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Thu 14 Jan 2016 11:03 AM

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$1m global competition unveils 5 Gulf-based finalists

The Venture is open to social entrepreneurs, with the regional final taking place in Dubai this month

$1m global competition unveils 5 Gulf-based finalists

Five Gulf-based start-ups selected to progress to The Venture Gulf Regional Final have been announced.

The regional final of The Venture, a $1 million Chivas Regal global fund designed to support social entrepreneurs, will be hosted in an event at Industrial Avenue, China Grill at The Westin, Dubai on Wednesday, 20 January, 2016.

The selected start-ups are Involver, a gamified mobile ecosystem that connects volunteers with social organisations globally; ethical fashion platform Future Fashion; Modular & Mobile Solutions; DreamRise LLC, a digital promoter of women entrepreneurs; and Taka Solutions, a provider of technologies to control energy usage.

Each finalist will be given the opportunity to present themselves and their business and undergo an intensive Q+A session with The Venture’s expert judging panel.

The finalist will have to demonstrate how their company benefits society, detailing how their product or service is helping to solve a problem, and will be assessed across five criteria: purpose, viability, scalability, practicality and credentials.

This year’s final will include a public vote by allowing people to post the hashtag of their preferred finalist, across any social media platform.

The Venture will calculate which finalist is most popular and award that finalist one vote before the judging begins.

The Gulf-based winner will join 26 social entrepreneurs from around the world at a week-long entrepreneur’s training-camp in London in March, followed by the global final in New York in July.

During these trips, the finalists will have the opportunity to be mentored by experts and, ultimately, to pitch for a portion of the $1 million in funding to take their business to the next level.

Launched in October 2014, the first year of The Venture saw 16 counties participate and over 1,000 start-ups apply.

The GCC representative at the first global final of The Venture was Sahar Wahbeh of Dumyé, a business that makes handcrafted, eco-friendly, personalised dolls that serve a social purpose.

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