The U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative hosted a GIST Catalyst Competition at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in The Hague, Netherlands, June 3-5.  The GIST Catalyst Competition offers science and technology entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their businesses on a global stage, while receiving coaching from American entrepreneurship experts.  This year over 4,000 young entrepreneurs applied to pitch their innovative ideas at the GES.  Thirty finalists, chosen by expert review and a global public vote, competed in The Hague for more than $650,000 in entrepreneurial resources provided by Amazon Web Services, the Consumer Technology Association, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Philips, and Silicon Valley Bank.  GIST Catalyst entrepreneurs competed in the five GES focus industries:  connectivity; energy; food and agriculture; health; and water.  The top five finalists—each representing one of the GES focus sectors—received an opportunity to pitch in front of the GES during the GIST finals plenary.

The State Department congratulates the following winners of the GIST Catalyst competition:

Catalyst Grand Champion – Christina York (SpellBound) – United States

Outstanding Women Entrepreneur in Science and Technology – Sol Cabrera (STENTiT) – The Netherlands

Outstanding Entrepreneur from an Emerging Economy – Syed Abrar (AzaadHealth) – Pakistan

Since its inception in 2011, GIST has mentored over 8,700 startups and engaged more than 27 million entrepreneurship community members from 136 emerging economies.  GIST startups have gone on to generate more than $250 million in revenue and created nearly 6,000 jobs.  In the last year, the GIST community has benefitted from over $1,000,000 in additional resources from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, and others in the U.S. private sector.

For more information, please contact

U.S. Department of State

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