NEW YORK-– Distill Ventures, the world’s first independent drinks accelerator devoted to building and scaling the best and brightest drinks brands of the future, is pleased to announce a new addition to its growing North American team with Gregorio Santiago Braga joining as Brand Search and Accelerator Executive.
In his New York-based role, Gregorio will search for the brightest, most innovative drinks entrepreneurs in theNorth American market as DV continues to build its portfolio, both across the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories. Gregorio will also work closely with DV’s existing North American portfolio of founders to nurture and scale their drinks brands. His responsibilities will range from liaising at trade shows and engaging with entrepreneurs to updating and maintaining best practices for current DV brands.
“We are confident that Gregorio’s combination of business strategy, finance consulting, and beverage product marketing experience will bring great value to our existing brands,” said Gonzalo De La Pezuela, Founder andManaging Director, Distill Ventures North America. “His role will be integral to fostering relationships with new companies as we continue to expand in North America and beyond.”
Gregorio has worked internationally as a business strategy and finance professional in consulting and product development. His expertise includes helping founders and early-stage startups with financial analysis and storytelling to value deals, raise funds, and launch new products as well as advising on strategic matters pertaining to finance, business development and marketing. Prior to joining Distill Ventures, he served as a finance consultant to Mexico-based spirits company Buen Viaje Mezcal and a creative project manager for E&J GalloWinery brands. Additionally, he is currently Founder & CEO of Botanical Proof, a non-alcohol beverage brand for the bar and restaurant market.
About Distill Ventures
Established in 2013, Distill Ventures is the drinks industry’s first accelerator for new and growing brands whose aim is to support entrepreneurs to develop, scale and sell the drinks brands of the future. Through a combination of cash investment, mentoring support and access to a network of experts, Distill Ventures works with founders to help brands go further, faster. Distill Ventures operates across both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink categories, and invests at all stages, from pre-launch (or “seed” businesses) through to those requiring significant growth and expansion capital. It is operated independently and backed by Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, providing investment funding, as well as resources and access through its global network of experts.
To date, Distill Ventures has invested over $75 million in 15+ drinks brands including: Stauning, one of Europe’s standout new whiskies from Denmark; Starward, a distinctive Australian whisky, exclusively matured in Australian wine barrels; Westward, a leading American single malt whiskey inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s craft beer traditions; Seedlip, the world’s first non-alcohol distilled spirits brand, which exited into the Diageo portfolio in2019; and Belsazar, a German aperitif integrated into the Diageo portfolio in 2018. Further information on DistillVentures and details on how acceleration works for drinks brands is available at distillventures.com.
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