Diageo backs £10M fund for distillers

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Prospective and newly-formed distilleries can apply for cash to help their businesses grow
Prospective and newly-formed distilleries can apply for cash to help their businesses grow

Related tags: Entrepreneurship

New and growing distillers could draw on a £10M fund to help their businesses grow, thanks to an initiative backed by spirits giant Diageo.

Distill Ventures announced the prospect of the funding in what is its second year of existence. Its programme has also been expanded to double the number of places available for applicants in 2015.

The deadline to apply to the accelerator scheme is September 28. Applications are being invited from prospective start-ups or newly launched businesses. Candidates should visit the programme’s webpage www.distillventures.com/register/​ to express their interest and find out more.

Industry expertise

Set up by a group of entrepreneurs, Distill Ventures offers budding entrepreneurs a unique combination of cash funding and access to industry expertise. Successful applicants will benefit from tailored workshops, mentoring and masterclasses designed to help their businesses succeed.

Syl Saller, Diageo’s chief marketing officer, said: “There is a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit in the drinks sector right now, and I am excited by the quality of people and brands that Distill Ventures is attracting. Distill Ventures is showing fantastic momentum and is really making a name for itself among entrepreneurs.

“Working with start-ups and entrepreneurs is really exciting for Diageo because it enables us to apply a genuine entrepreneurial mind-set to in our pursuit of breakthrough innovation.

“Distill Ventures is a great example of a partnership that has been developed to help build and support our innovation pipeline for the long term.”

‘Future of our industry’

Shilen Patel, Distill Ventures’ ceo, added: “The size of our investment fund this year reflects the success of last year’s candidates and our excitement about the future of our industry.

“We want to encourage entrepreneurs only just on the verge of getting started to apply – it’s never too early in the journey.

“In fact, we strongly believe that the scheme can help businesses at this stage avoid some of the most common pitfalls that brands come up against in the first couple of years.”

Related topics: R&D, Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider, Diageo

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