Judging panel will reward the most promising new social entrepreneurs with a share of The Venture’s $1m fund.
Adrian Grenier, Morgan Clendaniel and Alex Ricard have joined the judging panel of The Venture, Chivas’ global search to find and reward socially responsible start-ups and start-up ideas that might just change the world for the better.
The judges have considerable expertise and experience in business and social enterprise. Ricard is the chairman and chief executive of Pernod Ricard. Clendaniel is the editor of Fast Company’s ideas and innovation website Co.Exist. Grenier is the star of Entourage, which in July makes its debut in cinemas after eight seasons on HBO. Healso happens to be the co-founder of SHFT, a lifestyle platform that showcases sustainable ideas.
The Venture launched a global search for the most promising social entrepreneurs last October, and since then over 1,100 applicants – who either run an existing, socially responsible start-up, or have a business plan for one – have made a case for their share of $1 Million in funding. Sixteen finalists have been selected, from as many countries, reflecting the increasingly global nature of social entrepreneurship.
“I’m really excited that there’s international participation: the most promising social entrepreneurs from 16 countries,” says Grenier. “Solving the world’s problems through business is a global opportunity and we should invite as many minds from around the world to contribute.”
Grenier is no stranger to the concept of inspiring others with great ideas. In March, he and director Josh Zeman raised money on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter for a documentary film that will show their attempts to track a lone hybrid whale that lives in isolation from other whales and to raise awareness of the effects of ocean noise pollution.
Clendaniel, a journalist with several years’ experience in the field of social entrepreneurism, is hoping to see ideas with wide scope and long-term prospects.
“I want to see pitches for ventures where the social mission is intrinsically tied to the business mission,” Clendaniel says, “not added on after the fact. I'm interested in projects that take new approaches to problems and which have a model that can be applied elsewhere as they expand.”
As the head of a global company with over 18,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue, Ricard has vast business experience, which he is keen to pass on to the next generation of social entrepreneurs. “I'm convinced that businesses which are dedicated to providing positive experiences and services for their consumers will help to create a better, more connected and creative world,” he says.
The Venture’s 16 global finalists will be announced onMay 11and will go head-to-head in a 5 week public vote to secure a share of the $1 Million in funding. They will then head to San Francisco to attend an Accelerator Week,where business leaders and successful social entrepreneurs will act as mentors and advisors.
The week culminates withThe Final Pitch – a live event on July 24 where the finalists will have the chance to convince the judges to fund their business.It’s a life-changing moment for the social entrepreneurs that could go on to change many thousands more lives for the better.