By Laura Medina
While liquor brands throw parties and fetes to advertise and connect with their target audiences, which this scribe doesn't mind, Chivas Regal Whiskey amps the ante.
Chivas does its own version of "Shark Tank," but for the social good.
Folks who have an idea that can help the society for the better, ranging from physical therapy to sustainable crops to save energy while saving the planet are the ideal candidates for Chivas Venture.
"We're looking for exceptional startups that use business innovatively to transform communities and solve global challenges. Social businesses that are creating a better future. Whatever it is, if it's brilliant and can create real, positive change then we want to hear from you."
"Each application will be reviewed and the very best from each of the participating countries will be selected to take part in national finals. You will have the chance to pitch to a panel of business experts who will offer advice and decide which finalist has the most promise to continue to the global finals."
Find out what happened at Oxford University during The Venture Accelerator Week 2016."
"After the Accelerator Week, you will have the chance to inspire the public to vote for your startup in order to receive funding. During the voting period, we will allocate $250,000 of the $1Million fund by giving people the chance to vote for their favourite startup."
Last Thursday night's event was the Final Pitch, where the finalists have to "pitch" or sell their ideas to a group of judges, that includes celebrity, Halle Berry.
The previous celebrity judges were Eva Longoria and Adrian Grenier. This year's celebrity judge is Halle Berry. Chivas Whiskey's brand ambassador, Javier Bardem, sat in the audience, along with Don Cheadle.
Josh Gad hosted the contest.
Peetachai Dejkraisak's Siam Organic, receiving $400,000...
“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 3 or 4 years – and save me a lot of grey hair and sleepless nights!”
"Transforming farmers' lives, one grain at a time..."https://www.chivas.com/en/the-venture/finalists/people/th-siam-organic
Currently Thailand’s 17 million rice farmers have the highest costs and lowest yields of all countries in Southeast Asia. They earn an average of just 40 cents a day, six times below the poverty line."
"We’ve created the Jasberry brand to help farmers unlock the global market for healthy organic products. We provide them with training on internationally-certified organic farming methods, and empower them to increase their earnings by 14 times. Many farmers have been able to pay off their debts, and their children can now come back to work in the organic farms knowing that it is a viable and sustainable occupation for them."
During intermission, before announcing the winner, Chivas showcased rising funk/soul/jazz trumpeter, Spencer Ludwig and the Aces...
You all probably heard of his song, "Diggy" on a Target Fall TV ad campaign...
He was the headlining entertainment for the following fete...
Remember, whenever a liquor or beverage company throws an event, always expect food to be around. That's good, considering...one, everyone skipped dinner for this contest; second, we all need food to soak up the alcohol.
Of course, it's a whiskey event where you blend your own customized whiskey, like mixing your own perfume.
These lighted-up drink coasters are a great party idea.
Rare Black Rice for everyone and anyone on the vegan buffet.
The seafood buffet...
The Taco Bar...
Here's a party idea that anyone can do, especially in Goose Creek, South Carolina.
You can layer ceviche and sushi or raw, preserved seafood and rice into clear plastic cups or plastic wine glasses for an elegant way to serve and display sushi or ceviche....
When an "adult" liquor company is throwing the fete, expect tons of gourmet, good food, such as this surf and turf pairing, lobster rolls and cheeseburger sliders with a poached salmon, drowned with chocolate-whiskey rice milk cocktail.
Chivas Venture Final Pitch was a magical intersection where good intentions meet good music with good food.
Can't beat that.