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Diageo to offer support for new drinks brands

Diageo to offer support for new drinks brands

Diageo has announced that it has partnered with London-based innovation specialists Independents United to create a project known as Distill Ventures.

The plans will be mainly used to try and seek out new brands of spirits, as well as offer a £15 million top-line investment fund aimed at encouraging applications for a six-month Seed Programme from entrepreneurs, which will try to help enhance core business skills, while also offering the tools needed to fully develop and launch new products within the growing spirit market.

Five successful candidates will benefit from funds ranging from £150,000 to £200,000.

The programme, which will also include masterclasses, business management programmes and mentoring, will take place in mid-November.

In addition, there will also be a chance for candidates to sharpen their skills further by joining the Growth Programme, which will be on offer in the middle of 2014 and will provide investment and support to newly-launched, as well as experienced brands.

Although the new venture will initially be launched in the UK, it is expected to be rolled out across Europe over the next few months, with Berlin, Warsaw, Madrid and Copenhagen already being earmarked as possibilities.

Diageo's role in the new venture will be mainly centred around providing funds while offering candidates the expertise needed to succeed on a global scale.

Syl Saller, chief marketing officer at Diageo, said: "We are seeing some brilliant new brands being born and built that are achieving commercial success. The combination of cash and expertise, whilst leaving them in control of their business, will help new brands to flourish."

He added: "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."

The news comes on the back of Diageo's announcement that they are to release a new product in the form of Baileys Chocolate Luxe, a brand extension claiming to be the first time real Belgian chocolate has been fused with alcohol.


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