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Spirits Brand Diageo Seeks Smart Ideas That Encourage Responsible Drinking

Spirits Brand Diageo Seeks Smart Ideas That Encourage Responsible Drinking
[Photo: Flickr user Ted Bigham]

Diageo, the spirits brand behind Johnnie Walker, Don Julio, Guinness, and more, on Sunday launched a program to fund and incubate new ideas for the liquor industry.

Diageo Technology Ventures, the company’s innovation arm, is inviting tech entrepreneurs to submit ideas relevant to certain topics. The first two themes include responsible drinking and curtailing retail theft. The company will provide guidance and $100,000 to prototype, test, and scale their software or hardware products. It aims to select eight to 10 proposals (the final number could change depending on the quality of the submissions) and to introduce new topics about every quarter.

Diageo BrandsPhoto: courtesy of Diageo

“We are looking at, what are the biggest opportunities and challenges we can solve?” Venky Balakrishnan, global vice president of digital innovation, told Fast Company.

Aside from this program, Diageo also runs an accelerator called Distill Ventures that supports and invests in independent spirits brands with £175,000 (about US$286,000) in funding.

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