Penfolds Invites Promising Entrepreneurs to Compete for “Maximum Funding”

Penfolds Invites Promising Entrepreneurs to Compete for “Maximum Funding”
NAPA, Calif. -- To celebrate Penfolds’ first chief winemaker, Max Schubert, who pioneered the Australian wine industry, Penfolds extends promising entrepreneurs the chance to compete for $33,000 in capital investment to support the future success of their innovative idea. Representing $1,000 for each of Schubert’s 33 years at the onset of his post, the prize money will be granted to one organization deemed by the public and an esteemed panel of judges to have the most innovative idea. Sponsored by the new Penfolds Max’s wine collection, the contest opens Oct. 3, and the winner will be announced Dec. 14.

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“Max Schubert was a revolutionary force at Penfolds and in Australia’s winemaking community, exhibiting an entrepreneurial spirit and embracing Penfolds’ values of innovation, bravery and determination that eventually put Penfolds on the global stage,” said Emma Brown, Penfolds Marketing Director. “Penfolds Max’s wines are a tribute to Schubert, and this competition further salutes a man who would appreciate the creativity and perseverance exhibited by American entrepreneurs today.”

Penfolds Max’s has enlisted the support of innovation-focused companies and higher education institutions to bring the “Maximum Funding” competition to fruition. In addition to its primary partner Tech.Co, Penfolds Max’s has established in-kind partnerships with the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Dallas, Poets & Quants and Bluestein + Associates.

Interested individuals and organizations can enter the “Maximum Funding” competition at on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and the window to apply closes at 11:59 pm on Sunday, Oct. 22. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and based in the U.S. Their enterprise must be less than four years old and have no more than $4 million in funding at the time of application. Additionally, the enterprise must have a live, viable product or service and must be able to describe how it is innovative, disruptive and exciting.

All applications will be reviewed by a team of Penfolds Max’s representatives and an esteemed panel of judges from an array of respected technology and business firms. Entries will be judged on the strength of their team, strategy and commercial viability. The top 10 applicants will be announced on Oct. 30, at which point the public will have an opportunity to influence which idea makes it to the final round of consideration. Live voting will be held Oct. 30 - Nov. 19 at Three finalists will be announced Dec. 4 and receive awards of $5,000 each. The judging panel will announce the winner and award an additional $33,000 on Dec. 14.

Since 1844, Penfolds has played a pivotal role in the evolution of winemaking with a history and heritage that profoundly reflects Australia’s journey from colonial settlement to the modern era. Penfolds’ collection of benchmark wines was established in a spirit of innovation and the constant and endless pursuit of quality, evidenced by the secret bottling of Grange in 1951 and the unbroken line of vintages of what is now Australia’s most iconic wine. Today, the collection continues to display the distinctive and consistently recognizable Penfolds ‘House Style,’ the ultimate expression of a time-honored tradition of sourcing the best fruit from the best regions. The stories and philosophies behind each label bring a timeless quality, making Penfolds wines special and compelling for collectors and drinkers the world over. Penfolds is owned by Treasury Wine Estates. For more information, please visit

Penfolds Max’s is a new line of Australian wines that serve as an ode to a legendary winemaking figure, Max Schubert. The first chief winemaker of Penfolds, Schubert took the reins at just 33 years of age and was instrumental in revolutionizing Australian winemaking through his bold and passionate spirit. Best known as the creator of Grange Hermitage (or Penfolds Grange) – widely considered one of Australia's "first growth" and most collectable wines – Schubert propelled Penfolds onto the global stage. The Penfolds Max’s collection features wines that are polished and charming in character, expressing varietal cues, alluring fruit and tannic structure. The portfolio includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz and a red blend of Shiraz-Cabernet. For more information, please visit