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South African greentech startup I-Drop Water has been selected as one of 30 finalists in the US$1-million Chivas Venture social enterprise competition. The finals will take place in Los Angeles in July.
Founded by James Steere, I-Drop Water looks to change the way water is sold in SA by installing purification and dispensary vending machines in stores. The company says the water sold is 80% cheaper than bottled water and will be housed in refillable containers.
Finalists will have five minutes to pitch their businesses in front of a panel of judges and live audience, where they will compete for US$750 000.
“We were blown away by the calibre of entries for this year’s Chivas Venture competition. The businesses are a great example of the ingenuity and passion of entrepreneurs across the world who are committed to creating a better world for generations to come,” says the global brand director for Chivas Regal, Richard Black, in a press release to Ventureburn.
“The founders of Chivas Regal were entrepreneurs who gave back to their community, and by discovering and supporting startups who too give back to the wider global community, the Chivas Venture is continuing their legacy. At Chivas we firmly believe that generosity and success go hand-in-hand — and when you share your success with others, business becomes truly rewarding.”
The public will be able to participate in a live vote from 1 May to 4 June and vote for their favourite startup. This vote will determine how the first US$250 000 of the grand prize is split among the finalists.
The 30 finalists have travelled to Oxford in order to take part in a five-day Accelerator Week created by Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.
The competition is now in its third year, and according to the press release has “received almost 6000 applications across six continents from startups that are striving to use innovation and enterprise to make the world a better place”.
Feature image: avocadogirlfriend via Flickr.