Newswise — ARLINGTON, VA—Twelve of the most exciting technology entrepreneurs from Africa, the Middle East and Asia will showcase their successful startups and innovations at Chicago DEMO day, part of the Global Innovation through Science & Technology (GIST) Initiative, a partnership led by the U.S. Department of State and CRDF Global. The GIST Entrepreneurship Journey in Chicago is organized in collaboration with 1871 and will be at its offices at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212, Chicago, from 5-8 p.m. (CDT), June 12. The 2014 GIST Entrepreneurship Journey brings entrepreneurs from Jordan, Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, Indonesia and Tunisia to showcase their startups and network with investors and the tech community. CRDF Global is an independent non-profit that promotes international science and innovation collaboration.
The showcase will include a mobile application for the hearing impaired in the Middle East, a mobile lending platform for rural farmers in Africa, the largest real estate marketplace in Jordan, a virtual engineering company for female engineers in the Middle East, and an online travel and event ticket sales company that’s been called the Priceline.com of Indonesia. The entrepreneurs will pitch to a panel of judges. Learn more, register and view the agenda here:
The twelve entrepreneurs are:
• Anwar Almojarkesh, CEO & Founder of Braci Inc., Jordan. This mobile application for the hearing impaired visualizes sound.
• Natali Ardianto, CFO & Co-Founder of Tiket.com, Indonesia. This online travel and event ticket sales company has been called the Priceline.com of Indonesia, with over $26 million in revenue in 2013.
• Christopher Asego, Operations Director & Co-Founder of Eneza Education, Kenya. The innovative SMS technology makes education accessible and affordable in rural Africa.
• Alvin Chai, Co-Founder of Netizen Testing Limited, Malaysia. This is a forum for crowd sourced website testing.
• Hanan Khader, Founder & CEO of Aqar Estate, Jordan. This is the third largest online real estate database in the Middle East, and the largest in Jordan.
• Catherine Kiguru, Chief Innovator of Akida, Kenya. This is a time and attendance system for remote employees.
• Alex Mwaura Muriu, Chief Geek & Co-Founder of Farm Space Africa, Kenya. This mobile lending platform for small scale farmers is unearthing Africa’s potential.
• Daniel Okalany, CEO of Kola Studios, Uganda. This is a leading mobile game development studio.
• Nizar Ben Neji, CEO & Founder of Smarter++, Tunisia. This delivers large data storage capability to businesses.
• Nermin Fawzi Sa'd, CEO & Co-Founder of Handasiyat, Jordan. The virtual engineering company employs and empowers hundreds of female engineers.
• Frans Setio Yuwono, Founder & CEO of Wakuwakuw, Indonesia. This social media community management tool brings event planning for community building.
• Adnan Zafar, CEO & Founder of IdeaCentricity, Pakistan. This mobile recruitment solution matches low-skilled laborers with viable work options.
While in Chicago, entrepreneurs will meet with potential funders and receive mentorship and training. They will also meet with successful U.S.-based “diaspora entrepreneurs” who are using their expertise to invest in new ventures in their countries of origin. GIST entrepreneurs will also participate in a DEMO day on June 18 in Washington, D.C.
“These entrepreneurs are illustrations of the power and potential of the GIST community, and global entrepreneurship and innovation. Altogether, GIST entrepreneurs have raised more than $20 million in capital and have created more than 800 jobs around the world,” said Natalia Pipia, Associate Program Director for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, CRDF Global. “It is exciting to see how these innovators are shaping their emerging countries, regions and the world,” she said.
About CRDF Global
CRDF Global is an independent, non-profit organization established in 1995 to promote international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training, and services. CRDF Global has nearly 20 years of experience managing international research funding programs and supporting emerging science and technology infrastructure in more than 40 countries in Eurasia, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.
About the GIST Initiative
The Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative empowers young science and technology entrepreneurs to realize their dreams to improve quality of life through economic prosperity. The GIST Initiative builds entrepreneurial ecosystems in over 54 countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, by identifying and coaching promising entrepreneurs through its competitions, networking, training, online social media platform, and interactive mentorship. The GIST Initiative is a partnership led by the U.S. Department of State and CRDF Global.
Note to reporters: The GIST entrepreneurs will be in the U.S. from June 9-20. To schedule interviews, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.