NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Hennessy announces investor, manager, and entrepreneur, Troy Carter as this year’s recipient of the prestigious V.S.O.P Privilege Award, awarded to him for his trailblazing and philanthropic efforts in redefining entrepreneurialism and mentorship. For twelve years, Hennessy’s V.S.O.P Privilege Awards program has recognized individuals who have, through determination and talent, achieved unparalleled levels of accomplishment and used their success to give back to others in their community.

An early investor in break-out start-ups, including Uber, Spotify, Dropbox, Warby Parker and Lyft, Mr. Carter currently serves as Founder and CEO of Atom Factory, where he manages the careers of artists includingMeghan Trainor, Charlie Puth, and Bonnie McKee.  His startup accelerator, SMASHD Labs, was launched in September with a commitment to invest $50,000 in each of 5-7 qualifying companies, pairing them with brand partners and mentors to accelerate growth. Mr. Carter also will make his debut as “Guest Shark” this month onABC’s SHARK TANK, the critically-acclaimed and Emmy-winning reality show that has reinvigorated entrepreneurship in America.

“Hennessy champions the values forged since the brand’s inception 250 years ago: a spirit of entrepreneurialism, a commitment to heritage and the belief that the mastery of tomorrow is built on success earned today,” said Rodney Williams, Executive Vice President, Spirits, Moet Hennessy USA. “Carter’s business acumen and community involvement complement the intention behind the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege Awards, which is to spotlight individuals who use their expertise and achievements to benefit others. In this case, it is a springboard for developing the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

On the occasion of Hennessy’s 250th anniversary, the world’s number one Cognac introduces a new era of the V.S.O.P Privilege Award that gives a budding entrepreneur access to the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege Lab: a place to chase their passions without the burden of rent. In collaboration with WeWork – the leading provider of shared workspace, community, and service for startups and small businesses – Hennessy will provide an emerging business with a year’s worth of invaluable mentorship and office space in New York City.

“I’m honored for Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege to recognize me for entrepreneurship,” said Carter. “Growing up in West Philly, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the American Dream; my goal is to use my privilege to provide access, inspiration and resources to others to ensure they’re not left behind or forgotten about. Hennessy’s ‘Never stop. Never settle.’ mantra rings true in my life and I’m proud to accept this award.”

The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege Lab, along with a full-time WeWork membership, will be awarded to one individual, for one calendar year, to help this winning visionary continue pushing past boundaries. Over the course of 2016, the winner will receive mentorship support and guidance from influential business leaders, including Troy Carter and executives from both Hennessy and WeWork.

“An ecosystem of startups, small businesses and freelancers, WeWork uses community to fuel entrepreneurship with the understanding that success is not just financial,” says Alan Philips, Senior Vice President of Brand Experience at WeWork. “Our partnership with Hennessy – which will afford not only physical office space in the V.S.O.P Privilege Lab, but priceless collaboration and access – is rooted in a shared vision of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.”

Individuals may apply for the chance to conduct business in the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege Lab by visitingHennessy.Create.It beginning October 15 until November 19, 2015.