North American Portfolio Director - Non Alc

Distill Ventures

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Brands are being built differently these days. Consumers continue to seek out products where they can see through the marketing to the actual makers and enjoy better products. This is the space where we operate – working with a portfolio of entrepreneurs from across the world who are launching and growing the businesses which will reshape the drinks industry.

Distill Ventures is a global accelerator for new drinks brands. We offer a combination of cash investment, mentoring and access to expertise – all in service of helping the founders of our portfolio companies grow their businesses to scale. Over $70m has been committed to an outstanding portfolio of brands. We started in spirits, but we saw the emergence of a new category of “non-alcoholic” drinks – a category different from soft drinks in that it’s about offering a great experience at zero proof to consumers in bars and restaurants. A video we made on the opportunity is available at: https://www.distillventures.com/non-alcoholic-drinks-category-2/.

We invested in Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, which has spearheaded the development of this category. We’re growing our portfolio on non-alcoholic drinks, in areas like nitro cold-brewed coffee, tea-based drinks, shrubs, adult-flavored sodas and other drinks which have the flavor, sophistication and complexity that many alcoholic drinks have.

Distill Ventures is an independent business, but works closely with Diageo who puts up the investment funds and has an option to acquire portfolio businesses.

Our portfolio is growing and our ambition in non-alcoholic is expanding – creating an opportunity for an experienced professional to join the team. Although we operate as one global team, the portfolio is divided into North America and Rest of World, and this role will focus on the North American portfolio. The role could be based anywhere in the US, with travel to our portfolio companies, and to the DV NA base in New York.

THE ROLE

We’re looking for someone with proven commercial experience in the drinks sector, with knowledge of the route-to-market for non-alcoholic drinks. There are two areas of focus for the role:

Portfolio support: at the heart of Distill Ventures is the relationship we have with the entrepreneurs who run the portfolio businesses. Our job is simply to help them be the best version of themselves possible, helping them build their capabilities, and supporting them in making smart choices in growing their business.  In particular, we offer extensive support in business strategy, sales and marketing, route-to-market, supply chain and organizational development. 

New investments: after identifying companies that match our investment ambition, we work with those entrepreneurs to develop the investment case. You will deploy your commercial skills to help the entrepreneur develop their business model, and then you will work within Distill Ventures to build and make the investment case.  This area of focus requires the Director to successfully pass the S62 and S63 FINRA administered examinations.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE

The right candidate is likely to have some of the following types of experience:

  • Entrepreneurial experience as founder or senior team member of an early-stage business growing revenue towards $10m.
  • Proven record of developing and executing business plans in the non-alc drinks industry.
  • Direct finance role experience is not required, but great commercial understanding is critical.  The ability to pass mid-level FINRA administered examinations is required.
  • Experience in sales and/or marketing roles in developing and growing a consumer product, particularly in developing and running sales teams and in the transition from “hand sell” (to independents and consumers) to “hard sell” (to multiples), or in taking a brand overseas.
  • Experience in working with or in a distributor, and a record of building effective relationships (from either side) between distributors and brand owners.

As well as direct experience in one or more of the areas above, the right candidate will have the following qualities:

  • Mentoring and team development – an interest in and record of helping people develop their capabilities and performance. At Distill Ventures we don’t – and can’t – run the portfolio businesses, so much of our impact comes from helping the development of the people who do.
  • Relationship building and stakeholder management – a proven ability to build effective relationships based on trust and mutual respect, with a wide variety of stakeholders. This is critical to our success – from ensuring the best entrepreneurs want to work with us, to maintaining the confidence and backing of our investor.
  • The ability to combine big thinking with a focus on execution – none of our entrepreneurs are doing business as usual. They are seeking to disrupt the industry, and to be a help rather than a hindrance to them we need to combine an ability to share their vision with the ability to think and act pragmatically to make it happen. This ability to jump from high level into detail and back again is vital to DV’s success and the portfolio companies’ success.

We operate a non-hierarchical structure based on transparency and trust. We thrive through our collaborative culture where you’ll be given clear objectives and considerable freedom to plan how your reach them.

This is a unique opportunity – work with the founders of brands which have the financial backing to achieve scale quickly in an emerging category. This is not just a ring-side seat, it’s a hands-on role in helping them become better at what they do. You’ll get to work with businesses that operate at pace, without the levels and processes of big established brands, and you’ll see immediate impact from the support you give them.

Contact hello@distillventures (no recruiters please) with your resume and a statement on why you are right for the role.  We will be responding to top candidates during the last week of August and hope to fill the role shortly thereafter.