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Which of these game-changing entrepreneurs deserves your vote?

Next week the Chivas Venture will invite the public to vote on which of our 30 finalists should win a share of an initial $250,000 of the competition’s $1Million fund.

From Monday 8th May to Monday 12th June, you will be able to show your support for your favourite finalist through a live vote. Over the course of five weeks, the public will determine how $250,000 will be split, with $50,000 each week being divided amongst the finalists based on your votes. Every vote equals funding and you can vote once a week, but which of these extraordinary startups deserves your support?

A week before the public vote opens we asked each of the 30 entrepreneurs why you should vote for them.

Bioestibas: Using plant stems to make ecological palettes, preventing deforestation and greenhouse gases.

“People should vote for Bioestibas because in our brief history we’ve demonstrated that we can save forests and jungles by reducing pollution that has for decades been generated by the disposal of agricultural surpluses,” The company’s founder, Alvaro Vasquez, said.

Words with Heart: Creating eco-friendly stationery and printing materials, with proceeds from sales funding education for women and girls in the developing world.

Founder Lauren Shuttleworth said: “Investing in women’s and girls education is one of the most powerful ways to change the world. A child whose mother can read, is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five, and just one additional year of education will increase a girl’s earnings by 20%. When we educate a girl everything changes, and our business model ensures that we will be able to continue to fund their education, year after year.”

Xinca: Upcycling waste materials into premium footwear.

“Our company is and will continue to make a big difference in our society,” Alejandro Malgor explained. “From the disused tires we repurpose to the people that help us make our shoes, we create products that generate real benefits for our society and the environment, and support for us will enable us to further scale our positive impact.”

Sens Foods: Offering healthy and sustainable protein bars using cricket flour.

“People should not just vote for us but share our idea with others,” Sens Foods’ founder Daniel Vach said. “The lack of awareness is one of the biggest problems we face! Each dollar we make during the public vote will be spent on promoting our educational articles, videos and infographics.”

Livre: Transforming standard wheelchairs into electric tricycles.

“Vote for us to help us spread the LIVRE word around the world and help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. The wind in the face provided by the KIT LIVRE is like an injection of freedom and happiness.” Livre’s founder Júlio Oliveto Alves said.

SoloCoco: Employing single mothers to produce sustainable coconut oil.

Daniel Dalet said: “People should vote for us because SoloCoco offers a practical solution for socially including those that our system has left behind. We are creating high quality products that you are able to use in your everyday life, while transforming the community who create them.”

NowTechnologies: Helping wheelchair users to better integrate with society.

Mark Istvan said: “We need your vote to help us bring about positive change in a neglected area of life. For people who are seriously paralyzed, even from the neck down, our current and future technologies can be life changing. We are already making an immediate impact, and there is a huge need for our modular technology among electric wheelchair users.”

WeaRobot: Creating affordable exoskeletons which support movement and rehabilitation.

“People should vote for us because we’re working to solve a big global challenge that will have a positive impact on society,” Ernesto Rodriguez-Leal explained. “We have validated our concept with over 1,600 users, physicians, therapists, nurses, caregivers, and relatives of the patients. We deserve your vote because we’ve already made a tangible social impact from the grants we’ve received in the past and we won’t let you down.”

RecyclePoints: Rewarding households for recycling their everyday waste.

Founder Chioma Ukonu said: “Voters will be lending their support to a good cause that is addressing the urban waste management crisis in Nigeria, whilst also battling unemployment. Votes for us means crucial funding to enable us to expand. Expansion means more volume of waste recovered, more jobs created and more registered households to earn from RecyclePoints.”

SmartHead: Enabling everyone to promote their socially responsible activities.

“Vote for us because SmartHead is linked to everyone. Without inspiration, cooperation and responsible attitudes it is almost impossible to move forwards in the right way. By connecting companies and individuals we are trying to create a prosperous future where we all act more responsibly towards others and our environment,” Founder Veronika Osvaldová said.

iDrop Water: Changing the way safe drinking water is bought and sold in Africa.

“Voting for us will help i-Drop Water’s long term ambition to provide safe, affordable drinking water to millions of people,” Founder James Steere explained. “We want to help people who have had to make a choice between drinking unaffordable or unsafe water. We want to reduce plastic, carbon and water waste and generate local economic opportunity for water entrepreneurs; who will agents of change in their local communities.”

Beeodiversity: Analyse pollen to help reduce pollution and increase biodiversity.

Founder Michael van Cutsem said: “The issue we’re trying to solve - the decline of pollinators and biodiversity - has a strong impact on each and everyone of us. It impacts our food diversity, our raw materials for medicines, our economy, our environment. Support us because we have the ambition, team, model and community to generate positive change.”

Laddroller: The light and affordable wheelchair that enables users to stand up.

“People should choose us because our project aims to reduce social exclusion and barriers that exist in our everyday life,” Marios-Ermis Petrotos explains. “We want to better integrate wheelchair users into our societies and the benefits of using our device are both psychological, medical and social. We have already made great progress in prototyping and patenting our device and we are now ready for our next steps.”

Sanivation: Provide affordable sanitation services and transforms human waste into clean-burning fuel.

Dickson Ochieng said: “People should vote for us because we are changing sanitation in two big ways. Firstly, instead of asking how can we dispose of waste while having minimal impact on communities, we are asking how can waste have the most positive impact on the communities in which we operate? Secondly, we are taking a complete 100% market-driven approach to providing sanitation services and doing it in one of the hardest environments, the bottom of the pyramid. By supporting us, you’ll be making a commitment to help reach Sustainable Development Goal 6, which is one of the furthest off track.”

FOLO farms: Turning hotel and restaurant waste into compost to grow organic vegetables.

“There is nothing dearer to all of us us than how well we feed ourselves and our loved ones,” FOLO Farms founder, Will Chua, said. “Our own lives are a gift. Earth is a gift. FOLO wants to help people realise that we have the power to make a difference. People should support us because we believe that we can crack two of humanity’s worst habits - the way we grow and consume our food, and the way we treat our environment.”

African Clean Energy: Manufacturing a clean energy device that provides safe cooking as well as solar energy.

“ACE deserves votes because our impact potential is vast,” The startup’s founder Judith Joan Walker explained. “The ACE 1 cookstove and its list of impacts and benefits is just the tip of the iceberg. We believe in the win-win-win model, where all stakeholders are happy and rewarded for being a part of the value chain; including, most importantly, the customer themselves.”

SoWat: Transportable systems that turn any source of fresh water into clean drinking water.

“Access to drinkable water should not be considered an option,” SoWat founder Al Mezayen passionately explained. “It should be a common right of humanity. Voting for SOWAT will help us reach our goal to help at least 1,000,000 people a year.”

Siam Organic: Empowering small-scale farmers to grow rice using certified organic methods.

Peetachai Dejkraisak said: “People should vote for us because we have a proven business model that is sustainable and scalable, with measurable social impact. You know that any funding we get will go directly towards impacting small-scale farmers’ lives. Voting for us would allow us to support 20,000 farmers’ households, impacting 100,000 people in the process and taking them out of poverty forever.”

Sea2see: Converts ocean plastic waste, such as discarded fishing nets, into premium eyewear.

“Vote for us because we are providing a solution to sea contamination and ghost fishing,” François van den Abeele, said. “We create awareness with the fishing communities and have a direct impact thanks to what we collect. Voting for Sea2See will help us further demonstrate that trash is not trash until it’s wasted. It will also help us create awareness about the urgency of the situation.”

Factelier: Selling Japanese clothes online directly from rural factories.

“Industries in the developed world are on a declining path,” Their founder Toshio Yamada explained. “Buying cheap and reducing costs is not a realistic goal. Please vote for Factelier to help me in creating a sustainable partnership with the factories, built on mutual respect.”

Intendu: The brain training platform using video games to aid patients’ recovery.

Dr. Son Preminger said: “Brain injuries as a result of strokes, trauma, aging or neurological and psychological diseases does not spare anyone. It affects each and every one of us. Everyone either knows someone or has a family member that is affected. Your votes will help us right this wrong.”

DayOne Response: The backpack collecting and purifying contaminated water in the developing world.

“Water security is one of the top global investment opportunities,” Tricia Compas-Markman, said. “The World Economic Global Risk Report ranks water amongst the greatest risks to economies, environments, and people. Our core strength at DayOne Response is providing clean drinking water solutions by tackling the first phase of the global water challenge – providing household access to safe water in disasters and vulnerable events. We have already provided 15 million litres of water to over 20 countries. Votes will help us expand our impact around the world.”

Olio: Connecting people to their community, via an app that reduces food waste.

“Vote for us because together we can stop food waste and create a world where no-one goes hungry,” The company’s co-founder, Tessa Cook, explained. “Access to food should be a basic human right and producing it shouldn’t destroy the planet. If each and every one of us uses OLIO to do our bit then we can solve the travesties of food waste and hunger, and have a lot of fun doing it!”

Sea Harmony: Creating vertical mussel-farming reefs to restore marine ecosystems.

Founder Kornelia Dimitrova said: “You should support us because we are turning damaged marine ecosystems into a reliable and healthy source of nutrition and employment. Our solution results in immediate, long term benefits. Our reef farm technology is one of the multi-scalar and multi-sectoral solutions to problems humanity is facing.”

Now Money: Mobile banking for those excluded from the financial system.

“Financial inclusion isn’t a ‘nice thing to have’ or something that might make life a little more fun,” Katharine Budd, Now Money’s founder said. “It’s a basic human right. Every regular transaction you make online, these people are making manually, often illegally or insecurely. This is a population who are often working 12 hour shifts, seven days a week. Vote for us because it is high time more attention was given to providing adequate and relevant services to the majority population.”

Sun Concept: Builds solar electric boats for the working community.

“We’re doing this for everyone, not only for those that use boats, love boats or want boats but for all of us who are eager for a cleaner planet, for social equality and for opportunities to work in a more sustainable society,” Nuno Gaspar de Oliveira said. “We have this very simple idea: these boats can improve lives at the speed of light. The sun is the key element that brings us all together and our solar boats will make it easier for us keep together.”

BYT: Upcycles unwanted fabrics and transforms them into luxury apparel and accessories.

“People should vote for us because we’re reducing the fashion and textile industry’s negative impact on the planet by transforming the way it is made and worn,” Michelle Bang explained. “By voting for us you will help us to create a lifestyle statement and community, engaging consumers to think differently about fashion, the environment and social responsibility.”

Green City Solutions: Using special moss cultures to create ‘CityTrees’ that eat air pollution.

The founder, Liang Wu, said: “People should vote for Green City Solutions because we can provide them with one of the most important thing they need to survive. Humans need three things to survive and that is water, food and air. And while some are fortunate enough not to worry about water and food, many people can not control the quality of air they breathe. So help us to help you breathe clean air again.”

First Respond: Providing first-aid training courses to encourage mutual aid.

“Our business has already shown it can have a positive impact,” Robin Jun Lu, said. “We have saved 11 people suffering from sudden cardiac arrests already and we hope to save millions more in the future, with a very simple but fundamental solution. If the public vote for us, they are not just simply voting for an idea that has never been put into practice, but a real solution that helps save lives.”

NEXBIO: Using DNA testing to detect harmful diseases in crops.

“You should vote for us because we work on something that concerns everyone; rich or poor, people in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa or Australia. Everybody needs food. Good quality and enough quantity – that’s what we’d like to contribute to,” Founder Adam Kuzdraliński said.

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

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