The Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative invites all eligible participants from Africa, Asia, Middle East and Turkey, to take part in its annual “GIST Tech-I” Competition. This competition will encourage technology entrepreneurs to launch and/or grow a company in those countries through: Startup funding; training, networking opportunities and mentorship with successful entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists; and an invitation to the GIST Accelerator. Each applicant will upload an executive summary and a two-minute video pitch of their idea and judges will select the top 90 videos for the public to vote for online. The 30 semi-finalists who receive the most votes will be invited to the Entrepreneurship Workshop & Award Ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in December 2012. Over the two-day programme, semi-finalists will receive personalised coaching and mentorship from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in order to give the best possible pitch to a panel of judges. Ten finalists will receive the first round of USD 70,000 in startup funding. The top five finalists will participate in the first-ever GIST Accelerator program in the summer of 2013. Finalists will visit Silicon Valley for six weeks to receive additional training and mentorship and have the opportunity to network with potential collaborators and investors. The finalists will develop the tools and compete for the resources necessary to grow their company and increase their impact on the global market. At the end of the program, these entrepreneurs will present to the Investment Committee which will divide USD 200,000 among the most promising startups.
Before joining SME Advisor, I worked as a producer/reporter for Forbes Media in New York. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Florida in the US. I am currently in Dubai working as Sub-Editor for SME Advisor Middle East, which is a business magazine published by CPI. You can follow me on Twitter: @joumanasaad or @SMEadvisorME and (Joumana Saad) or (SME Advisor) on LinkedIn.