Two weeks ago, The Venture, luxury whisky Chivas Regal’s search to find and support the most innovative startups from across the world, rewarded five social enterprises the remaining share of their $1million annual fund at their Final Event in New York City. The winners were announced after five grand finalists pitched in front of a live audience and judging panel that included actress and philanthropist Eva Longoria.
The event was the culmination of the second year of Chivas’ The Venture, which received over 2,500 applications from scalable and sustainable social entrepreneurs. The evening was hosted by The Daily Show presenter, Trevor Noah who applauded all five entrepreneurs that pitched on their commitment to using business as a force for good. The judging panel which included Eva Longoria, Sonal Shah, Joe Huff and Alexandre Ricard, assessed each business based on their ability to create sustainable change through a viable business model and potential to scale.
Social startup Conceptos Plásticos from Colombia was awarded the largest contribution from The Venture fund, receiving $300,000. Focusing on transforming plastic waste into construction material for permanent housing, Conceptos Plásticos creates much needed building materials for communities to establish a physical infrastructure. The additional finalists to receive funding and recognition were; WeFarm ($200k) – a pioneering knowledge-sharing platform for small scale farmers, EyeControl ($100k) – a mobile communication device for “locked-in” patients, Wakami ($100k) – producer of handmade fashion accessories that support community businesses across Guatemala, and Coolar ($50k) – an innovative healthcare cooling system enabling doctors to preserve lifesaving medicine in off-grid regions.
Nigeria was represented by Angel Adelaja, CEO, Fresh Direct Limited. Adelaja uses advanced technologies to improve crop yield in Africa. She emerged winner of the Nigerian edition of the competition in December 2015 from a pool of 216 entries. In February 2016, Adelaja moved to the next stage of the search at the regional level in South Africa and the United States where she competed alongside applicants from 26 countries across 6 continents in a battle for a share of the $1m global fund.
Chivas’ The Venture launched in September 2014 and has already seen the 16 finalists from the first year of the competition thrive and have an increased impact on a range of social and environmental issues. The 16 Alumni social enterprises are now supporting more than 200,000 beneficiaries in over 50 countries around the world.
Continuing Chivas’ commitment to inspire and support future generations of entrepreneurs, social enterprises from across the world are invited to apply for $1 million in funding as The Venture Year 3 kicks off from 5th September 2016, visit www.theventure.com for further details.
Watch Angel Adelaja speak in a prior interview in her home country on her inspiration.