The U.S. State Department Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs GIST initiative program in Ukraine provides science and technology innovators with the training, mentoring and resources they need to bring their ideas out of the laboratory and into the market.

GIST Innovates Ukraine is an accelerated eight-week training program utilizing Lean Startup methodology, modeled on the successful U.S. I-Corps program. Through an intensive customer discovery process, participants quickly identify and evaluate opportunities and make informed decisions on how best to move their idea forward.

The program is designed to work with 25 three-person teams located in Ukraine that have technology affiliated with a government agency, university, research lab, incubator, accelerator or industry.

The 2020 program was scheduled to include a 3-day opening and closing workshop held in Kyiv and 6 weeks of virtual engagement with participants in the interim; however, due to pandemic-related travel restrictions all training was held virtually. Eighteen teams completed the program and presented their innovations during a Digital Demo Day on December 1, 2020.

GIST Innovates Ukraine is implemented by VentureWell in partnership with the University of Georgia and the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.