On the 8th of September 2016, Chivas Regal launched The Venture for the very first time in Malaysia.
The Venture is Chivas’ global search for a startup that can balance both doing well and doing good. In other words, the startups they are interested in must be able to do business properly but also have a positive impact on the community.
Chivas The Venture has run twice before, but for the first time, Malaysian social enterprises can now take part in the competition to stand a chance to win part of a USD1 million. For reference, the previous Venture winner, Conceptos Plásticos, a Colombian social startup that deals with transforming plastic waste into building materials, got USD300,000 of the funding.
Besides competing for the USD1 million funding, social enterprises who join the venture also get the opportunity to join The Venture’s Accelerator Week programme in Skoll, Oxford.
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There are two main parts to the competition: The Local Stages and The Global Stages. At the local stages, a total of 5 finalists will be chosen to be part of the local finale. The winner will be selected to represent Malaysia on the global stage.
The global stage will begin with the accelerator week in Oxford, where they will receive pitch training and coaching. The vote opens to the public who will get to choose a finalist who will get the first USD250,000 of the fund. Finally, there is the global final pitch, where the judging panel will choose a winner of the share of the remaining USD750,000.
According to the panel of local judges, consisting of Ehon Chan, Executive Director of Social Entrepreneurship, MaGIC; Ho Kay Tat, Publisher and Group Chief Executive Officer, The Edge Media Group; Sébastien Mouquet, Managing Director, Pernod Ricard Malaysia and Freda Liu, Producer and Presenter, BFM Radio, what they are looking out for are enterprises and teams of all types, be it in the ideation stage to being fully functioning and running.
The judges shared that for the local stage, there are some factors they will be looking at. The first is the market size and market opportunity targeted by the social enterprise. According to Ehon, “We want to see a market that has huge opportunity for growth expansion.”
Of course, the social part cannot be neglected, so they will also be looking at the demonstrable social impact of the startup, that it is solving a relevant social issue, “not a social inconvenience”.
The third is the business side, and this relates to market validation and having a viable model. According to Kay Tat, “Ultimately, any solution has to be sustainable one. If the business model relies purely on donations and is not sustainable, that is going to be a problem.”
The management team will also play a large part in the selection. Ehon said, “We’re looking for a team that’s driven, experienced and actually gets stuff done.”
Registration starts from 20th September 2016 to 15th November 2016. For more information, visit Chivas The Venture’s website here.