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Diageo to fund twice as many start-up spirits companies

Distill Ventures, the business mentoring and funding scheme set up by Diageo, is doubling the amount of places available on its 2015 programme.

Spirits entrepreneurs have the chance to build their brand with up to £200k and expert advice from Diageo
Distill Ventures is opening up its Seed Programme to an additional five businesses and brands in 2015

Launched last year as a joint venture between the British drinks group and “innovation specialist” Independents United, the scheme assisted five start-up spirits businesses with up to £200,000 to develop and launch their products.

This year Distill Ventures is stretching its Seed Programme for fledgling brands to 10 businesses from across the world.

Shilen Patel, CEO of Distill Ventures, said: “We’re really excited to be doubling down on the Seed Programme, allowing us to work with a larger number of entrepreneurs from across the world. Over the past year we’ve met so many exciting businesses, and it’s great that we can now assist more of them with the funding and expertise to help them grow.”

Businesses have until 14 September to submit their interest and apply for funding at

“We like to call it ‘smart money’ – it’s not just about cash investments,” added Dan Gasper, COO of Distill Ventures. “We give the businesses we work with unrivalled access to design, liquid and strategy expertise as well as advice and mentoring from a global network of drinks industry experts.”

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