About me

Diane Tarshis, expert startup advisor.

Diane Tarshis

Founder & Principal

As a seasoned startup consultant and founder of Startup Distillery, I’ve spent 20+ years working with entrepreneurs across the US and around the globe, helping them launch successful businesses and secure funding. I come armed with a broad background in finance, retail, manufacturing and operations, as well as a Wharton degree and an exacting eye for detail — which informs all the work that I do.

I differentiate my work with a hands-on collaborative approach, relying on my years of experience along with dual talents as both wordsmith and number cruncher — this allows me to become a mini-expert in your business. As a result, I am industry agnostic and work with founders in a wide array of industries ranging from clean energy to life sciences, retail to consumer products, food & beverage, technology… and distilleries, of course.

Since building a business can feel overwhelming at times, I break down the process into manageable steps, explaining each one along the way. As I get to know your business, I’ll point out weak assumptions and gaps — then we’ll work together to resolve them. As part of my process I take on several roles: on-call advisor, devil’s advocate and cheerleader… but my most important role is as your toughest critic (you’ll thank me later).

Whether my clients bootstrap or seek outside funding, they’re better prepared to succeed because I help them plan for it.

Quick-witted and perceptive, I am a firm believer that candor is highly underrated. With a husband, two sons and a dog named Super Cooper at home, I swear the occasional Jedi mind-trick is used only in the service of good.

Let’s talk.
It all starts with a phone call.


Chicago, Illinois