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’ $1million 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 onJuly 14th (full list of finalists below).
Longoria commented on her role as a judge:
“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 27startups from across the world. 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. 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 favourite 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 The Venture. 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.
Richard Black, Chivas Regal Global Brand Director, added:
“We‘re really excited to be announcing Eva Longoria as a judge for Chivas‘ The Venture. 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 andAlexandre 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.“
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 realise their potential and gain exposure for their business.
With generosity, entrepreneurship and integrity at the heart of Chivas Regal, the brand launched its successful Win the Right Way campaign in 2014, as the latest instalment of the Live with Chivalry campaign, which has since 2008 inspired modern gentlemen in more than 60 countries around the world to succeed in the right way.