On Monday 13th March 2017, at the Skoll Centre at the world-renowned University of Oxford, 30 of the brightest startups from across the globe were unveiled as global finalists of the Chivas Venture - our global search to discover and reward the world’s most promising social entrepreneurs.
The event marked the beginning of the global competition and a journey that will take all 30 finalists to Los Angeles in July, where they will compete for a share of $1 million, to help make their dream of creating a better future for the world a reality.
Now in its third year, the Chivas Venture has to date received almost 6,000 applications across six continents from startups that are striving to use innovation and enterprise to make the world a better place.
The vision of the future, as imagined by this year’s finalists, is a place where protein bars are made from crickets and shoes are made from garbage; where walls of moss clean city air and human waste is turned into affordable cooking fuel.
One finalist will represent each of the 30 participating countries at the Chivas Venture Final in Los Angeles later this year. There they will brush shoulders with some of the biggest names in business and entertainment, and have just five minutes to impress the expert judging panel with their world-changing ideas and deliver the pitch of their lives.
In preparation for the Chivas Venture Final, the 30 finalists have travelled to Oxford to take part in a transformational Accelerator Week programme created by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, embedded within the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. During an intensive five days of learning, the finalists have the opportunity to develop leadership skills, take part in practical workshops and be inspired by global experts on critical topics that affect social startups.
Andrea Warriner, Deputy Director of the Skoll Centre, commented: “In today’s uncertain political and economic climate, social enterprise has never played a more important role in securing a better future for our society. There’s an incredible pool of entrepreneurs in the Final 30 of this year’s Chivas Venture competition, who we believe really have what it takes to make a difference. We’ve got a great programme lined up for this week, and we look forward to being inspired by our finalists, while giving them an unforgettable experience.”
Richard Black, Chivas Regal Global Brand Director, added: “We were blown away by the calibre of entries for this year’s Chivas Venture competition. The businesses are a great example of the ingenuity and passion of entrepreneurs across the world who are committed to creating a better world for generations to come.”
He concluded: “At Chivas we firmly believe that generosity and success go hand-in-hand – and when you share your success with others, business becomes truly rewarding.”
From Monday 8th May to Monday 12th June, the public can show their support for their favourite finalist through a live voting system. 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 winner(s) of the remaining $750,000 in funding will be decided on Thursday 13th July at the Chivas Venture Final in Los Angeles, after a high-stakes pitch in front of the judges and a live audience.
At last year’s the Chivas Venture final in New York, global judge Eva Longoria and host Trevor Noah announced the winners of the $1m fund. Social startup Conceptos Plasticos from Colombia was awarded the largest share, receiving $300,000.
To learn more about each of the Chivas Venture finalists, visit their pages at www.chivas.com/the-venture.
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.