Innovative creative agency Independents United launches Distill Ventures, the worldʼs first accelerator dedicated to helping startup spirits businesses go further, faster.
The programme, created in collaboration with Diageo, the worldʼs biggest premium spirits company and Independents United, is committed to giving entrepreneurs in the alcoholic drinks category the opportunity to grow the great premium sprits brands of the future. Diageo will provide both investment capital for the successful applicants and access to their huge experience and expertise in the global spirits industry. Independents United bring the entrepreneurial experience of working with, investing in and incubating startups.
Distill Ventures will operate two programmes, a Seed Programme aimed at new and early stage businesses and a Growth Programme designed to provide the investment and support that young brands need to scale their sales rapidly. Each will combine investment with masterclasses, access to technical expertise and mentoring from established entrepreneurs and drinks industry experts.
The new accelerator will shortly begin accepting applications to the six-month Seed Programme with up to £200,000 of funding available to each of the successful applicants. The first companies will be selected in November 2013 and enter the Seed Programme in January 2014. The aim of this programme is to allow businesses to scale to the point of exit. The five chosen participants will move in to Independents Unitedʼs offices for the duration of the incubation period.
Details of its Growth Programme will be unveiled shortly. The aim of this programme is to allow businesses to scale to the point of exit.
Syl Saller, Chief Marketing Officer of Diageo, commented:
“There is a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit in the drinks sector right now. We are seeing some brilliant new brands being born and built that are achieving commercial success. Our joint commitment to Distill Ventures will nurture, develop and grow the ideas and the people to create the pioneering premium spirits brands of the future.”
Shilen Patel, Co-founder of Independents United & Chief Executive Officer of Distill Ventures added:
“As entrepreneurs we know first hand just how hard it can be to start a new business. But we also know that investment and mentoring from the right people can drive success and make it can be incredibly rewarding too. Thatʼs why weʼve set out to create the best possible accelerator for spirits start ups, and weʼre excited to get our first Seed Stage programme underway.”
Further information on Distill Ventures and details of the two accelerator programmes are available at distillventures.com or twitter.com/DistillVentures