SKU, the nation’s first consumer packaged goods (CPG) accelerator, has selected the second cohort of SKU Elevate for June 2022. The six companies were chosen from more than 250 applications and were selected from brands across the country. This groundbreaking program was created to foster a more inclusive community in the CPG industry.
SKU Elevate (formerly known as the SKU M/O Track) is an eight-week virtual program that provides education, mentorship, and networking. Brands were chosen based on their traction, innovation, and their founder story. The program is aimed at brands with revenues of less than $100,000.
“We had so many amazing brands apply this year,” says Emily Kealey, Managing Director of SKU. “We were thrilled by the passion of the founders and the creativity of the brands — from a company making honey-based spreads to an artisanal overnight-oats brand created by a mother and her teenage son.”
The brands in the cohort are:
Founded by Tania Sweis and Jahan Shahrya, Brune Kitchen makes clean, indulgent, tahini-based cookies that are grain-free, gluten-free, plant-based, and free of refined sugars, additives, and preservatives.
Founded by Brittany Bygrave, Butter’d Bodycare is a sustainable, clean beauty brand that offers non-toxic skincare products for people of color with skin conditions.
Founded by Derin Raji, Green Sahara is on a mission to bring the delicious flavors from the African continent to our wider community of food lovers.
Founded by Connie Shih, Heralogie helps menstruators feel unparalleled comfort, security, and peace of mind with our unique, tree-based, breathable period panties that mold to your body.
Oatmeal & Co
Founded by Darian Washington and her son Derrick, Oatmeal & Company is disrupting boring bowls of oatmeal and replacing morning routines with thoughtfully curated blends of fruit, organic oats, and high-quality spices.
Pearl Honey Spreads
Founded by Moji Okuyemi, Pearl Honey Spreads is a honey-based spreads, preserves, and jam company that offers healthy alternatives to sugar spreads.
The track, led by SKU Curriculum Director and Master Teacher Kathy Guzmán Galloway, SKU Elevate includes the top-notch curriculum that SKU is known for on such topics as branding, channel strategy, product innovation, and operations.
A key benefit of the program is the mentorship founders receive throughout the track. Each brand is paired with a carefully selected mentor team dedicated to helping them scale their business. SKU Elevate mentors are a ‘who’s who’ of CPG leaders, successful founders, and subject-matter experts who are all dedicated to helping to level the playing field for people of color in the consumer products industry.
At the completion of the program, SKU hosts a Showcase pitch event for the founders to present their brands to an audience of retailers, investors, and CPG leaders. Each participant receives capital to use toward the growth of their brands. SKU does not take equity in the brands.
SKU Elevate is funded by mentors and sponsors, including Tito’s Handmade Vodka, 301 INC, Foundry Brands, and HumanCo.