The Venture, luxury whisky Chivas Regal’s search to find and support the most innovative startups from across the world, rewarded five social enterprises the remaining share of their $1 million annual fund at their Final Event in New York City. The winners were announced after five grand finalists pitched in front of a live audience and judging panel, which included actress and philanthropist Eva Longoria.
Business as a Force for Good
The event was the culmination of the second year of Chivas’ The Venture, which received more than 2,500 applications from scalable and sustainable social entrepreneurs. The evening was hosted by The Daily Show presenter, Trevor Noah who applauded all five entrepreneurs who pitched ventures based on their commitment to use business as a force for good. The judging panel which included Eva Longoria, Sonal Shah, Joe Huff and Alexandre Ricard, assessed each business based on their ability to create sustainable change through a viable business model and potential to scale.
Social startup Conceptos Plásticos from Colombia was awarded the largest contribution from The Venture fund, receiving $300,000. Focusing on transforming plastic waste into construction material for permanent housing, Conceptos Plásticos creates much needed building materials for communities to establish a physical infrastructure. The additional finalists to receive funding and recognition were WeFarm ($200k) – a pioneering knowledge-sharing platform for small scale farmers, EyeControl ($100k) – a mobile communication device for “locked-in” patients, Wakami ($100k) – producer of handmade fashion accessories that support community businesses across Guatemala and Coolar ($50k) – an innovative healthcare cooling system enabling doctors to preserve lifesaving medicine in off-grid regions.
High-Profile Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders and Influencers
The Final Event was attended by a range of high-profile entrepreneurs, business leaders and influencers from New York City and beyond. Also in the audience was Golden Globe-nominated actor Oscar Isaac who starred in Chivas Regal’s Win The Right Way film, which was aired to the 300-strong audience at the beginning of the night.
Chivas’ The Venture launched in September 2014 and has already seen the 16 finalists from the first year of the competition thrive and have an increased impact on a range of social and environmental issues. The 16 Alumni social enterprises are now supporting more than 200,000 beneficiaries in over 50 countries around the world.
Continuing Chivas’ commitment to inspire and support future generations of entrepreneurs, social enterprises from across the world are invited to apply for $1 million in funding as The Venture Year 3 kicks off on September 5, 2016. For more information, visit www.theventure.com.