Barbara Corcoran, Jefferson's Bourbon Launch Entrepreneurial Fund
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Have a Great Business Idea? Jefferson’s Bourbon and ‘Shark Tank’ Star Barbara Corcoran Are Looking to Help Fund One

Barbara Corcoran

Jefferson’s Bourbon founder Trey Zoeller and business tycoon Barbara Corcoran are looking for a great business idea. (Photo: Jefferson’s Bourbon)

This month, Jefferson’s Bourbon launched its latest whiskey, Marian McLain Bourbon — named for Jefferson’s founder Trey Zoeller’s eighth-generation grandmother, an 18th-century bootlegger. Alongside the new whiskey, Jefferson’s has teamed up with business mogul and “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran to launch an entrepreneurial fund named after McLain.

Until May 7, small business hopefuls are invited to submit their innovative business ideas with a short video to the Jefferson’s website. Zoeller and Corcoran will pick their favorite submission from the entries, and the winner will receive $20,000 in funding to kickstart their venture, as well as a congratulatory call from Corcoran and a “shop talk” interview with Zoeller. Additionally, five runners-up will win $1,000 awards — the amount Barbara Corcoran started her business with.

To enter, click here.

McLain turned to the illegal production and sales of spirits after her husband died during the Revolutionary War and she was left alone to fend for herself and five children. McLain was arrested in 1799, becoming one of the first documented women in American whiskey as a result of being arrested for bootlegging and moonshining.

“Just like Marian, I took big risks to create something for myself, and for my family, even when it was incredibly hard,” Corcoran said in a news release. “But with big risk comes big reward – that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about! – and that’s why I’m partnering with Jefferson’s Bourbon to bring the Marian McLain Entrepreneurial Fund to life.”

Marian McLain Bourbon is a blend of five bourbons, which Jefferson’s says is a nod to the fact that McLain had five children. Marian McLain Bourbon comprises 40% 11-Year-Old Kentucky bourbon, 21% 14-Year-Old Tennessee bourbon, 17% rum-cask-finished bourbon, 14% wheated-double-barrel bourbon and 8% 8 Year-Old Kentucky bourbon.

“We started Jefferson’s on a shoestring budget and with Marian’s vivacious spirit in mind – it’s why we do what we do,” Zoeller said. “This entrepreneurial fund is our way of helping other people who, like Marian and Corcoran, are risking everything to pursue their dreams.”

In 1973, Corcoran borrowed $1,000 from her then-boyfriend to co-found a real estate firm with him. After eventually splitting up with that boyfriend, she formed her own real estate business, The Corcoran Group. In 2001, she sold that business to NRT for $66 million.

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David Morrow is the Editor In Chief of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.