12 entrepreneurs from around the world will give two-minute pitches at 1871 tonight as a part of their two-week entrepreneurial visit to the US.
The visit was organized as a part of the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative, led by the US Department of State and nonprofit CRDF Global, which aims to build entrepreneurial ecosystems in 54 countries across the Middle East, Turkey, Asia and Africa.
1871 and Illinois Science and Technology Coalition are playing host to the international group before they head off to Washington DC for more training and mentorship opportunities. This is the first time in the history of the GIST program that the Demo Day has been held outside of Silicon Valley. And what better place for it than 1871, the Chicago entrepreneurial hub that has become quite international recently: in May the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. participated in a roundtable at 1871 and in April one of Israel's biggest VCs Jon Medved and four Israeli startups spoke at the space.
“1871’s work with the GIST Initiative provides an important platform for international collaboration in the digital community,” 1871 CEO Howard Tullman said in a statement. “As a leading hub for technology and innovation, 1871 is uniquely equipped to provide international entrepreneurs with the education and experiences that help companies succeed in an inherently global industry.”
Tonight Tullman, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Jonathan Margolis, a deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of State, will welcome the entrepreneurs pitching the following businesses:
Akida (Kenya) - a mobile app that helps large organizations verify employee attendance
Agar-Estate (Jordan) - an online real estate marketplace
Braci (Jordan) - a wireless solution for the hearing-impaired
Eneza Education Limited (Kenya) - a provider of mobile device access to quality study materials
Farmspace Africa (Kenya) - a lending platform for investors in sustainable agriculture
Handasiyat.net (Jordan) - a virtual construction engineering company run by femaile engineers
IdeaCentricity (Pakistan) - a mobile platform to inform workers about nearby work opportunities
Kola Studios (Uganda) - a creator of mobile versions of local games
Netizen Testing (Malaysia) - a provider of usability testing for website owners
Smarter ++ (Tunisia) - an IT company specializing in B2C marketing solutions
Tiket (Indonesia) - an online gateway for buying tickets
Wakuwakuw (Indonesia) - a platform to manage communities
Tickets to tonight's Demo Day available here.