27 startups from around the world competing for a share of Chivas The Venture’s $1m fund were revealed today in Oxford. Each pioneering business is striving to use innovation and enterprise to create positive social or environmental change. These impressive businesses are now finalists in The Venture, Chivas Regal’s global search to discover and reward the world’s most promising social entrepreneurs.
Now in its second year, The Venture received over 2,500 applications from startups across six continents tackling a range of social and environmental issues with scalable and sustainable business solutions. One finalist will represent each of the 27 participating countries at The Venture Final in New York City in July where they’ll have just five minutes to impress The Venture judging panel with their pitch to win funding (full list of finalists below).
The 27 finalists showcase the creativity and ingenuity within the startup community and the increasing passion of new business leaders to create a positive change in the world. Finalists range from Onicio Neto, the founder of Epitrack (Brazil), who has created a faster way to identify and track disease outbreaks through a digital detection platform based on crowdsourcing; to Kenny Ewan, the founder of WeFarm (UK) who has developed a seamless peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform for the 500 million small-scale farmers around the world with no internet access.
In preparation for The Venture Final, the 27 finalists travelled to Oxford to take part in a transformational Accelerator Week programme created bythe Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship embedded within the world-renowned Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. During an intensive five days of learning, finalists will receive leadership coaching and support in preparing for the high stakes pitch in July. The week will involve expert trainers and inspirational mentors recruited by the Skoll Centre.
Daniela Papi-Thornton, Deputy Director of the Skoll Centre, commented:
“We’re thrilled to welcome the 27 finalists of The Venture to Oxford, where we hope to provide them with both an unforgettable learning experience, and an invaluable platform on which to build their businesses. We will be offering workshops on a range of topics, from understanding how to measure social impact to methods and best practices for scaling, taught by some of the best minds in social impact education. We are impressed with the diversity of the finalist pool, and are excited to find out more about their businesses.”
Richard Black, Chivas Regal Global Brand Director, added:
“We’re very proud to announce the global finalists of Chivas Regal’s The Venture for the second year. This year, applications to The Venture more than doubled, demonstrating the growing trend towards businesses doing good in the world, and reinforcing Chivas Regal’s ongoing commitment to social enterprise. Our founders were entrepreneurs who gave back to their community, and The Venture is continuing their legacy by discovering and supporting businesses that are committed to redefining the role of business in creating a better future.”
From the 9 May to the 13 June, the public will be able to support their favourite finalist. Over the course of five weeks, the public’s vote will determine how the first $250,000 in funding is split among the finalists. The remaining $750,000 in funding will be awarded at The Venture Final in July in New York City, after a high stakes pitch in front of The Venture judges.
To learn more about each of The Venture finalists, visit their pages on www.TheVenture.com.
Habitec use eucalyptus trees to produce high-quality desks, chairs and other wooden fittings for Angola’s expanding school system. It includes local communities in the replantation of new trees, and 20 percent of its workforce are former soldiers with disabilities, while many of its staff are employed for the first time in their lives.
Incluyeme is the first job portal in Latin America that helps people with disabilities find employment. The platform simplifies the way a company engages with the thousands of people with disabilities looking to find a job, ensuring the best talent gets found.
Pollinate Energy provides urban slum dwellers – currently dependent on kerosene for lighting – with access to affordable clean energy solutions. It does this using ‘Pollinators’; local entrepreneurs who are trained to sell and service solar lights in urban slum communities.
Epitrack identifies the risk of an epidemic or disease in a certain area through crowdsourcing platforms where users describe their symptoms. Based on its data, it provides emergency services with the necessary information much faster, decreasing the likelihood of an outbreak.
Bee Smart Technologies uses sensor technology and bio-based algorithms to analyse and present beekeepers with data about the health and productivity of their bees. It helps beekeepers cut down on operating costs and prevent devastating losses of bees.
Diagnochip offers fast and low-cost diagnostic devices for developing countries. Using micro-fluidic technology, one of its devices functions as an antibiotic susceptibility test that will accurately analyse urine and blood samples to determine what antibiotics are required to treat urinary tract infections.
MotionECO presents a systemic solution to turn waste cooking oil into biodiesel for transportation sectors. Its solution simultaneously tackles the challenges of food safety, waste cooking oil and pollution across the air, road and marine sectors.
Oscar Andres Mendez
Conceptos Plasticos transforms plastic waste that is difficult to dispose of, into construction material for permanent housing, temporary shelters and movable structures. It prevents plastic pollution and creates much needed building materials for communities to establish a physical infrastructure.
Founder & CEO
ECO Mensajeria is an environmentally friendly courier service, promoting sustainable solutions for the rapid dispatch market, by using zero and ultra-low emission vehicles and a Carbon Balanced service. It tackles two of the main causes of climate change: energy usage and pollution from transportation.
Sentab is a social network for older adults (65+) which runs on their TV. By turning a regular television set into an interactive device that can be used to make voice and video calls to other enabled televisions, computers or smartphones, families can share and connect with older relatives through our platform.
Coolar develops refrigerators that are powered by warm water, generated through solar heat. Coolar’s innovative cooling system enables doctors to preserve lifesaving vaccines and medicine in off-grid regions.
Wakami designs and sells handmade fashion accessories produced in 16 rural Guatemalan communities. It incubates businesses that generate income for some of the poorest women in rural Guatemala. Wakami gives business leaders training and tools to improve the nutrition, education and health of their families.
Taka Solutions helps building owners and operators reduce energy and utility costs. It installs custom engineering solutions, equipment, and technology in existing buildings to save energy and money.
JOBDOH is a smart hiring platform to help temporary workers find jobs anytime, anywhere. Employers benefit from the speed and ability to hire the right people and workers benefit from the flexibility to earn an income and an improved track record of employment, which is showcased directly in the app.
EyeControl is an affordable, intuitive mobile communication device for “locked-in” patients and medical centres. EyeControl translates eye movements into verbal communication, allowing paralysed patients to communicate with their loved ones.
MOLCURE aims to cure the incurable by discovering drugs for diseases with no effective treatment. Abtracer, its drug discovery platform, can identify antibody candidates 10 times faster than current systems.
Optic Group ICH
Optic Group ICH manufactures eyeglass frames from recycled plastic bottles. By using PET from plastic it makes affordable but durable frames. Optic Group ICH’s goal is to enable people all around the world to see more clearly and help the environment by recycling rubbish.
Founder & CEO
Fresh Direct is an agricultural production and processing company that brings together communities and advanced technology to provide organic fruits, vegetables and meats and processed end products. Fresh Direct manufacture, install and market customised hydroponic systems, greenhouses and container farms to help smaller farmers be more sustainable and more effective.
PowerMundo helps improve people’s lives by providing access to clean energy. It offers business training, digital pay as-you-go financing and a suite of solar products to help local business owners and sales agents earn money. It helps off-grid families save money, improve their health – and the environment.
Co-Founder & Global Manager
Migam supports communication between the deaf and those that can hear, using video translation via a web browser and mobile app. Thanks to its service, deaf people are able to communicate, meaning they are able to do things that many of us take for granted.
ColorADD has created a universal code made up of simple symbols for primary colours that are then combined to create secondary and tertiary colours, enabling correct colour identification for all. It ensures independence, self-esteem and dignity for those who are colour blind.
SafeDrive is the mobile app that rewards drivers for not texting while driving. Drivers earn points that can be converted into discount vouchers or special offers from partner companies. It incentivizes responsible driving, ultimately contributing to safer roads.
CrashDetech is a smartphone application that automatically detects serious car crashes, pinpoints the location, and immediately dispatches the nearest ambulance and supplies paramedics with lifesaving information.
Rafael Espinosa de los Monteros
CEO & Co-Founder
Alzhup is a digital health platform that offers scientifically validated therapy for Alzheimer patients that is fully customisable with the user’s personal memories. It promotes participation between the family and the patient by integrating gamification techniques, that increases the quality of life for patients but also for caregivers and family.
Founder & CEO
Local Alike is an online platform that connects travellers to meaningful and authentic experiences. It works with locals to build their capacity in community-based tourism, preserving local culture and generating sustainable income for communities.
Founder & CEO
WeFarm is a pioneering peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform for the 500 million small-scale farmers around the world with no access to the internet. Farmers can access vital information that can improve their lives via SMS.
Founder & CEO
Disease Diagnostic uses refrigerator magnets and laser pointers to detect multiple diseases with just a single drop of blood. It offers a reusable mechanical device that is 50 times faster, a tenth of the cost, stand-alone, and 100 times more likely to detect asymptomatic infections than current diagnostic methods.
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Notes to Editors:
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The Venture is Chivas’ global search to find and support the most promising aspiring social entrepreneurs who want to succeed whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. With over $1 million in funding and resources, The Venture will enable social entrepreneurs from around the world realise their potential and gain exposure for their business.
Win the Right Way
Win the Right Way aims to inspire a new generation to achieve success whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others and is the latest instalment of Chivas Regal’s Live with Chivalry campaign, which launched in 2008.
Live with Chivalry
Chivas’ Live with Chivalry campaign launched in 2008 and has since inspired modern gentlemen in more than 60 countries around the world to succeed in the right way.
With generosity, entrepreneurship and integrity at the heart of Chivas Regal, the brand launched its successful Win the Right Way campaign in 2014, which aims to inspire a new generation whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others.
About Chivas Regal
Launched in 1909, Chivas Regal is the world’s first luxury whisky and is considered to be a timeless classic, renowned for its benchmark quality and taste, style, substance and exclusivity. A truly global brand, Chivas Regal has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide and today sells 4.5 million 9L cases annually in more than 150 countries across the globe. The Chivas Regal range includes Chivas 12, Chivas 18, Chivas 25 and the Global Travel Retail exclusive, Chivas Brothers Blend. In October 2014, Chivas Regal announced the addition of a fifth permanent expression in the Chivas Regal family, Chivas Regal Extra, a new blend with a unique richness derived from selective maturation in rare ex-sherry casks. In 2015, the iconic brand welcomed the pinnacle of the range with the introduction of the new ultra-prestige blend, Chivas Regal The Icon.
About the Skoll Centre & Saïd Business School
Embedded within the world-renowned Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, the Skoll Centre is dedicated to accelerating the impact of entrepreneurial activity that aims to transform unjust or unsatisfactory systems and practices. The Skoll Centre was launched in 2003 at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford to promote the advancement of social entrepreneurship worldwide. The first Skoll Skollars were welcomed in the fall of 2004, and the first Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship (an annual meeting of nearly 1,000 distinguished delegates from the social, finance, private and public sectors) quickly followed that same year.
The Saïd Business School is a world-class business school community, embedded within a world-class university, tackling world-scale problems. As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, The University of Oxford is a unique and historic institution. The University is formed of 38 colleges, some dating back to the 1200s. Each of these colleges attracts talented students from around the world.