3 Africans Among Winners of GIST Tech-I Competition

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Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Department of State

Washington, DC

April 16, 2019

The U.S. State Department’s Global Innovations through Science and Technology Initiative (GIST) hosted its Technology Idea (Tech-I) Competition at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Bahrain, April 14-16. The GIST Tech-I pitch competition brings together science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide, enabling young innovators through networking, skill development, mentoring, and access to financing, to develop startup solutions that address economic and development challenges. This year more than 500 up-and-coming entrepreneurs submitted applications. Twelve finalists competed in the “idea” stage and twelve in the “startup” stage. All are seeking to further develop their innovations and competed for over $30,000 in seed capital funding and more than $200,000 in Amazon Web Services credits.

The State Department congratulates the following winners of the GIST Tech-I pitch competition:

Outstanding Female Entrepreneur – Queenny Alvarado (Anuka) – Ecuador

Startup Phase:

** 1st Place – Donatus Njoroge (Vinis Limited) – Kenya **

2nd Place – Syed Abrar Ahmed (Azaad Health Private Limited) – Pakistan

3rd Place – Varinder Singh (GFF Innovations Pvt Ltd) – India

Idea Phase:

** 1st Place – Anatoli Kirigwajjo (Yunga Technologies) – Uganda **

** 2nd Place – Isaac Sesi (Sesi Technologies Ltd) – Ghana **

3rd Place – Ariuntuya Altangerel (Brighton – English Speaking Center) – Mongolia

Spirit of Tech-I Award – Heriberto Solano (Black Square) – Colombia

Since its inception in 2011, GIST has engaged more than 27 million entrepreneurship community members from 137 emerging economies and has mentored over 8,700 startups. GIST startups have gone on to generate more than $250 million in revenue and 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 OES-PA-DG@state.gov.

Isaac Sesi, Sesi Technologies – Ghana

Isaac Sesi, Ghana

Startup/Idea:       Sesi Technologies Ltd    

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Agriculture

Elevator Pitch: FarmSense is a low-cost soil monitoring solution which helps smallholder farmers increase yield and productivity by providing them with essential insights to help them make data driven decisions about their farms.

Donatus Njoroge, Vinis Limited – Kenya

Donatus Njoroge, Kenya

Startup/Idea:       Vinis Kenya Limited            

Category:              Startup                   Sector:                   Agriculture

Elevator Pitch: Vinis ltd is a social venture that manufacturer and distribute novel bio bio pesticide formulation isolated from plants essential oils to curb post-harvest losses of maize and other grains. This creates jobs, lift people out of poverty, improve health, nutrition, and deliver investors double-digits returns.

Anatoli Kirigwajjo, Yunga Technologies – Uganda

Anatoli Kirigwajjo, Uganda              

Startup/Idea:       YUNGA TECHNOLOGIES     

Category:              Idea                        Sector:                   Information Technology and Communication

Elevator Pitch: Meet Yunga, a local rescue digital network for neighbors that allows them to communicate with each other in real time in case of an attack or emergencies. It intends to bridge the communication gap among neighbors and security agencies in order to reduce crime in our communities.

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