16 startups from across the globe with a mission to create positive change have been announced as finalists of The Venture. The forward-thinking businesses, including Vendedy from the U.S., are competing to win a share of $1M in funding from Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky.

After receiving over 1,000 entries across five continents, Vendedy, a social enterprise start-up that is digitizing the street vending industry via mobile technology, has been selected as part of a diverse shortlist of 16 aspiring startups tackling a range of social and environmental issues. The finalists have been chosen to represent their local countries in The Venture global final based not only on their potential to be profitable as a business, but also their ability to offer scalable and sustainable impact solutions.  (Note: list of full finalists below.)

Each finalist has a truly unique story to tell about the inspiration for their startup. Christine Souffrant, the founder of Vendedy, witnessed the devastating impact of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. As she walked Haiti’s streets, full of vendors on top of rubble and trash street vending for survival, she pursued a 5 year agenda to digitize the industry and make it a global conduit of prosperity. David Gluckam, another of the 16 finalists and the founder of Lumkani, witnessed the devastating impact of shack fires in informal settlements in South Africa and decided to create an affordable fire detection device to mitigate the loss of life and property.

From May 11th to June 14th, Vendedy will go head to head with the rest of the finalists in a public vote and compete for an initial share of $250,000 (from the $1 million fund). People from across the world can view the finalist profiles and vote for their favorite at

Chivas Regal’s search will then culminate in San Francisco on July 24th when finalists pitch for the remaining share of the $1 million fund at The Venture Final Pitch event. Sonal Shah, former Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the White House under US President Barack Obama, is the latest judge to be announced alongside Adrian Grenier (actor, producer and social entrepreneur), Morgan Clendaniel (Editor of Fast Company’s Co.Exist) and Alex Ricard (Pernod Ricard Chairman and CEO).

“As someone who is hugely invested in social enterprises myself, it’s really eye opening to see what other entrepreneurs around the globe are up to and the issues they’re attempting to tackle,” said Adrian Grenier. “We have uncovered 16 amazing finalists whose vision, passion and commitment to the greater good should be an inspiration to us all. I encourage everyone to find out more about them and their stories and get voting…they need your votes,” added Grenier.

“Due to this being a global competition across five continents we’ve discovered an incredible collection of social entrepreneurs that are aiming to tackle a broad array of issues. As a brand we’re very proud to be putting a spotlight on these talented and driven business people and we can’t wait to see how the public respond with their votes,” said Richard Black, Global Brand Director, Chivas Regal.

In the week leading up to The Venture Final Pitch, the finalists will attend an Accelerator Week in Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the start-up world, where they will receive mentorship from influential figures in social enterprise and companies such as venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Google, Duarte and IDEO. To find out more and to vote for your finalist visit