After leading a team at Guinness that turned around 20 years of brand decline, and over 10 years consulting in which he helped dozens of founders realise their potential, Shilen started Distill Ventures with his Co-founder, Frank Lampen, in 2013.
As the world’s first drinks accelerator, the company helps entrepreneurs scale their business in three ways: providing cash investment, mentoring partners to help them become better business leaders, and tapping into an extensive and experienced network of drinks experts. While Distill Ventures’ approach is unique to each entrepreneur, the goal is always to give founders the tools to make better decisions and fewer mistakes while allowing them to remain fully in control of their business. To date, Distill Ventures has committed in excess of £60 million to more than 15 founder-led drinks brands around the world.
Shilen’s passions lie in providing start-up entrepreneurs with the guidance and expertise to launch into markets disruptively, and developing the non-alc drinks category. Distill Ventures has played a pivotal role in the acceleration of leading non-alc spirit, Seedlip, and Shilen cites his career highlight as meeting Ben Branson back in 2014, after which he helped turn Seedlip into what it is today, while creating an entirely new drinks category.