LAUNCHPAD: Diageo has the entrepreneurial spirit

The brewer has launched a seed programme for aspiring booze entrepreneurs. Cheers to that.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 13 Aug 2013
The fact that upmarket spirits are the trendiest thing since the ironic moustache was going to be noticed by someone with a bit of cash behind them sooner or later.

Now many-headed booze-Hydra Diageo (aka Britain's Most Admired Company) has teamed up with ‘London-based innovation specialist’ Independents United to launch its own accelerator programme for spirit brands.

Distill Ventures says it’s looking for five ‘creative, passionate and driven’ entrepreneurs to take part in a six-month seed programme beginning in January.

Diageo will make between £150,000-£200,000 to each business and ‘provide expertise’. The programme will also include ‘masterclasses, business management programmes and mentoring’ (lesson one, presumably: ‘how not to drink your profits’).

Distill is also planning to run a ‘growth programme’ from the middle of next year, providing up to £2m of investment. Seed programme graduates will be able to apply directly for this second round of funding – if, during the seeding programme, they don’t bottle it…

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