The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2011

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Page 74 of 124

IN THE BIZ Entréefor Entrepreneurs N BRAND ACTION TEAM OPENS IMPORTANT DOORS FOR THE INDUSTRY ew products are recognized as the lifeblood of the wine and spirits industry, and there is no lack of entrepreneurs with creative ideas. The obstacle they commonly face, however, is sourcing cash to get those ideas off the ground and, in the case of foreign brands, an importer to get them in front of consumers. Brand Action Team (BAT), a Connecticut-based marketing consulting fi rm whose core business is helping new brands get launched in the U.S., has come up with solutions to both problems. Jeff Grindrod, Managing Partner at Brand Action Team is helping to put entrepreneurs in front of the right money people. Finding Money “Until now, there really weren’t any industry-experienced resources to get entrepreneurs in front of the right money people,” according to Jeff Grindrod, Managing Partner at Brand Action Team. So BAT has partnered with fi nancial experts at GBS Capital Advisor to cre- ate a solution. “GBS Capital Advisor is designed specifi cally to bring early-stage beverage brands from concept to commercialization through the development of a rigorous business plan and a practical strategy for attracting angel, private equity and venture capital funding,” says Jack Brennan, Managing Partner. Finding an Importer Addressing the diffi cult issue of fi nding a potential importer, BAT has intro- duced ImporterConnect, a trademarked concept that provides a unique new way for foreign suppliers to fi nd and qualify importers in the U.S. According to Steve Raye, Managing Partner at BAT, “The engine that drives ImporterConnect is a database we created that goes beyond basic contact information and specifi es which markets an importer works in, which countries they specialize in, which suppliers and brands they represent and other key information suppliers really need to make an informed decision.” ImporterConnect is a suite of services that gives suppliers a way to identify Steve Raye, Managing Partner at Brand Action Team. 72 / the tasting panel / april 201 1 the right potential partner for both sides. “Our experience in the business adds value to the database, so that we can act on behalf of suppliers as the U.S.-based representative to conduct the search. We’ll talk to importers, fi nd those that are interested in a client’s products and help bring them to the table to negotiate a deal,” Raye says. With its unique experience combined with an exclusive set of tools and services, Brand Action Team is opening doors for wine and spirits entrepreneurs and paving the way for new brands to move from concept to market.

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