Earlier in the week we featured the Oxygen Accelerator (closing date fast approaching!) and now we have a little something for all those budding premium spirit brands out there. The Distill Ventures Accelerator is the world’s first such programme specifically designed to assist new and growing premium spirit brands. It sounds like a great opportunity and here's a few of the basics.
Born from a partnership between spirits manufacturer Diageo (the company behind some of the world’s best known drink brands including Guinness, Smirnoff and Baileys) and innovations specialist Independents United, the programme couldn't be better placed to give a leg-up to spirit brand start-ups!
As part of the first seed programme 5 successful new spirit brands will have the opportunity to undertake a 6 month placement within the Distill Ventures offices, giving them access to a vast team of mentors and advisers to help refine their brand and bring it to market. It is a truly comprehensive programme which aims to address all aspects of bringing a spirit brand to life and covers everything you would require - from legal and financial planning to branding and sales. As if such expertise and experience wasn't incentive enough, the seed programme will also provide a minority equity investment of between £150,000 and £200,000 to help get them up and running.
But it doesn't stop there. Afterwards, the seed programme participants will have the opportunity to enrol in the accelerator's new growth programme which will build further on the progress made and focus on rapid scaling of the brand!
So what's the catch? Well technically there isn't one, but as with any such programme there is a lot of small print which needs to be considered including a potential exit strategy agreement. This might put some startups off but for others the programme will remain an outstanding opportunity that could really boost and develop their brand.
All in all it’s very refreshing to see his kind of accelerator being brought to the drinks market, and we are looking forward to lots more delicious spirits emerging in the near future as a result!
Interested in applying? The closing date for applications is 14th October so don't forget to get yours in! The lucky applicants will be selected in November with the seed programme scheduled to begin in January 2014.
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