There are all kinds of economic development programs put in place by governments with the objective of accelerating economic growth. Not satisfied with working just in their own country, governments are now establishing innovation competitions in other countries. How far should a government go to encourage innovation?
I personally think this a great idea. Being an innovator is hard enough much less in countries that have limited to no support/mentoring for their local Edison's.
The Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative was established in 2010, with funding from the U.S. Department of State. The objective is to encourage innovation that results in accelerating economic advancement through science and technology-based innovation in countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.
They recently announced a technology focused business plan competition.
In Partnership with MIT Enterprise Forum from the Pan Arab region, GIST has opened its Business Plan Competition to all technology entrepreneurs with promising new technologies and companies. This funding will support new technology start-up development by facilitating mentorships with successful entrepreneurs, providing networking opportunities a model for suitable business development strategies in the region and access to U.S. markets by organizing visits to the U.S. for a selected group of entrepreneurs to establish direct connection with potential investors and partners.
“I Dare” GIST Business Plan competition winners will receive awards as follows:
- Winning team (1 team): $50,000
- First runner-up (1 award): $25,000
- Second runner-up (1 award): $10,000
- Best Female Entrepreneur team (1 award): $15,000