GIST Programs

Empowering young innovators worldwide!


The U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative empowers young innovators through networking, skills building, mentoring and access to financing to develop startup solutions that address economic and development challenges.

Since 2011, GIST has engaged with science and technology innovators and entrepreneurs in 122 emerging economies around the world, providing training and resources to help them build successful startups. This is done through competitions, startup boot camps, and interactive online programs, implemented by UT Austin’s IC2 Instituteand AAAS.

GIST programs are: 

  • GIST Tech-I CompetitionAn annual competition that attracts the most promising entrepreneurs from emerging economies. Online public voting and entrepreneurship experts decide who competes in the Tech-I finals, a highly anticipated event at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.       
  • GIST TechConnects: Live webcasts on entrepreneurship topics that enable global youths to ask inspiring experts for advice.
  • GIST Startup Boot CampOn-the-ground training and mentorship to promote in-country entrepreneurship networks, develop local role models, and strengthen innovation ecosystems.


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Location Washington, DC, United States
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia
Agribusiness, Automotive, Clean technology, Computer hardware, Computer software, Consumer durables, Consumer non-durables, E-commerce, EdTech, Electronics, Financial services, Healthcare, HealthTech, Internet, Manufacturing, Mobile, Renewable energy, Telecom, Transport and logistics, Waste management and recycling, Water, sanitation and hygiene