GIST Tech-I Pitch Competition 2016 Announces Winners

The GIST (Global Innovation through Science and Technology) Tech-I Pitch Competition Finals took place on Thursday, June 23, and Friday, June 24, 2016, during the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Twenty-nine science and technology entrepreneurs representing 23 countries and territories competed for a chance to win US$ 70,000 in cash and additional prizes.

The GIST Tech-I Pitch Competition seeks to empower young innovators through networking, skills building, mentoring, and access to financing to develop startup solutions that address their economic and development challenges.  Tech-I Pitch Competition finalists are divided into two groups: those with ventures in the idea stage and those in the startup stage.  Finalists attended two days of intensive preparation in advance of the GES on how to grow their business and perfect their pitch, led by the U.S. Department of State’s implementing partner, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, with training provided by DoubleNova. 

Participants in the Tech-I Pitch Competition Finals were chosen from over 1,000 applications submitted by science and technology entrepreneurs in 135 emerging economies. This is the sixth Tech-I Pitch Competition that has been hosted at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and this year’s award ceremony was hosted by Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments. 

The winners of the 2016 Tech-I Competition are:

Start-up Stage:

1st Place winning $15,000 USD:  Hoang Dao, Monkey Junior, from Vietnam

Monkey Junior is an interactive application that teaches children from a few months old to six years to read using proven pedagogical methods and highly interactive curriculum. Monkey Junior is currently available in multiple languages, and is currently the highest ranked language literacy app in the Android app store and Google Play.

2nd Place winning $7,500 USD: Yap Chee Wei, HiGi Energy, from Malaysia

HiGi Energy converts invasive water hyacinth and agricultural waste into an environmentally friendly, smoke free cooking fuel.  

3rd Place winning $3,000 USD: Muhammad Waqas, WonderTree, from Pakistan

WonderTree produces interactive augmented reality educational games for children with cognitive or motor disabilities, enabling them to become more active in society.

Honorable Mention winning $2,000 USD: Md. Samid Razzak, 10 Minute School, Bangladesh

Ten Minute School is an online platform that offers educational tools that is tailored to Bangladesh’s educational system.

People’s Choice Award Startup Stage

Winner of $2,000 USD: Charity Wanjiku, Strauss Energy, from Kenya

            Strauss Energy produces a two-in-one solar cell roofing tile that reduces installation costs and allows owners to earn passive income by selling excess energy to the grid.


Idea Stage:  

1st Place winning $15,000 USD: Samina Sarwat, Astha Purifier from Bangladesh.      

The Astha Purifier filter tackles arsenic contamination of drinking water using inexpensive and readily available rice husk.

2nd Place winning $7,500 USD: Maher Maymoun, Solar PiezoClean from Jordan

Solar PiezoClean is a revolutionary waterless, automated dust-cleaning technology for solar panels.

3rd Place winning $3,000 USD:  Layth Hamad, Clev-G from Jordan

Clev-G is a smart device for LPG cylinders that automates gas tracking and refilling.

Honorable Mention winning $2,000 USD: Nnenna Okoye, ResSpot, from Nigeria

ResSpot is a mobile app and wearable device that employs GPS, private security partners, and crowdsourcing to send immediate emergency assistance and alerts.

People's Choice Idea Stage

Winning $2,000 USD: Maher Maymoun, SolarPiezo Clean, from Jordan

Solar PiezoClean is a revolutionary waterless, automated dust-cleaning technology for solar panels.


Spirit of GIST Tech-I:

Winning $1,500 USD: Amr Hussein, Koshk Comics, from Egypt

Koshk Comics offers a website for comic artists to collaborate and self publish and app for consumers to find and enjoy visual stories.


Science and Technology Prize:

Winning $3,000 USD: Maher Maymoun, Solar PiezoClean from Jordan


Outstanding Female Entrepreneur:

Winning $5,000 USD: Samina Sarwat, Astha Purifier from Bangladesh.