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16 innovative startups with ambition to change the world revealed

06/09/2015

16 startups from across the globe with a mission to create positive change have been announced as finalists of The Venture. The forward-thinking businesses are competing to win a share of $1M in funding from Chivas Regal.

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After receiving over 1,000 entries across five continents, Chivas Regal has selected a diverse shortlist of startups tackling a range of social and environmental issues; from a Colombian business using non-recyclable plastic and vegetable fibres to produce furniture, to a Japanese company developing a wireless field-monitoring system for farmers to assesses soil conditions and ultimately cut down on agricultural water waste. The 16 aspiring startups have been chosen to represent their local countries in The Venture global final for not only their potential to be profitable as a business, but also their ability to offer scalable and sustainable impact solutions.  

Each finalist has a truly unique story to tell about the inspiration for their startup. David Gluckman, the founder of Lumkani, witnessed the devastating impact of shack fires in informal settlements in South Africa and decided to create an affordable fire detection device to mitigate the loss of life and property. Victoria Alonsoperez saw the impact foot and mouth disease had on the Uruguayan economy - creating poverty and unemployment – and made it her mission to develop a platform (Chipsafer) that would transform the way farmers monitor and care for their livestock.

From May 11th to June 14th, the finalists will go head to head in a public vote and compete for an initial share of $250,000 (from the $1 million fund). People from across the world can view the finalist profiles and vote for their favourite on The Venture website.

The competition will then culminate in San Francisco on July 24th when finalists will pitch for the remaining share of the $1 million fund in front of an expert global judging panel. Sonal Shah, former Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the White House under US President Barack Obama, is the latest judge to be announced alongside Adrian Grenier (actor, producer and social entrepreneur), Morgan Clendaniel (Editor of Fast Company’s Co.Exist) and Alexandre Ricard (Pernod Ricard Chairman and CEO).

“ As someone who is hugely invested in social enterprises, it’s really eye opening to see what other entrepreneurs around the globe are up to and the issues they’re attempting to tackle. We have uncovered 16 amazing finalists whose vision, passion and commitment to the greater good should be an inspiration to us all. I encourage everyone to find out more about them and their stories and get voting…they need your votes! ”

Adrian Grenier 

“ Due to this being a global competition across five continents we’ve discovered an incredible collection of social entrepreneurs that are aiming to tackle a broad array of issues. As a brand we’re very proud to be putting a spotlight on these talented and driven business people and we can’t wait to see how the public respond with their votes. ”

Richard Black, Chivas Regal Global Brand Director

In the week leading up to The Venture Final Pitch, the finalists will attend an Accelerator Week in Silicon Valley, the epicentre of the start-up world, where they will receive mentorship from influential figures in social enterprise and companies such as venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Google, Duarte and IDEO. 

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