What a week we had at the Chivas Venture final! It was inspiring, exciting, nerve-racking, adrenaline-inducing, and everything imaginable in between.
The Chivas Venture is a global social impact competition, with a prize fund of $1,000,000 to be split across the finalists. The final of this years Chivas Venture was held in Amsterdam, and we were buzzing to be heading there to represent Scotland, as one of the 20 global finalists.
The first day of pitching saw 20 become 10, and we were truly delighted to have been selected to progress into the semi-final of the competition. The semi final pitch was a mere matter of 24 hours away (no rest for the wicked), and took place at the incredible Pernod Ricard Netherlands office. Knowing the quality of the other businesses, and the amazing impact they are all creating across the world, we did not envy the judges having to narrow the 10 down to a final 5 to pitch at the Grand Final the following day. We were not one of those 5 to progress, but were over the moon to receive $20,000 prize money as a semi finalist, which is going to make a huge difference to us.
The Grand Final was held as part of The Next Web Conference, and was an incredible spectacle with over 1,000 people in the audience, and over 700,000 watching the live stream. The final judging panel comprised of Zoe Saldana; Alexandre Ricard (Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard), Cemal Ezel (Founder of Change Please and global winner of the Chivas Venture 2018); and Sonal Shah (Economist and founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation). They certainly had their work cut out, as the final 5 pitches were all immensely powerful, perfectly encapsulating the essence of the Chivas Venture. The top prize went to Xilinat, led by Javier Larragoiti, which is sure to go on and achieve great things and create a huge impact globally.
We loved every second of the Chivas Venture journey and are so excited to be a part of this incredible network of individuals and businesses, all using business as a force for good, to create global change.