Australian Start-up Is One Sip Closer to Share of $1M Chivas Venture Fund
Damian Veling from Okra Solar wins local heat of the Chivas Venture 2020 and will now represent Australia at the $1m Global Final
LONDON, Feb. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Social enterprise, Okra Solar, is preparing to go head-to-head in a series of spirited pitches with 25 of the hottest start-ups from around the world. Okra Solar has won the Australian final of the Chivas Venture; a global competition from leading blended Scotch whisky Chivas that gives away $1 million in no-strings funding every year to social businesses that blend profit and purpose to have a positive impact on the world.
Okra Solar designs and develops plug-and-play smart grid technology to provide tools specifically for energy utilities in countries with large off-grid populations, ensuring remote communities have access to sustainable power solutions.
"There are currently 1 billion people living without power - so now is the time to act! Okra Solar's aim is to get the power to the people and with the help of the Chivas Venture, we have the opportunity to grow our business to provide accessible, available and affordable energy to secluded communities around the world. We are so excited to embark on this next chapter for Okra Solar and represent our country at the Global Final of the Chivas Venture." – Damian Veling.
Damian Veling, founder of Okra Solar, will now embark on the journey of a lifetime that will put his business to the test on a global scale. In the run-up to the Global Final in June, the 26 social entrepreneurs will travel to London to take part in a three-day accelerator programme – providing exposure to experts and industry professionals, and a range of networking opportunities. The entrepreneurs will engage in one-on-one coaching sessions, taking their businesses to the next level and ensuring a pitch-perfect performance.
Last year's winner, Javier Larragoiti, founder of Mexico's Xilinat, said:
"Taking part in the Chivas Venture has been an unbelievable and life-changing experience for me and my business; to see all my years of hard work and belief in my product shared on a global scale was a dream come true. The competition has provided Xilinat with a global platform and the funding to change the course of the sugar industry forever…pretty sweet, right?"
Chivas believes in blending ambition with generosity and in using success to enrich the lives of others – a belief instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who shared their success with their local community as their business grew. Two centuries later, the Chivas Venture champions these values – to date, the competition has positively impacted over 2 million lives, thanks to the $5m that Chivas has awarded to social businesses around the world.
Just as Chivas champions the perfect blend of malt and grain whiskies in its Scotch, the Chivas Venture champions entrepreneurs who blend profit and purpose to have a positive impact on the world. Find out more about the Chivas Venture and why blending profit and purpose is better at Chivasventure.com.
Notes to Editors
Chivas believes that blended is better, in life and in Scotch. Chivas' belief in blending was instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who pioneered the art of blending in 19th century Scotland.
Since then, Chivas has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide – by bringing together the best malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary. Chivas believes in the power of blending in life, as well as in Scotch. In bringing people together to create a greater whole – which is why Chivas is proud to be the global spirits partner of Manchester United, the world's biggest football club; and in blending ambition with generosity and using success to enrich the lives of others – which is why the Chivas Venture supports social startups with $1m in annual funding.
Chivas blends its home in Speyside, Scotland, with more than 100 countries across the globe, who together have made Chivas the global success it is today, selling more than 4.2 million 9L cases every year. The Chivas range blends timeless classics with modern innovation, including: Chivas 12, Chivas Extra, Chivas XV, Chivas Mizunara, Chivas 18, Chivas Ultis, Chivas 25, Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend.
Chivas. Success is a blend.
The Chivas Venture gives away $1 million in no-strings funding every year to the hottest social startups from around the world. Since the competition first launched in 2014, over 8,000 social enterprises have applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual $1 million fund. To date, the competition has awarded $5m across 100 startups, who have positively impacted over 2 million lives around the world.
Last year at the Chivas Venture Global Final in Amsterdam, social startup Xilinat from Mexico was awarded the largest share of the fund, with founder Javier Larragoiti receiving $310,000 towards his sugar business that aims to change the sugar industry as we know it.