Frustrated by being unable to expand his knowledge of whisky, without being forced to fork out for it, entrepreneur Calum L. Leslie decided to take matter into his own hands and launch his own business, YoCo Club.
YoCo Club is a whisky subscription club that delivers a case of three Scotch whiskies to subscribers every month.
Two whiskies from each Scottish whisky region are selected by Calum and the team, and put together into a case containing one 20cl bottle and two 5cl bottles, giving subscribers twelve drams of whisky to taste and enjoy on a monthly basis.
“I always wanted to get in to whisky but felt a little overwhelmed by the vast options available. Under educated in taste, I was also discouraged by the fact that I had to purchase a full 70cl bottle without knowing what style of whisky I liked,” said Calum.
“I knew there had to be a better way to get into whisky, and so I founded YoCo club.”
Prior to YoCo Club’s existence, Calum founded a social decision making app called Wooju, which was also featured on Lord Alan Sugar’s famous television show- Dragon’s Den.
But, upon being inspired by his desire to help others strengthen their love of whisky, an Indiegogo campaign was launched to pay off initial tooling and manufacturing.
“We have grown organically since and are about to close a round of seed funding to help accelerate growth,” he says.
A member of Entrepreneurial Spark, the firm receives support from the team, as well as from Tom Griffiths, co-founder of FanDuel, who acts as board advisor and John McGlynn, the founder of Scottish Capital.
Jim Duffy, founder and chief executive optimist at Entrepreneurial Spark said: “Since joining the Edinburgh Hatchery earlier this year, Calum has shown a fantastic level of enthusiasm and determination to turn YoCo Club in to the world’s best whisky subscription company.
“He has truly embraced the #GoDo mindsets and behaviours needed to become an entrepreneurial leader, and recently even won a Young EDGE prize and £5,000 to help grow his business.
“I’m looking forward to working with Calum and the team over the coming months to help them take YoCo Club to the next level, and have no doubts that they have an incredible journey ahead of them.”
Yet, it’s not just advice from professionals that is helping YoCo Club to thrive, as Calum points out: “On a personal level, my father is very supportive and provides a lot of help and advice.”
Despite already having a wealth of achievements behind him, from winning the Young EDGE prize, to being a runner up in the BQ Entrepreneur of the year awards in 2015, Calum still has big things ahead.
“I want to grow YoCo Club into the world’s largest whisky club. I will always have an affiliation with whisky and my blue-sky dream is to take one company public,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’ll be YoCo or the next company or the next. But I am certain that one day this will become a reality.”
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