27 of the hottest social startups from across the globe have been unveiled as finalists of the Chivas Venture, which gives away $1 million in no-strings funding every year to the world’s most promising social enterprises. Until 25th April, the public can decide which of the finalists will receive a share of an initial $200K of funding, by voting for their favourite online at theventure.com.
Romania is represented in the Chivas Venture Final by Taraba Virtuală, a free mobile app that connects local farmers and their fresh products with people living in the cities near them. Romania is at the third consecutive participation offering a great space to develop for social impact businesses.
During this voting period, 1st – 25th April, the public has one single vote to support their favourite business. The $200.000 funding will be spread among the 27 finalists, according to votes from the public. Supporters of Taraba Virtuală can vote them on www.theventure.com. Every vote helps them receive a larger part of the funding from Chivas Venture.
Taraba Virtuală is a free mobile app that enables farmers to organize deliveries, save time and money, while reaching to more customers. Users have access to fresh, organic food, faster and cheaper than going to the local market. Both sides spend less time in traffic, reducing the CO2 emissions.
Available in Romania at a local level, the app reduced pollution by 50kg of CO2 last year and saved the farmers 4 hours of work per week. With the Chivas Venture funding, Taraba Virtuală can grow on an international level, attracting more farmers and users interested in healthy and organic alternatives.
Farmers enrolled so far in the application have saved an average of 4 hours per week – which they can spend in exchange to care for 300 plants in their household. Last year, we also contributed to reducing pollution by 50kg of CO2 by streamlining deliveries by farmers. Our technology not only helps farmers and the planet, but also urges people to make healthier decisions.
“Through the application, we remove intermediaries and farmers can sell their fresh and organic products at a much lower cost to the consumer. Instead of selling in the market, in an uncertain and difficult-to-anticipated environment, farmers can now decide for themselves on prices and gain time by centralizing orders and delivering them on the same day.We have discovered that small farmers in Romania do not have efficient systems of organization, time or knowledge to develop a good online presence. At the same time, the demand for organic and fresh products is higher than ever. Our application easily connects supply and demand to the benefit of everyone” says Roxana Bitoleanu.
Roxana Bitoleanu, co-founder at Taraba Virtuală, represents Romania in the global competition Chivas Venture, where she competes with 26 entrepreneurs from all around the globe. Next, Roxana will take the final pitch in Amsterdam, during The Next Web, where she will meet the best social impact businesses. During the final, the judges will decide who will receive the rest of
800 000$ from the 27 start-ups.
,,Participating in Chivas Venture is an unique opportunity to develop my business and social impact skills. Discovering more about Chivas Venture during this competition, I realized we have the same mission and values: we put people above the profit”, says Roxana Bitoleanu.
She had the misfortune to eat an expired fruit because of which she got to the hospital twice that same night. She realized then that she had to change her diet and turned to local, organic products. That’s how she rediscovered the taste of fresh vegetables and fruits that she has not met since she was little and she lived in the country. After this whole experience, she realized that all people should have the chance to rediscover organic taste and live healthier. So the idea for the application appeared.
Funding would allow Taraba Virtuală to develop the business and expand beyond Romania’s borders. “We will invest in research, we can attract more farmers, and the application will benefit from new features. Thus, we will have more customers, improving the lives of farmers. In turn, the latter become more efficient, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions”, says Roxana Bitoleanu.
Romania participates for the third time in the Chivas Venture competition. This is an opportunity for social impact start-ups to develop, receive funds and seek global recognition. SOWAT, a mobile station that turns every source of freshwater into drinking water, won the second local edition and represented Romania in the global final, in 2017. SOWAT achieved the quarter finals in Chivas Venture.