183 – Big Money and Bourbon with Chuck Morton, Bourbon Venture Capitalist

Chuck Morton is a Bourbon Venture Capitalist with the Bourbon Bank Fund backed by Venture First. This episode compliments barrel sourcing from episode 182 on building a brand. But where do you get the funds? Is a traditional bank the way to go? Or with someone like our guest who knows how to put collateral on barrels of whiskey in return for dollars? Learn how to become a start up in the bourbon world and the common mistakes seen when looking for investors.

Show Notes:
  • The week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about the need to drink responsibly
  • What is Venture First? What is the Bourbon Bank Fund?
  • So you’re not in this to lose money?
  • What does SPV mean?
  • What is your ideal customer?
  • Why come to you instead of a bank?
  • What did people do before when they were interested in expanding?
  • How are customers responding?
  • Are you lending to companies with no juice that just want to create a startup?
  • How do you approach a startup that doesn’t have a proven product?
  • What are some common mistakes that you notice when distilleries are getting started or jumping from one level to the next?
  • Do you feel the market might be saturated or is the there room for growth in bourbon?
  • What data are your analysts using to determine trends?
  • How did the idea come about?
  • Do you see a bunch of defaults on the horizon?
  • Are you allowed to work with people outside of Kentucky?
  • How much does the name Kentucky come into an evaluation?
  • Do you have a bullshit meter when people come to you with a proposal?
  • What’s the worst pitch you’ve heard?
  • If someone like Dave Pickerell came in, would it be a turn on or turn off?
  • Are you looking for people that value the whiskey over the experience?
  • Tell us about your investments in cooperages and rickhouses.
  • How can you compete against Buzick for rickhouse building?
  • What kind of return is coming to the owner on an investment?
  • Are there signs that a distillery is about to sell?
  • Are you receiving dividends?
  • Would you prefer a distillery that is turning a good profit or one that intends on being acquired?
  • How much do you need to start a distillery?

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