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GIST Catalyst Pitch Competition is About More than Just Winning: One Indian entrepreneur, Ajaita Shah, is returning from the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit this year with the title of GIST Catalyst Grand Champion — as well as an incredible prize package.

Shah created Frontier Markets, a startup that empowers women through the distribution of solar products. Shah is taking home a series of prizes totaling more than $150,000 USD in startup resources — but for her and her competitors, the prize packages weren’t the only highlight of the Catalyst competition.

No matter how many times a seasoned entrepreneur has made her pitch, nothing can conquer the pre-pitch nerves, said Kristi Gorinas, founder of Defendables. Based in the United States, Defendables is a self-defense product that houses the strongest form of pepper spray into a small pod that can be discretely hidden on your clothing. Gorinas said her product can help women all over the world protect themselves. So when the opportunity to compete in the GIST Catalyst pitch competition presented itself, she jumped on it.

“My goal is to bring the product to people’s attention, [and] hopefully have some collaboration with different governments so we can get it out to people in need,” Gorinas said. “My product can really help globally.”

Gorinas placed second during one of the pitch sessions, and because of the work her startup does to support women, she won $20,000 USD worth of Google Cloud credits.

Created by the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative, GIST Catalyst was a chance for founders all over the world to showcase their startups on a global stage and elevate their pitch.

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GIST Catalyst Pitch Competition is About More than Just Winning: One Indian entrepreneur, Ajaita Shah, is returning from the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit this year with the title of GIST Catalyst Grand Champion — as well as an incredible prize package.Shah created Frontier Markets, a startup that empowers women through the distribution of solar products. Shah is taking home a series of prizes totaling more than $150,000 USD in startup resources — but for her and her competitors, the prize packages weren’t the only highlight of the Catalyst competition.No matter how many times a seasoned entrepreneur has made her pitch, nothing can conquer the pre-pitch nerves, said Kristi Gorinas, founder of Defendables. Based in the United States, Defendables is a self-defense product that houses the strongest form of pepper spray into a small pod that can be discretely hidden on your clothing. Gorinas said her product can help women all over the world protect themselves. So when the opportunity to compete in the GIST Catalyst pitch competition presented itself, she jumped on it.“My goal is to bring the product to people’s attention, [and] hopefully have some collaboration with different governments so we can get it out to people in need,” Gorinas said. “My product can really help globally.”