A group of flourishing entrepreneurs reveal what inspired them to launch their startups.

It was Albert Einstein, the legendary German physicist, who famously suggested the world was a dangerous place. He reasoned, “not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it”. Those words clearly rung true for the Chivas Venture entrepreneurs, who have dedicated their personal and professional lives to making the world a better place. 

Here some of our 2016 finalists reveal the causes that motivated them to make a difference and launch their incredible social enterprises. 

Jaco Gerrits, CEO of CrashDetech

We were triggered into action by the launch of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, a landmark resolution co-sponsored by 100 countries. We identified a way we could make a difference by using revolutionary technology to auto-detect serious car crashes, reduce emergency response times and provide paramedics with vital medical information that could mean the difference between life and death. 

Mario Soto, co-founder of Diagnochip

My wife Sarah and I imagined a world in which vulnerable people and those living in rural areas, could receive better diagnosis and treatment for urinary tract infections. That’s how the idea for Diagnochip was born. 

Edison Santos, founder and CEO of ECO Mensajería

I was VP of a company and wanted to share my passion of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. I created an advisory firm to spread this message but realised it was lacking something: my own example. Therefore I decided to create a spin off focused on making the messaging arm of a company more sustainable. That’s how ECO Mensajeria was born. 

Onicio Leal, co-founder and CEO of Epitrack 
Epitrack was the result of our desire to close the gap between science and society. We were born in a research centre to create and scale up academic projects. Out of this we created our spin off to build tools to fight epidemics and disease outbreaks. 

Or Retzkin, CEO of EyeControl

I was personally affected by my grandmother passing away from ALS and driven to create my company. But all of our co-founders have lost someone close to them and understand the importance of being able to assist them. 

Felisberto Caramba, co-founder of Habitec

To improve the life of my community, using only the local available resources.

Somsak Boonkam, founder and CEO of Local Alike
I was motivated by my parents who work incredibly hard trying to help our family get out of poverty.

Shutong Liu, CEO of MotionECO

I was inspired by the idea of using a sustainable business model to solve social problems. 

Charles Blaschke, co-founder of Taka Solutions

I was driven by the simple idea of making an impact on the environment by saving energy, while saving people money to help them in their personal lives. I realised my experience and knowledge set me up to find a solution through innovations in engineering, technology and finance to upgrade buildings and homes so there’s no cost to the customer. We have the ability and knowledge as humans to have a much lower impact on the environment so we should make it happen. It makes business sense. It’s win-win-win-win-win.

Kenny Ewan, founder and CEO of WeFarm

We developed the idea for WeFarm based on our real world experiences working in rural communities around the world. My personal inspiration was from seeing the amazing grassroots innovations that were created in communicates I’ve worked with in Peru and Africa to solve their challenges. However, you could often walk a few miles down the road and find another village struggling with the same issue but the solutions and ideas hadn’t travelled. WeFarm is founded on the belief that even poor, isolated farmers have generations’ worth of knowledge, ideas and experience to share. We need tools that can harness this and share it, rather than solely relying on top down solutions and training.

Maria Pacheco, co-founder of Wakami 

Wakami is a journey born out of the contrast between a dream and the harsh reality of life. It is motivated by the harsh reality of poverty, of seeing mothers bury their children because they lacked just $5 for an IV treatment. The world could be beautiful if everyone had the opportunity to have a source of income. Wakami is helping people towards that dream. 

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.

chivas-venture-final-day-4-2-hero-2
Article

And the 2017 Chivas Venture Winner is...

The wait is over. It’s time to reveal which of our final five won the biggest share of $750,000.

Read More
Adam
Article

How to build a business with purpose

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Adam Braun says the first step is to leap beyond your comfort zone.

Read More
More