The GIST Technology Idea (Tech-I) Competition

Deadline: 28 December 2017
Open to: science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide
Award: all-expenses-paid trip to Istanbul, Turkey


The GIST Technology Idea (Tech-I) Competition is an annual competition for science and technology (S&T) entrepreneurs from 136 emerging economies around the world. The competition is part of the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative, led by the U.S. Department of State. The GIST Tech-I Competition is implemented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This year, the competition will challenge former GIST Tech-I finalists (GIST Tech-I Alumni) to lead and mentor the next generation of tech entrepreneurs in their countries and regions. A select group of GIST Tech-I Alumni, called Alumni Mentors, will solicit and help select science and technology entrepreneurs with either an idea or startup in their region to join them at the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Istanbul, Turkey to pitch their idea or startup.

GIST Tech-I Alumni Mentors will solicit applications from new science and technology entrepreneurs globally to participate in the GIST Tech-I Competition over a month-long application period. At the end of that month, Alumni Mentors will review the submitted applications and nominate to AAAS three top applicants as semi-finalists to enter a voting phase.

Semi-finalists will participate in online public voting on to determine which will go on as finalists. The ten semi-finalists that receive the top voting totals, and the GIST Tech-I Alumni Mentors who solicited those applications will go to the GIST Tech-I Finals where they will receive training, attend GEC, and have the opportunity to pitch their idea or startup to win capital seed funds.


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 136 GIST-eligible emerging economies (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.

Prizes & Benefits


  • Global exposure. Last year’s semi-finalists received more than 430,000 votes from all over the world and were featured by numerous local, national, and international media outlets. Several even met or were mentioned by their heads of state;
  • Marketing and networking support from the AAAS Team, including the provision of voting graphics, and guidance on reaching out to media outlets.


  • All-expenses-paid trip to Istanbul, Turkey to pitch their project and network with entrepreneurs and investors at GEC 2018;
  • Opportunity to attend several pre-finals training webinars on topics such as pitching to investors, business models, and intellectual topic;
  • One day of intensive training and mentoring in Istanbul before the finals;
  • Opportunity to win seed capital prizes and other prizes during final pitch contest. Prize amounts will be published closer to the finals.

How to apply?

In order to apply, please fill the application.

For more information, please visit the official web page.