27 startups from around the world competing for a share of Chivas The Venture’s $1m fund were revealed today in Oxford. Each pioneering business is striving to use innovation and enterprise to create positive social or environmental change. These impressive businesses are now finalists in The Venture, Chivas Regal’s global search to discover and reward the world’s most promising social entrepreneurs.
Now in its second year, The Venture received over 2,500 applications from startups across six continents tackling a range of social and environmental issues with scalable and sustainable business solutions. One finalist will represent each of the 27 participating countries at The Venture Final in New York City in July where they’ll have just five minutes to impress The Venture judging panel with their pitch to win funding.
The 27 finalists showcase the creativity and ingenuity within the startup community and the increasing passion of new business leaders to create a positive change in the world. Finalists range from Onicio Neto, the founder of Epitrack (Brazil), who has created a faster way to identify and track disease outbreaks through a digital detection platform based on crowdsourcing; to Kenny Ewan, the founder of WeFarm (UK) who has developed a seamless peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform for the 500 million small-scale farmers around the world with no internet access.
In preparation for The Venture Final, the 27 finalists travelled to Oxford to take part in a transformational Accelerator Week programme created by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship embedded within the world-renowned Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. During an intensive five days of learning, finalists will receive leadership coaching and support in preparing for the high stakes pitch in July. The week will involve expert trainers and inspirational mentors recruited by the Skoll Centre.
Daniela Papi-Thornton, Deputy Director of the Skoll Centre, commented:
“We’re thrilled to welcome the 27 finalists of The Venture to Oxford, where we hope to provide them with both an unforgettable learning experience, and an invaluable platform on which to build their businesses. We will be offering workshops on a range of topics, from understanding how to measure social impact to methods and best practices for scaling, taught by some of the best minds in social impact education. We are impressed with the diversity of the finalist pool, and are excited to find out more about their businesses.”
Richard Black, Chivas Regal Global Brand Director, added:
“We’re very proud to announce the global finalists of Chivas Regal’s The Venture for the second year. This year, applications to The Venture more than doubled, demonstrating the growing trend towards businesses doing good in the world, and reinforcing Chivas Regal’s ongoing commitment to social enterprise. Our founders were entrepreneurs who gave back to their community, and The Venture is continuing their legacy by discovering and supporting businesses that are committed to redefining the role of business in creating a better future.”
From the 9 May to the 13 June, the public will be able to support their favourite finalist. Over the course of five weeks, the public’s vote will determine how the first $250,000 in funding is split among the finalists. The remaining $750,000 in funding will be awarded at The Venture Final in July in New York City, after a high stakes pitch in front of The Venture judges.
To learn more about each of The Venture finalists, visit their pages on www.TheVenture.com.