What began with over 2,500 applications culminated in five entrepreneurs pitching their social businesses for a share of The Venture’s $1Million fund.

Between September and December last year more than 2,500 entrepreneurs applied from all over the world, as The Venture began its second search for social businesses that are creating a better future. From those applicants only the best 27 businesses were selected to progress to The Venture’s Accelerator Week in March, and on to the finals in the heart of New York City, in July.

After two days of intense pitching during the quarter-finals and semi-finals The Venture judges, including social entrepreneur Eva Longoria and the co-founder of LSTN Sound Co, Joe Huff, had to decide which five had made it through to the final.

With the remaining $750,000 of The Venture’s $1Million fund at stakeWeFarm, Conceptos Plásticos, Coolar, EyeControl, and Wakami were chosen to progress through to the final, which unfolded in front of a live audience.

Hosted by The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah and in front of an audience of business leaders, experts and celebrities like actor Oscar Isaac, watch how The Venture Final unfolded:

The Venture Final was the culmination of the competition, but it had been months in the making and included a five week voting period and the Accelerator Week, which took place in March.

During the five week voting period more than 200,000 people voted to determine how the first $250,000 of the $1Million fund was split amongst the 27 finalists. It proved to be a hugely productive period for the competition’s eventual winner, Conceptos Plásticos, who managed to win more than 64,000 votes and subsequently over $53,000.

Before the voting period took place and to help these entrepreneurs polish their pitches, prepare for the final, and accelerate the growth of their businesses in the long run, they took part in the Accelerator Week; The Venture’s five-day programme designed by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.

During this intensive five days of learning, the finalists received leadership coaching and support in preparation for the high stakes pitch in July. The week involved expert trainers and inspirational mentors recruited by the Skoll Centre. Watch the story of The Venture Accelerator Week below:

Over the last two years the competition has invested $2Million in social businesses that are creating a better future, and have positively impacted more 200,000 lives. Since it’s inception more than 3,500 social enterprises have applied and now The Venture is proud to announce it will continue its search to find and support the next generation of startups that want to succeed whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others.

To find out when applications for The Venture Year Three open in your market and for more information on how to apply, visit our Terms & Conditions.

Follow @TheVenture on Twitter for all the highlights from the competition, and the latest stories, ideas and individuals that are helping to shape our future.

No endorsement or connection is meant between those featured in this article and Chivas.