Dickson Ochieng, Kenya’s Chivas Venture finalist at Accelerator Week programme in UK ahead of finals in US

The Skoll Centre based at the world-renowned University of Oxford, 30 of the brightest startups from across the globe were unveiled as finalists of the Chivas Venture – a global search to discover and reward the world’s most promising social entrepreneurs. Each finalist, including Kenya’s Sanivation will travel to Los Angeles in July to compete for a share of US $1 million to make their dream of creating a better future for the world a reality. 

Now in its third year, the Chivas Venture has to date received almost 6,000 applications across six continents from startups that are striving to use innovation and enterprise to make the world a better place. The vision of the future as imagined by this year’s finalists is a place where protein bars are made from crickets and shoes made from garbage; where walls of moss clean city air and human waste is converted to environmental friendly and affordable fuel.

(TOP: Kenya’s representative to the Chivas The Venture competition finals, Dickson Ochieng of Sanivation (front row, second right), alongside 29 other representatives from around the world, during the commencement of the Accelerator Week programme created by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship embedded within the Business School at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom).

One finalist will represent each of the 30 participating countries at the hotly-anticipated Chivas Venture Final in Los Angeles in July. There they will brush shoulders with some of the biggest names in business and entertainment, and have just five minutes to impress the expert judging panel with their world-changing ideas and deliver the pitch of their lives.

In preparation for the finals, the 30 finalists have travelled to Oxford to take part in a transformational Accelerator Week programme created by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship embedded within the Business School at the University of Oxford. During an intensive five days of learning, the finalists have the opportunity to develop leadership skills, take part in practical workshops and be inspired by global experts on critical topics that affect social startups.

“In today’s uncertain political and economic climate, social enterprise has never played a more important role in securing a better future for our society. There’s an incredible pool of entrepreneurs in the Final 30 of this year’s Chivas Venture competition, who we believe really have what it takes to make a difference. We’ve got a great programme lined up for this week, and we look forward to being inspired by our finalists, while giving them an unforgettable experience.” said Andrea Warriner, Deputy Director of the Skoll Centre.

Richard Black, Chivas Regal Global Brand Director, added: “We were blown away by the calibre of entries for this year’s Chivas Venture competition. The businesses are a great example of the ingenuity and passion of entrepreneurs across the world who are committed to creating a better world for generations to come. The founders of Chivas Regal were entrepreneurs who gave back to their community, and by discovering and supporting startups who too give back to the wider global community, the Chivas Venture is continuing their legacy. At Chivas we firmly believe that generosity and success go hand-in-hand – and when you share your success with others, business becomes truly rewarding.”

From Monday May 1 to Sunday June 4, the public will be able to show their support for their favourite finalist through a live vote. Over the course of five weeks, the public’s vote will determine how the first US $250,000 in funding is split among the finalists. The winner(s) of the remaining US $750,000 in funding will be decided on Thursday 13th July at the Chivas Venture Final in Los Angeles, after a high-stakes pitch in front of the judges and a live audience.

To learn more about Sanivation and the other 29 global finalists of the Chivas Venture, go to the The Venture. 

The Chivas Venture is a global search to find and support the next generation of startups that want to succeed while creating a better future for society. Since the Chivas Venture first launched in 2014, almost 6,000 social enterprises have applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual US $1 million fund. This year, over 30 countries across 6 continents are taking part in the Chivas Venture. Last year in New York, global judge Eva Longoria and host Trevor Noah announced the winners of the US $1 million fund. Social startup Conceptos Plasticos from Colombia was awarded the largest share of the fund, receiving US $300,000.