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Semifinalists Chosen in Global Entrepreneur Competition

Finalists will be chosen by open voting from the public at Voting ends June 11.

Seven Southeast Asian candidates were among 76 chosen to compete as semifinalists in a tech and entrepreneurial competition next month.

The candidates, who come from 37 countries, are taking part in the Global Innovation Through Science and Technology Tech-I competition, which aims to encourage a young generation of tech-savvy entrepreneurs to develop startups and address economic development in their countries.

The semifinalists were chosen from an initial field of 792 contestants, all of whom submitted a startup idea. Finalists will be chosen by open voting from the public at Voting ends June 11.

Finalists will then compete at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi in July. Finalists receive three months of mentoring, while winners receive funding to help advance their startups. The GIST initiative is led by the US State Department, and the Tech-I competition is implemented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Among the semifinalists is Regnard Requedan, from the Philippines, for a company called ‘CubbySpot,’ which offers daycare services for children.

Regisda Machdy Fuadhy, from Indonesia, proposed a website that provides psychological advice written by experts.

Pham Thang and his team, from Vietnam, came up with an idea of called “Walltop Forest,” which helps people grow and care for trees and plants—even if they have little experience doing so.

GIST has so far engaged some 2.8 million entrepreneurs worldwide, and the program has helped shape 4,500 startups, with $800 million in revenue.

US President Barack Obama said recently that such endeavors can help global prosperity. “The US believes that entrepreneurs can create jobs that fortify relationships between countries, build global markets and help fulfill the dreams of all who desire the freedom to make of their lives what they will,” he said.