GIST Business Plan Competition For Technopreneurs: Dare to Join?

Technopreneurs in Central Asian countries might want to take on this challenge. CRDF Global, an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to international science cooperation and technical collaboration, implements the GIST initiative and has set-up a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Enterprise Forum from the Pan Arab region to hold this competition. It is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of State.

But, instead of expecting participants from Central Asia, the competition invite technopreneurs from Sub Saharan Africa and South, South East and Central Asia to participate in its first annual “I Dare” Business Plan competition. Both lists of eligible countries for “I Dare” and MIT Enterprise can be seen here.

Participants are encouraged to deliver technology solutions in the sectors of information and communication technology (ICT), energy, health, agriculture or other related areas. The applications will be evaluated and selected based on several criteria such as the novelty, scalability, team composition and market relevance of their business idea.

The winning team, first and second runner-ups will receive the funding, participate in mentorships with successful entrepreneurs, be entitled for networking opportunities and get to visit the U.S. to establish connection with potential investors and partners. A special award is recognized to a team lead by a female entrepreneur.

There will be three rounds in this competition and in the third round commencing May 8, 2012 ten teams will be selected to present their business pitch in front of a panel of judges held in Beirut on June 21.

Interested in submitting business ideas? You can visit the GIST Global Innovation web page. The deadline is January 24.