$1 Million Global Startup Competition Launches
Chivas Regal has launched the third year of The Venture, a global search to find and support the next generation of startups that want to succeed whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. Since Chivas The Venture first launched (2014) over 3,500 social enterprises have applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual $1 million fund. This year, 32 countries across 6 continents are taking part; only the most promising from each country will be selected as a global finalist for the chance to take part in an Accelerator Week programme and travel to the USA for Chivas The Venture final event in July 2017. This is Hong Kong’s third year participating in The Venture, with last year seeing Xania Wong of Jobdoh to the top 12 of the global finals in NYC. The launch of Chivas The Venture comes off the back of a global report that revealed 95% of young professionals are looking for businesses to take more responsibility in solving global problems*. These findings are further supported by a global survey that confirmspeople (77%) see big business as the number one driver of positive change for the future**. The survey – that questioned a total of 11,349 people across 10 countries around the world – also found that education (70%) was also considered an important sector when it came to changing the world for the better**.
Chivas The Venture is open to any for-profit-startup that creates both financial value and a positive impact on the lives of others. Last year’s competition saw five Grand Finalists pitch to a panel of judges that included, Eva Longoria, Sonal Shah, Joe Huff and Alexandre Ricard in New York City. Conceptos Plásticos, a Colombian social startup that transforms plastic waste into building materials for vulnerable communities was awarded the largest contribution from The Venture fund, receiving $300,000.
The application period in Hong Kong is open until 20 November. This year, the local judging panel includes: Patricia Dwyer (Founder + Director The Purpose Business), Ming Wong (Founder + CEO Asia Community Ventures + Giinseng), Leong Cheung (Co-founder + Chairman RunOurCity), Jennifer Liu (Founder + CEO Sir Hudson International [The Coffee Academics]), and Frantz Hotton (Managing Director Pernod Ricard Hong Kong and Macau).
At the 13 September Hong Kong launch event, Dan MacCombie, co-founder of, RUNA, spoke about his journey towards successful social entrepreneurship. Runa is a New York based social enterprise that has introduced the world to clean energy drinks, helped the people of the Amazon, and captured the attention of investors such as Channing Tatum and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Managing Director, Pernod Ricard Hong Kong and Macau, Frantz Hotton commented on Hong Kong’s participation in The Venture:
"It’s been inspiring to see the evolution of the Social Enterprise scene in Hong Kong. The growth in quality and quantity of applicants is a true testament to the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of our city. Last year we had 22 high quality applicants, striving to solve some of the city’s most pressing issues. This year we expect an even larger increase.”
Hong Kong’s 2016 The Venture Finalist and Founder of JobDoh, Xania Wong commented on her experience with The Venture:
"The Venture was an unforgettable and an incredible experience to propel both my personal and professional growth. I was honored and inspired to meet so many talented and socially conscious entrepreneurs passionate about building a better world! With the newly honed knowledge and network, I strive to build a bigger and better business that creates scalable social impact.”
Chivas The Venture inspires social entrepreneurs and those seeking positive change from around the world to pursue their ambitions and realise their potential. The recent global survey revealed over two-thirds of people (69%) would like to work for a business that has a social conscience**.
Founding Executive Director, Beeck Center For Social Impact & Innovation, Sonal Shah commented on the research:
"The results from the Chivas research highlight a number of trends that have surfaced in our work here at the Beeck Center. It shows that Millennials and Gen Z are hungry, motivated and inspired to positively impact the world. Second, young people believe that business also has a social responsibility not just government. As the world continues to become increasingly networked and collaborative, we have an opportunity to shape it - building cross-sector solutions to our most pressing social and environmental challenges."
Richard Black, Chivas Regal Global Brand Director, commented:
“Promoting business as a force for good is a priority for Chivas Regal. There is a clear and growing desire around the world for change; people want to support and associate themselves with companies that are doing more than just making money. Since its launch in 2014, The Venture has already given $2m of funding to aspiring businesses from Chile to Japan, and impacted over 200,000 lives. We are excited to be able to pledge another $1m this year to help the next generation of global entrepreneurs make a difference.”
Chivas Regal is a global leading super premium whisky with a combination of entrepreneurial thinking and generosity at its heart. Chivas The Venture is inspired by the founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who realised early on that success is much richer when we share it with others. To apply for Chivas The Venture or find out about the impact the competition is already making across the world visit www.theventure.com.