Diageo to invest up to £10m in spirits start-ups

15th September, 2014 by Amy Hopkins

Diageo is to invest up to £10 million in budding spirits entrepreneurs through its business mentoring and funding scheme Distill Ventures.

Distill-Ventures

Diageo is investing up to £10 million in its 2015 Distill Ventures programme

Launched last year as a joint venture between the UK 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.

It was revealed in August this year that Distill Ventures would be doubling the amount of places available on its 2015 programme to 10, however the amount of investment was not disclosed.

“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,” said Shilan Patel, CEO of Distill Ventures.

“More funding means we can take more than twice as many businesses as we did in 2014 but we know it’s not just about money – a competitive environment means a growing brand needs the right advice to succeed.”

Businesses have until 28 September to apply to take part in the scheme at www.distillventures.com/register.

“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,” said Syl Saller, chief marketing officer at Diageo.

“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.”

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