2019 GIST Tech-I Competition

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 past competition finalists before they enter a global public vote to pick the top entrepreneurs who compete in the Tech-I finals.

For the 2019 competition, up to twenty-four finalists will receive 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 GEC, win prizes, and receive one-on-one mentorship and training.

Now it is your turn to participate and share your amazing ideas with the world.

The GIST Initiative is led by the U.S. Department of State, and the Tech-I competition is implemented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Finalists travel all-expenses paid to the GIST Tech-I Finals where they receive in-person training and mentorship, network with entrepreneurs and investors, and pitch their Idea or Startup for the chance to bring home seed capital prizes.


Individuals have to meet ALL of the following eligibility:

  • The applicant must be aged 18-40 years old at on the day of the application deadline;
  • The applicant must be a citizen of at least one of the 132 GIST Tech-I-eligible emerging economies, including Thailand (full list here);
  • The applicant must not hold dual-citizenship or permanent resident status in a non-GIST economy;
  • The applicant must not submit more than one application per GIST Tech-I competition year;
  • The applicant must not be a previous GIST Tech-I finalist who traveled to and competed in the GIST Tech-I Finals.

In addition to meeting the applicant age and citizenship requirements above, Ideas and Startups that met ALL of the following eligibility requirements:

  • The application must be the original work of the Idea or Startup applicant;
  • The Idea or Startup must be for-profit. Applications from non-profit ventures or NGOs will not be reviewed;
  • The Idea or Startup must be developing an innovative science or technology solution with market potential in a GIST-eligible economy;
  • The Startup must be less than three years old;
  • The Idea or Startup must be, at least in part based, in a GIST-eligible economy;
  • The Idea or Startup must be developing or selling products and services that use its own innovations in science and technology;
  • Applications from organizations that buy and resell technologies and other goods will not be reviewed;
  • The Idea or Startup must not submit more than one application per GIST Tech-I competition year.

How to Apply

  1. You will need to log into your GIST Network account before applying. If you do not have a GIST Network account, you will be able to make one through this application page http://www.gistnetwork.org/user/register
  2. Once you are logged into your GIST Network account, proceed to the 2019 GIST Tech-I application by clicking on the “APPLY” from the website, www.gistnetwork.org/GISTTechI2019
  3. Please fill out every section of the form before saving your application. This application will take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete. All required questions must have a response in order to save the application. You can edit these responses after you have saved your application.
  4. If you choose to make changes to your application, you can access it from the dashboard on your GIST Network profile. You are allowed to make changes to your submission until the application deadline.
  5. Documents Required: In addition to responding to biographical questions, you will need to provide responses to several business and technical questions about your startup and provide a 90-second pitch video. To view the business and technical questions in advance, click here http://www.gistnetwork.org/sites/default/files/upload/2019%20GIST%20Tech-I%20Application%20Details%5B1%5D.pdf
  6. If you are creating your GIST Network account through this application, you will need click on a confirmation link that will be emailed to you. If you do not, your application will not be submitted on the application deadline.

If you have questions about the Tech-I application or specific application questions, please contact Tech-I@GISTNetwork.org