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Thailand’s Siam Organic named overall winner of US$1m Chivas Venture competition

Halle Berry raises a glass together with other members of the judging panel and competition finalists of the Chivas Venture in Los Angeles July 13, 2017. — Picture courtesy of Chivas RegalHalle Berry raises a glass together with other members of the judging panel and competition finalists of the Chivas Venture in Los Angeles July 13, 2017. — Picture courtesy of Chivas RegalLOS ANGELES, July 21 — Halle Berry raised a glass to social entrepreneurs and startups who have made it their mission to change the world last week.

The Oscar-winning actress, philanthropist and businesswoman was part of a judging panel that crowned the winners of the Chivas Venture in Los Angeles on July 13.

Other members of the judging panel included founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University, Sonal Shah; founder of MissionU, Pencils of Promise and best-selling author of The Promise of a Pencil, Adam Braun; and Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, which owns Chivas Regal, Alexandre Ricard.

The winners were announced after five entrepreneurs pitched their ideas on how they plan to create sustainable change in front of a star-studded live audience, including Javier Bardem, Don Cheadle and Josh Gad.

Peetachai Dejkraisak walked away with the largest contribution from the Chivas Venture fund, receiving US$400,000 for his venture, Siam Organic, which aims to end small-scale farmers’ poverty.

Reacting to his win, the overall winner said: “I am so happy and grateful — this will have a massive impact. We have extremely limited resources, so to have funding like this from the Chivas Venture is just incredible. It will fast-track our project by three or four years — and save me a lot of grey hair and sleepless nights!”

The additional finalists to receive funding and recognition were: Nigeria’s Recycle Points (US$200,000) — which helps consumers to create value from their everyday waste; Colombia’s Bioestibas (US$50,000) — which produces ecological stowage from flower waste that would otherwise pollute the environment; South Africa’s iDrop Water (US$50,000), which aims to change the way water is consumed and sold in Africa, through vending units that purify and dispense water in-store; and Israel’s Intendu (US$50,000), which aids brain rehabilitation through the use of video games.

The Chivas Venture is Chivas Regal’s US$1 million (RM4.3 million) global search to find and support the next generation of startups that are striving to use innovation and enterprise to make the world a better place.

Now in its third year, the Chivas Venture has to date received almost 6,000 applications from startups that are striving to use innovation and enterprise to make the world a better place.

It is estimated that the US$2 million given away over the past two years has been used to support startups that now have over 300,000 beneficiaries in more than 40 countries across the globe.

One such startup to benefit from the initiative is 2017 Malaysian finalist FOLO Farms, who won US$10,771.62 in funding from Chivas Venture’s public voting phase.

Stay tuned for news on the upcoming Chivas Venture 2018. Entries open on September 4. 2017. Visit the Chivas Venture website for further details.

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