Tech entrepreneur and creative innovator will.i.am is going to be on the jury for the final of the Chivas Venture.

Each year for the Chivas Venture, we are lucky to work with an outstanding group of industry experts and thought leaders on our judging panel and this year is no exception. Tech entrepreneur and seven-time Grammy Award winner, will.i.am brings with him significant experience in both business and technology to inspire the finalists and help him decide how the prize fund will be split between the grand finalists.

will.i.am is the founder of I.AM.PLUS, a business which focuses on Artificial Intelligence for enterprise and smarter consumer products. He’s also a philanthropist with a commitment to inspire young people through his i.am angel Foundation. His role as a Coach on ‘The Voice’ UK and Mentor on ‘Planet of the Apps’ will come in handy when he judges the high-pressure business pitches from the final 5 Chivas Venture finalists.

will.i.am comments:
“I believe there’s an idea in everybody that could change the world for the better, and these inspiring startups are tackling some of the major social issues of our time. World-changing ideas deserve a global platform, so to our next generation of game-changing entrepreneurs I say: bring it on! The jury wants to see your passion and drive on stage at the Chivas Venture Global Final in Amsterdam next month.”

Next month, the 27 global finalists will go head-to-head at the TNW Conference in Amsterdam for a chance to win a share of the $1 million in funding. In a series of quarter and semi-finals pitches, the finalists will be whittled down to the top five, who will have just five minutes to impress the expert judging panel live on stage in front of 3,000 tech addicts, investors and entrepreneurs at the conference.

will.i.am will be joined on the judging panel by: Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard – parent company of Chivas Regal, who will be judging the competition for the fourth consecutive year; Sheila Herrling, Senior Fellow at The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation; and Kresse Wesling MBE, Co-Founder and Director of sustainable luxury brand Elvis & Kresse. The Chivas Venture Global Final will be hosted by BAFTA winning actor, writer, director and television presenter, Richard Ayoade, who will be taking to the TNW Conference stage to present this year’s final five.

Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, comments:
“The Chivas Venture is an initiative that is particularly close to my heart as it’s inspired by the founding brothers of Chivas Regal, James and John Chivas, who realised early on that success is much richer when we share it with others. Their spirit is something I witness come to life throughout my entire company every day – and we see that same spirit in our Chivas Venture entrepreneurs, who are all using business to change the world for the better.

“In just three years we have already seen a number of our inspiring social startups grow into successful businesses; overall, in 2017, Chivas Venture enterprises almost tripled their revenue compared to 2015. This year, the calibre of startups is extremely strong, and we have raised the stakes even further: the TNW Conference stage is set and we are ready to see the finalists deliver the pitch of their lives!”

There’s still time for you to vote for your favourite social startup! Your vote will decide how the first $200,000 in funding is split among the finalists. Voting ends on Wednesday 25th April, click here to cast your vote!

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