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This article was published on May 24, 2019

And the winner of the Chivas Venture Global Final is…

And the winner of the Chivas Venture Global Final is…
Ailsa Sherrington
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Ailsa Sherrington

Former Social Media Manager, TNW

Ailsa Sherrington is a former content marketer at TNW. Ailsa Sherrington is a former content marketer at TNW.

Last week, the Chivas Venture Global Final took place at our very own TNW Conference. $1 million of no-strings funding was awarded to the top global startups blending profit with purpose to have a positive impact on the world.

From 20 global finalists, Mexico’s Xilinat walked away with the largest amount of funding, receiving a total of $310,000.

Looking to transform the global sugar industry, Xilinat converts agricultural waste into a natural sugar substitute that looks and tastes like normal sugar, yet is low in calories; helping tackle obesity while providing a sustainable alternative for diabetics and the health-conscious.

In case you missed it, here’s a run-down of the Chivas Venture Global Final:

Taking the stage

After a great introduction by host and BAFTA-winning actor and director, Richard Ayoade, the judges took the stage.

The panel included actress, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Zoe Saldana, as well as Alexandre Ricard (Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard – parent company of Chivas Regal), Cemal Ezel (Founder of Change Please and global winner of the Chivas Venture 2018); and Sonal Shah (Economist and founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University).

A series of pitches

The five global finalists then took turns pitching their startups and answering a series of tough questions from the judges. Afterward, as the judges went backstage to decide who would win the lion’s share of funding, Richard Ayoade announced the People’s Choice Award winner: Brazil’s Cataki, which won $50,000 to further develop a mobile app to connect waste generators with waste collectors.

Avengers star Zoe Saldana

Then, it was time for a Q&A session between judges Sonal Shah and Zoe Saldana. Commenting on our collective responsibility to drive positive impact, Saldana said:

We are all responsible for the future of our planet and our societies; we need our governments to be agents of positive change and it’s up to us to let them know when they’re doing a good job and when they’re not.

Big businesses around the world also need to take responsibility and I’m in awe of what Chivas as a brand is doing; investing funds and driving awareness of these incredible entrepreneurs who are building businesses that are making our world a better place.

Everyone’s a winner!

Perhaps the greatest thing about the Global Final is the fact that all five startups walked away with no-strings funding.

Apart from the Chivas Venture Global Final winner, Xilinat, the four other finalists to receive significant funding were: Syntoil from Poland ($250,000) – which is solving the environmental problem of rubber waste from used tires; Portugal’s SPEAK ($110,000) – which breaks down cultural barriers by reducing the marginalization of immigrants and refugees through informal networking; Tykn from the Netherlands ($50,000) which leverages blockchain technology to protect immigrants and provide them with access to human aid; and Copia from the USA ($50,000) which tackles both hunger and food waste by creating a technological platform that helps businesses measure and donate their food surplus for financial compensation.

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