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GIST business incubation for entrepreneurs (Funded to USA with Visa)

The U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology, or GIST, Initiative is excited to announce a new program for entrepreneurs in emerging economies. GIST Business Incubation will support international science and technology innovators who are looking to expand their startups into the United States market. It will also provide the U.S. startup ecosystem the opportunity to forge new connections with entrepreneurs who are abroad.

The program, presented with implementation partner VentureWell, will be hosted in business incubators located across the United States.

The 2019 GIST Business Incubation program will provide entrepreneurs with exposure to the U.S. market and startup resources. While in residence with the program, participants will work on refining their ideas, building their business plans, and finding the right market for their product. Participating entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to network within the startup ecosystem where they are placed.

The first GIST Business Incubation program will take place in Fall 2019 with the exact dates and locations to be announced. Participants who are accepted into the program will be assigned to an incubator inside the United States.


Eligibility criteria for GIST business incubation

You must meet the following criteria in order to apply:

  • Only one member from your team can participate in this program.
  • Only applicants from GIST eligible countries are allowed to apply. Click here to determine if your passport is from a GIST eligible country.
  • All applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 40.
  • You must be a proficient English speakers. This program will not include language interpretation.
  • All startups must be in the science or technology sector.


Important Things to Know

Before you begin your application, there are some things you must keep in mind regarding this program:

  • Only one person is allowed to participate from each startup, and only one application will be accepted for each team.
  • Your startup must be in its Series A or scale-up ready – that is to say, you must be actively working on your startup. We will not accept applications for startup ideas.
  • VentureWell and the U.S. State Department will provide you with an offer letter as proof of your acceptance into this program which you can use for a visa. However, you will be responsible for securing all other documents for your visa as well as securing the visa itself.
  • You will be provided with a stipend if you are accepted into this program. However, you or your company will need to be provide any additional financial support for costs associated with your participation. VentureWell will provide you with information about a reasonable budget for your planning prior to the start of the program.
  • The application deadline for this program is Wednesday, July 31 at 11:59 a.m. EDT. Acceptance decisions will be announced mid-August.


Documentation required

In order to complete this application, you will need to prepare the following documentation and information:

  • A valid passport for you. The passport must be valid through at least October 2020. You will need to provide a photocopy of your passport on this application.
  • Prepare a short description about your startup (Answer should be 2 – 3 sentences).
  • You will need to prepare an image file of your startup’s logo.
  • Prepare the goals for your startup over the next 2 -3 years (Answer should be 4 – 5 sentences).
  • Prepare the business plan for your startup to enter the U.S. Market. This business plan should cover the next 2 – 3 years (You will need to upload a document with your business plan).
  • Prepare a short description on how your startup will benefit from being in the U.S. Market (Answer should be 2 – 3 sentences).
  • Prepare a short description on your customers and/or end-users (Answer should be 2 – 3 sentences).
  • Compile a list of the major milestones your startup has reached (This section is fill in the blank).
  • Prepare information about the funding your startup has received (This section is fill in the blank, and will ask for details including funding type, funding amount, and funding source).
  • Compile a list of the other startups program in which you have participated (This section is fill in the blank).
  • Prepare a short description of your company’s goals for participating in this program (Answer should be 1 -2 sentences).


How to apply GIST business incubation

Follow these steps to apply;

1. Visit the Gist Business incubation application portal

First step is to visit the application portal and create an account. Remember to check your email and click  the activation link or else your application may not go through

2. Login into to the portal

Once logged in, the system will automatically move you to the application page.

3. Complete all required field

Please fill out every required section of the form before saving your application. Required questions are marked with a red asterisk*

4. Editing application

If you choose to make changes to your application, you can access it from the dashboard on your GIST Network profile. You are allowed to make changes to your submission until the application deadline.


Program deadline

The deadline is July 31st 2019


Program website

The program website for GIST business incubation is


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