African entrepreneurs were among the winners in the 2016 edition of the GIST (Global Innovation through Science and Technology) Technology Idea (Tech-I) Competition.
The competition is an annual global pitch competition aimed at identifying, selecting, training and encouraging exciting young scientists, engineers and great minds to build businesses around the world.
Following calls for applications, twenty-nine science and technology entrepreneurs from 23 countries and territories were selected to vie for US$70,000 in cash and additional prizes.
The finalists were divided into two groups: those with ventures in the idea stage and those in the startup stage.
In the Startup Stage, Kenya’s Charity Wanjiku of Strauss Energy was named winner of the People’s Choice Award, taking home US$2,000.
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.
Getting the Honorable Mention Award in the Idea Stage and winning US$2,000 in the process was Nigeria’s Nnenna Okoye of ResSpot.
ResSpot is a mobile app and wearable device that employs GPS, private security partners, and crowdsourcing to send immediate emergency assistance and alerts.
Spirit of GIST Tech-I was won by Egyptian entrepreneur, Amr Hussein of Koshk Comics. The award comes with a US$1,500 prize.
Koshk Comics offers a website for comic artists to collaborate and self publish and app for consumers to find and enjoy visual stories.
The entrepreneurs received their prizes at the finals of the competition, which took place during the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
The GIST Tech-I Competitions was launched in 2011, and since that time till date, innovators from around the globe have used the platform to showcase their science and technology ventures to the world.
The GIST Initiative is led by the U.S. Department of State, and the Tech-I Competition is implemented by UT Austin’s IC2 Institute and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).