Following the Australian launch of The Venture in September this year, Chivas Regal has announced the top five social enterprises that will now head to the Australian final event in the hope of becoming the inaugural Australian winner and claiming a share of the $1 million in funding on offer.
The Venture, a global initiative brought to Australia just this year by Chivas Regal, has inspired Australian social entrepreneurs across the country to put their best foot forward. With more than 50 entries submitted, and so many achievements to access, the judges have got a difficult task on their hands.
Hailing from across the country, the unique and diverse start-ups seek to achieve success whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others – a key driver of The Venture on a global scale.
The top five Australian finalists are:
- Websters Group (Queensland)
- Utilising his international experience in finance, infrastructure and sustainability, Ryan Dillon established Websters Group three years ago. The enterprise specialises in identifying, financing and project managing energy, water and resource efficiency opportunities within large industrial and commercial sites
- Clickability (Victoria)
- Business partners Aviva Beecher Kelk and Jenna Moffat’s strong background as carers, case managers and experience with the National Disability Insurance Scheme led them to founding Clickability two years ago. The Australian disability service directory features ratings and reviews from users, giving people with disabilities a voice
- OurSay (Victoria)
- The three founders Matthew Gordon, Eyal Halamish and Nic Frances list risk communications, stakeholder engagement for Fortune 500 companies, Victorian public servant and priest as some of their former roles on their way to forming OurSay in 2011. The communications and community engagement company enables government leaders to actively engage the public in the decision making process to inform and satisfy citizens.
- Pollinate Energy (New South Wales)
- With a team of six founders from varying backgrounds including energy economics, government, law, international development, engineering and construction, Pollinate Energy has been in operation for three years. The Australian and Indian based company is working to improve the lives of India’s urban poor by providing them access to sustainable and affordable products like solar lights through a network of local entrepreneurs.
- Substation33 (Queensland)
- Founded by former landscaper turned youth worker, Tony Sharp’s electronic waste recycling centre, provides a workplace where marginalised people can gain confidence and skills for the transition to sustainable employment whilst helping the environment
At the final event to be held at Sydney’s Ambush Gallery on the 8 December, the finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their social enterprise to a panel of judges including:
- Michael Klim – The Venture Ambassador and CEO & Co-Founder of Milk & Co
- Jean-Christophe Coutures, Chairman & CEO of Pernod Ricard Winemakers
- Michelle Goldman, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs
- Chris Janz, CEO of Huffington Post Australia
- Jarryd Burns, Co-Founder and Finance & Operations Director of Thankyou Group
On the line will be a place in the global top 20 and an invitation to a week-long, entrepreneur’s training-camp in Silicon Valley, California – home to some of the world’s leading start-ups. These finalists will also have the opportunity to meet business leaders of tech companies, be mentored by experts, and pitch for a portion of the $1 million in funding to take their business to the next level.
Chivas Regal Australia marketing director Anne Martin said, “To have such a strong and diverse collection of Australian social entrepreneurs enter The Venture in our first year is very exciting – I wish them the best of luck. Our aim with The Venture is to enable social entrepreneurs like our five finalists to realise their potential, gain exposure for their business and in turn, inspire others to join and support the movement.”
For more information about The Venture, visit www.TheVenture.com.