interviewed for Inc. Magazine by Elizabeth Gore, Charimant of the Board of Alice and entrepreneur-in-residence at Dell. A full list of prizes can be found here.

The startups that have advance to the GIST Catalyst semifinals cover a wide range of topics, from renewable energy to education for children that encourages reading and learning. Semifinalists in the competition are from several countries include India and the United States. A full list of the competitors can be found below.

The GIST Catalyst semifinals and finals will take place during the GES, November 28-30. The GIST Catalyst Grand Champion will be announced during the closing plenary on November 30.  For media inquiries or questions about the competition, please contact Tomás Harmon at [email protected].


The GIST Catalyst Semifinalists:

Digital Economy and Financial Technology

Jainesh Sinha – India – Senbonzakura Consultancy Pvt. Ltd

GyanDhan is an education loan marketplace that leverages data science to predict students’ future employability. Launched in April 2016, GyanDhan is currently working with Indian lenders to structure differentiated education loan products that are more accessible to Indian students.


Vivek Kumar – United States – Qlicket Inc.

Qlicket makes it easy to capture employee feedback via quick, micro-pulse surveys taken through an office’s wifi network. The surveys generate response rates of 90 percent of more by making the process of submitting feedback fun, quick and natural.


Evelyn Chilomo – Zambia – Lupiya Circle Ltd.

Lupiya is an online market place created by women that works to financially empower women in Zambia through its branchless banking model. Lupiya works with business owners, low income employees, micro-entrepreneurs and small farmers by providing small lines of credits.


Roger Zoundi – Burkina Faso – ScoringCard LLC

ScoringCard is a credit scoring digital infrastructure that connects women and professional lenders in rural areas. Besides offering credits scoring services, ScoringCard will also install loan kiosks in Burking Faso communities that allow women to manage and re-pay their loans.


Arti Agrawal – India – Anaxee Digital Runners Pvt. Ltd.

Anaxee Digital Runners is building India’s largest, last-mile verification and data collection network of 250,000 “digital runners” to help businesses and consumers reach remote parts of India. Using feet-on-street, tech-enabled runners, Anaxee Digital Runners uses its distributed people network in 650 districts to minimize the digital network barriers that can prevent businesses from connecting with each other and their customers.


Meredith Peng – United States – Humanitree

Humanitree is an app that breaks down the barriers of child sponsorship by simplifying the ways a person can sponsor a child and his or her education. Humanitree setups secure, recurring credit card payments while also providing other service for sponsors, including in-app letter writing and in-app updates that amplify tangible results of sponsorship.


Healthcare and Life Sciences

Satyen Sanghavi – India – Regenerative Medical Services Pvt. Ltd.

Regrow has created a technology platform for autologous and allogenic cell based products. It is currently being used to develop cell-based products that can repair bones and cartilage.


Fiona Edwards Murphy – Ireland – ApisProtect

ApisProtect address the growing health crisis of bee populations around the world through in-hive sensors, retrofitted into existing beehives to monitor the honey bee colonies. Using machine learning techniques, data is gathered and shared through mobile data networks to farmers, providing updates on hive and alerts with insights on how to improve the colony’s health.


Nguyen Thi Kim Mai – Vietnam – CLAS Healthcare

CLAS Healthcare uses enterprise resource planning software to improve the quality of healthcare hospital and doctors can provide by cutting down on wait times and providing healthcare coordination. Since 2016, CLAS Healthcare has been working with hospital and doctors to fill the gaps in healthcare systems by engaging patients, empowering care teams, optimizing clinic effectiveness and improving healthcare systems


Kristi Gorinas – United States – Defendables LLC

Defendables is a wearable self-defense pod. The discreet looking pod is filled with a strong form of pepper spray that can deter an attacker and give victims enough time to escape harm.


Cesar Garcia – United States – Vaccitech Inc.

Vaccitech works to prevent the spread of infectious diseases worldwide through the fast, mass production of vaccines. Using proprietary technology, Vaccitech has been able to mass produce vaccines for diseases like influenza faster and cheaper than current egg-based technologies.


Borthakur Rajlakshmi – India – TerraBlue Exploration Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

TerraBlue XT develops sensor-based, wearables that aid in the prediction, detection and management of various diseases. The devices track brain activities, vital signs, physical movement and sleep, allowing the wearer to monitor his or her own health.


Energy and Infrastructure

Piyush Mathur – India – Simpa Networks Inc.

Simpa provides reliable, clean energy through its proprietary solar technology and special financing plans for customers. Through a financing period of one to three years, Simpa provides solar panels to energy-poor homes in rural India while empowering village level entrepreneurs known as “Urja Mitras (solar buddies)” to deliver Simpa services.


Oscar Espinosa – Mexico – Pellet México: Bioenergía S.A. de C.V.

Pellet Mexico is using residue from the forestry, food and agriculture industries to create solid biofuels that can be used to substitute fossil fuel consumptions. The biofuel created by Pellet Mexico is intended for use by the industrial, tourism and domestic energy sectors.


Reyhan Camalova – Azerbaijan – Rainergy

Rainergy is a rain collecting device that produces and stores electricity. The innovation is a step towards solving energy deficiencies in low income countires.


David Ochi – United States – Convert Coal Inc.

Convert Coal transforms dirty coal into clean briquettes for home use and clean fuel for power plants. Convert Coal’s fuel burns as cleanly as natural gas.


Molly Morse – United States – Mango Materials Inc.

Mango Materials transforms waste greenhouse gas methane into environmentally friendly, affordable materials. These materials can be used to make biodegradable plastics.


Ajaita Shah – India – Frontier Markets

Frontier Markets is a last mile distribution solution for energy products with a focus on solar technology. They empower women by giving them the tools they need to teach their communities about the benefits of the solar products that they sell.


Media and Entertainment

Surinder Sharma – United States – Smart Kidz Club Inc.

Smart Kidz Club is a digital children’s publisher selling educations-in-a-box and digital subscriptions for enhanced eBooks and other educational resources. The interactive educational content encourages reading and learning among children ages 1 through 11.


Helene Berkowitz – Israel – ReceetMe

ReceetMe replaces in-store paper receipts with digital, paperless versions through an app that can be downloaded to a user’s phone. When paying for a purchase, a user simply holds his or her smartphone near the cash register and a digital receipt is instantly downloaded, minimizing the likelihood of losing a receipt.  


Maria Burns Ortiz – United States – 7 Generation Games

7 Generation Games combines educational research, advanced game design and innovative technology to produce games that teach math, history and language arts to children. The games have been designed to meet the technological needs to both urban and rural areas.


Vaishali Neotia – India – Merxius Software Pvt. Ltd.

RED enables anyone with 3D data, not just those with specialized skills or education, to create their own extended reality experience.


Shivaarti Bajaj – India – Go Parties India Pvt. Ltd.

GoParties uses artificial intelligence and automated technologies to resolve the discovery problems faced by entertainment and tourism in India. GoParties uses a.i. to provides users with entertainment options based on the preferences of the user.


Nuraizah Shamsul Baharin – Malaysia – Madcat Zoogleland

Zoogleland is an interactive mobile app for zoos that provides visitors with information on a zoo, the zoo animals and provides weekly updates to users who subscribe to learn more about their favorite animals. Zoogleland hopes to increase zoo engagement and repeat visits through its mobile application.

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