Chivas Regal The Venture Winners

The Chivas “The Venture” Final

Chivas Regal The Venture Winners

Photo Credit: Ayabonga Ngoma, South African Bloggers. January 22, 2016

Before we talk about my experience at the final of the South African leg of Chivas’ The Venture, let’s talk about funding and investment.

Funding and Investment

Working with so many other businesses and start-ups in my career, if I have learnt anything, it would be that not everyone needs “funding” or “investment”.

The concept of investment or funding for any business I ever created didn’t always make sense to me, why would I give a part of my business away for money Ill just spend on living expenses? Later I realised that some businesses may need a cash injection to buy stock, expand warehousing quicker based on demand and so on.

What I disagree with is funding an idea.

Funding an idea is like investing in the stock market, you have no idea if it’s going to work, but it sounds like a good bet. I would rather fund execution, a business that is already practicing and already being built by the initial entrepreneur.

Funding a business that has already sustainable and functioning is also questionable for me. Where is money going to go? More developers for your app? Or straight into the entrepreneurs pocket so that they can give themselves a salary? There is a limit on how much funding a business needs based on it’s scalability.

The Venture Competition

When I was invited to attend the final episode and prize giving of The Venture. I was scrutinizing every entrepreneur’s metal, idea and endurance. Did they just have an idea and want funding for a salary? Or did they genuinely need the money to give them the needed push to sustainability?

The competition itself is a global search to find and support the most promising aspiring social entrepreneurs who want to succeed whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. With over $1 million in funding (Cash prize) and resources. The prize will help these entrepreneurs grow and get further exposure from their businesses.

The finalist were awesome! I admit, I was tired of listening to a new app or digital technology, so I aligned myself more with more agriculture based ideas, like bread making with Mama Mini’s or waste disposal with I’m Not Plastic.

Despite my protest on Twitter, an app won.

It may not be the app I wanted, but maybe the app that everyone needs. The winner of The Venture was: CrashDetech.

Winner, Jaco Gerrits, Founder and CEO of CrashDetech will be making his way to the global finale of the social entrepreneurship competition in New York, where he will be one of 25 finalists who will present their final pitches for a chance to win a share of $1 million! (This is where my peeve comes in).
Jaco Gerrits

Starting with over 1000 applications, it’s quite an achievement to have gotten to this point for all five of the finalists. I admit, these businesses are not the normal; I have a great idea give me money, crowd, they were experienced, focused, passionate entrepreneurs.

CrashDetech, will represent South Africa at the global finale in New York after attending the Venture Accelerator Week in the United Kingdom to receive added train

What is CrashDetech?

CrashDetech is a crash detection and medical dispatch smartphone application. Once installed, the app detects when you’re in a car crash, pinpoints your location and immediately dispatches the nearest ambulance. The app also supplies paramedics with lifesaving information, like allergens or medication information and so on.

Chivas Regal’s Head of Marketing, Sibusiso Shangase said: “CrashDetech is an incredible creation that has the potential to save lives by reducing emergency response times by pinpointing a vehicle crash location in these potentially fatal incidences. We are confident that this innovative enterprise will represent South Africa exceptionally well in the global round of The Venture competition in the coming months”


I was sceptical about how the app could be affective due to the “Install and Forget” nature of the app, with no plans for an advertising model or pay-to-download model.

I managed to have a minute with Jaco to speak about his app’s income. I may have been a bit direct, but I asked Jaco what made his app special compared to others out there that offer similar services such as Discovery’s App?

Jaco explained his company had one of the largest EMS Medical service networks right now, and the app would include an ambulance service, direct legal aid and of course medical information and insurance information on demand, eliminating the need for lengthy signup processes or letting you, the victim, get the medical help you need immediately.

But, how does it make money?

Despite what a lot of entrepreneurs would have you believe, making money from your idea is actually important: “We have four different subscription options, each option would give the user access to different services the higher you go. Such as road-side assistance, road cover and so on.” – Gerrits

The free subscription will prompt the user to upgrade to the next paid level, Entry level subscription is R49/monthly, then R89/monthly or the top end package of R109/monthly, which will provide all the services on offer. Not bad all things considered, maybe I’m not the target market, but I think of quite a few people who would gladly install this app.

Despite a lot of my cocky questions, Jaco maintained his forme and was confidently able to sell his app.

At the end of the day, this is a good idea, and I wish Jaco and his team all the luck in the United States!

For more information on The Venture, look here, and check out the CrashDetech too.