Eva Longoria: Search For The World’s Best Social Enterprise Startups

Eva Longoria: Search For The World’s Best Social Enterprise Startups

Eva Longoria: Search For The World’s Best Social Enterprise Startups

World-renowned actress, businesswoman and philanthropist, Eva Longoria, has been announced as a judge for The Venture – Chivas Regal’s search to find and support the most innovative startups from across the world.

Eva Longoria will join a panel of expert judges tasked with dividing a portion of Chivas’ $1 million fund amongst The Venture finalists; inspirational social entrepreneurs who aim to succeed in business while having a positive impact on the lives of others. Following the continued success of The Eva Longoria Foundation, which helps Latinas build better futures for themselves and their families through education and entrepreneurship, Longoria has a wealth of invaluable expertise and advice to offer Chivas’ The Venture finalists.

Now in its second year, Chivas’ The Venture has received over 2,500 applications from scalable and sustainable startups across six continents tackling a range of social and environmental issues. One finalist will represent each of the 27 participating countries in New York in July. Following a series of quarter and semi-final pitches, the grand finalists will have just five minutes to impress Longoria and the other judges with their pitch in front of a live audience at the Chivas’ The Venture Final on July 14th (full list of finalists below).

“I’m delighted to be part of the judging panel for Chivas’ The Venture and can’t wait to hear the unique stories behind the 27 startups from across the world,” said Eva Longoria. “Social enterprise has such a huge part to play in the future of business and it is something that is very close to my heart. Best of luck to all the finalists!”

Longoria will bring her long-standing passion for entrepreneurship, mentorship and equal opportunities to the panel of judges, which includes Joe Huff (Founder of LSTN Sound Co.), Sonal Shah (founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation) and Alexandre Ricard (Pernod Ricard Chairman and CEO).

Joe Huff has been invited to join this year’s judging panel due to his knowledge and experience in founding successful social enterprise LSTN Sound Co. LSTN Sound Co. is an impact-focused company whose core belief is ‘what’s good for the business should be good for the world’. Its goal is to produce premium audio products and uses proceeds from sales to change lives through the power of music. Every purchase helps provide hearing aids to a person in need through charity partner, Starkey Hearing Foundation. In less than three years since LSTN Sound Co’s inception in 2012, the company has been able to help give the gift of sound to over 20,000 people.

“Social enterprise is something I have been involved with for many years, I’m hugely passionate about using business as a force for good and believe it is becoming increasingly important in today’s world,” said Joe Huff. “The range of social entrepreneurs at this year’s Chivas The Venture Final is really exciting to see – I can’t wait to meet them in New York and find out more about the businesses.”

From today, Chivas has put the power in the world’s hands; inviting the public to vote for their favorite social entrepreneur to determine how the first $250,000 in funding is split. From May 9th to June 13th people can vote for finalists at www.TheVenture.com. The range of social entrepreneurs is extraordinary, from Julia Römer, the founder of Coolar (Germany), who has developed innovative refrigerators powered by warm water that enable doctors to preserve lifesaving vaccines in off-grid regions; to Jaco Gerrits, the founder of CrashDetech (South Africa) who has created a smartphone app that automatically detects serious car crashes, pinpoints the location, and dispatches the nearest ambulance, supplying paramedics with real-time lifesaving information.

“We’re really excited to be announcing Eva Longoria as a judge for Chivas’ The Venture,” said Richard Black, Chivas Regal Global Brand Director. “She has a clear passion for entrepreneurialism and the importance of business having a positive impact on our society. Along with Joe Huff, Sonal Shah and Alexandre Ricard, we feel we have the perfect balance of expert judges to evaluate the finalists of this year’s competition. We look forward to seeing how people vote online over the next few weeks and which enterprises capture the imagination of the public.”

To find out more about the judges and to vote for your favorite finalists, visit www.TheVenture.com.

The Finalists








Felisberto Capamba


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.



Natalia Ca


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

Emma Colenbrander


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.



Onicio Leal


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

Sergey Petrov


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.



Mario Soto


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.



Shutong Liu


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.


Conceptos Plasticos

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.


ECO Mensajeria

Edison Santos

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.



Tarmo Pihl


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.



Julia Römer


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.



Maria Pacheco


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

Charles Blaschke

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.

Hong Kong


Xania Wong


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.



Or Retzkin

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.



Ryu Ogawa


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

Roberto Alvarado


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.


Fresh Direct

Angel Adelaja

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.



Paul Winkel

General Manager

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.



Agnieszka Osytek

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.



Miguel Neiva


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.



Tudor Cobalas


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.

South Africa


Jaco Gerrits


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.


Local Alike

Somsak Boonkam

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.



Kenny Ewan

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.


Disease Diagnostic

John Lewandowski


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.


Please enjoy Chivas responsibly.
©2016 Imported by Chivas Bros. Import Co., Purchase, NY

About Pernod Ricard USA®
Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA, which employs a workforce of nearly 19,000 people worldwide and is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI).

The company’s leading spirits and wines include such prestigious brands as Absolut® Vodka, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Malibu®, Kahlúa® Liqueur, Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin®, Martell® Cognac, Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod®, Ricard® and Avión™ Tequila; such superior wines as Jacob’s Creek®, Kenwood® Vineyards and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier-Jouët® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines.

Pernod Ricard USA is based in New York, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country. Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit: www.acceptresponsibility.org.

About The Venture
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 realize their potential and gain exposure for their business.

About 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.

About 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.

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Shayne Heffernan Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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