On February, “Algramo”, the social innovation project led by José Manuel Moller was chosen by a select jury to represent Chile in “The Venture”, the entrepreneurship lab sponsored by Chivas Regal. The initiative seeks to fund projects that have a positive impact on the world.
“Algramo”’s mission is to provide essential foodstuffs such as rice, beans and sugar, to the most vulnerable areas of Santiago at an accessible price. In order to do this, the team behind the venture have developed unique vending machines that provide said products in bulks. This reduces their costs by 30% by saving the distribution and packaging costs.
“Algramo” makes the products accessible by installing their vending machines in small neighborhood grocery stores in areas that do not count with big supermarkets in their immediate surroundings. In addition to this, Algramo and the owners of the small stores share the profits equally.
The 16 final projects went through an online voting process for 5 weeks, during which “Algramo” earned USD $27.523 out of the initial pool of USD $250.000 to be split between the finalists. Following this, the representatives of each project travelled to Silicon Valley to be part of an Acceleration Program under the advice of global experts. “Algramo” ended up winning the USD $300.000 prize, leaving Japan and Uruguay in second place.
Currently, “Algramo” has vending machines in over 300 small grocery stores in Santiago and expects to expand to Colombia soon.