Call for Applications: GIST Catalyst Virtual Pitch Competition (Up to $15,000 Prize)

GIST Catalyst Virtual Pitch Competition (Up to $15,000 Prize)

GIST Catalyst offers young STEM entrepreneurs the opportunity to elevate their pitch and showcase their scale-up on a global stage, while receiving valuable mentorship from American entrepreneurs and academics who are leaders in the field of entrepreneurship.

The U.S. Department of State is excited to announce the 2021 Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Catalyst pitch competition will be taking place virtually during Global Entrepreneurship Week (8-14 November, 2021).

Catalyst also provides participating entrepreneurs with the opportunity to increase the visibility of their scale-up. Because the live semi-final and final pitches will be held on a virtual platform, the viewers will not be limited geographically. This is an opportunity to promote your scale-up to your community, network, and the world – showcasing your innovation and attracting support. GIST Catalyst has helped innovators secure funding for their ventures, collaborate with the U.S. private sector, and build new partnerships.

How to Apply

  • Applications for this opportunity open on 2 August, 2021 and close on 22 September, 2021.
  • All entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 40 from GIST economies are encouraged to apply.
  • Technologies that address global challenges through Agriculture InnovationsClean Climate & Energy InnovationsGlobal Health InnovationsWater Solution Innovations are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Please note, you will need to make a 90 second pitch video and use a video hosting service such as YouTube for your GIST Catalyst application. This video will be used during the adjudication, allowing judges the chance to learn more about you and your scale-up. Please ensure your pitch video is concise, high-quality and no longer than 90 seconds. All pitch videos need to be in English.

Eligibility Requirements

  • All pitch videos and live pitches must be done entirely in English.
  • All entries should be at the Idea or Startup stage.
  • The pitching entrepreneur must be between the ages of 18 and 40 and from a GIST economy.
  • Special consideration will be given to startups who address challenges through Agriculture Innovations, Clean Climate & Energy Innovations, Global Health Innovations, Water Solution Innovations.
  • Special consideration will be given to startups whose solutions address the needs of traditionally underrepresented groups.


Participants of the 2021 GIST Catalyst Virtual Pitch Competition will be competing for tens of thousands of dollars in mini grants and entrepreneurial resource prizes, the opportunity for mentorship and training, a chance to showcase their innovative solution to the entire GIST community including investors, and the prestige that comes with every GIST event.

1st Place: $15k

2nd Place: $12k

3rd  Place: $10k

Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur: $8500
Spirit of GIST: $1500
People’s Choice: $1500

Get more details and apply HERE


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