Apply for the GIST Tech-I Business Plan 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 in an application consisting of an executive summary and promotional video. Their applications are then reviewed by experts and voted on by the global voting public in order to determine the finalists. Up to thirty finalists receive a trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), this year in Silicon Valley, to showcase their ventures and to receive intensive training. GIST Tech-I winners, selected by experts at the GES, win prizes, and receive 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 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.

Now is your turn to participate and share your amazing ideas with the world! The GIST Tech-I 2016 application opens December 7, 2015!

How to Apply

Are you interested in applying to compete in the GIST Tech-I 2016 competition? The process is simple and this page will help guide you through.

Before you apply, you should first confirm that you are eligible to compete. The basic eligibility requirements are that:

  • You must be a citizen of a GIST eligible emerging economy; and
  • You must be between the ages of 18-40 years old on January 15, 2016.

For a full list of the eligibility criteria including rules on teams, please consult the Program Announcement. For translated versions please see the Materials and Translations page.

Once you have established that you are eligible to apply, you will next need to get together a few promotional materials for your application including:

  • A Short Summary This short summary should be one to two sentences describing the idea or startup and must not exceed 100 words. Should the application advance on to the voting phase of the competition, the short summary will be provided to the voter to provide a quick understanding of the idea or startup.
  • An Executive Summary The Executive Summary narrative must be completed online in the application tool, must not exceed 750 words, and must be written in English. It should include the information outlined in the Program Announcement which includes significance of idea, scientific and technical merit, and commercial potential.
  • A 90 Second Promotional Video Each application must include a 90 second promotional video, which should highlight the value and purpose of the product or service to customers. The video must be presented by the applicant in English or include English subtitles. The video should focus on the concept, product, or service being promoted and its potential market value. This is your opportunity to really sell your idea so your video should be both engaging and creative. Further advice can be found here. Videos from last year’s startup and idea stage winners are also available to use as examples.

During the application, you will be asked several questions including whether you are submitting an Idea or Startup science and technology product, research, or service. The following criteria should be applied to help you to decide which category you fit in:

Idea Stage Application

  • The entrepreneur has research or a technology with commercialization potential.
  • The entrepreneur has not started a business yet and is willing to start a business.
  • The entrepreneur has defined the qualifications of a management team needed to execute the idea.
  • The entrepreneur has started to identify advisors.
  • The entrepreneur has started market research.

Startup Stage Application

  • The venture is for profit
  • The venture is less than three years old from date of startup.
  • The venture has some funding already—either through revenue, through external financing (from public or private sources), or a combination of both.
  • The venture has a product or service that is currently in a testing or pilot stage and that can be made available for commercial release.

The Tech-I team will also be hosting a series of webinars to assist you in the application process and the time and dates for these are:

  • December 9, 2015 at 10:00am US EST
    Topic: Is Tech-I for me? What is Tech-I?
    To register for this webinar, click here
  • December 16, 2015 at 10:00am US EST
    Topic: How to make a promotional video
    To register for this webinar, click here
  • January 6, 2016 at 10:00am US EST
    Topic: Advice on how to complete your proposal
    To register for this webinar, click here

Please note that the webinar platform, gotowebinar (Citrix), requires you to download and run a small software application to participate in the webinar. We advise you arrive to the webinar a few minutes early to ensure that you are able to participate.

If you have any questions regarding the application or would like us to assist you as you complete your application, please feel free to contact us at tech-i@gistnetwork.org.

Think you’re ready to apply? Then Apply Now!.

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