Distill Ventures (DV) named Heidi Dillon chief executive officer, succeeding Frank Lampen who becomes Founder and Chair.
Since 2020, Dillon has successfully led DV’s US business, and as Chief Executive, she will build on her track record, keeping DV on the leading edge of emerging drinks trends and finding and developing the most talented founders and their brands.
Dillon played a central role in building DV’s non-alcoholic drinks practice and has helped to shape perceptions of the segment, notably supporting the US growth of non-alcoholic brand Seedlip, prior to it moving into the Diageo portfolio, and the launch of Ritual Zero Proof.
She also led the creation and launch of DV’s ‘Pre-Accelerator’ program which seeks to improve access to seed funding for entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented communities. Fifteen brands have received investment from Diageo through this program since its inception in July 2021.
Under Lampen’s leadership, the portfolio has expanded across high-growth and disruptive categories and today employs more than 500 people across the U.S., Japan, Europe and Australia.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer, DV’s partnership with Diageo has become one of the leading corporate venture program in the consumer-packaged goods space, supporting Diageo’s ambition to be one of the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world. To date, DV has facilitated five acquisitions by Diageo, including the original non-alcoholic distilled spirit Seedlip, Australian cold brew coffee liqueur Mr Black, Japanese rice whisky Kikori and German vermouth Belsazar.