SKU, the nation’s first accelerator for consumer brands, announced the organization’s 2023 track schedule and is now accepting company applications and interested equity mentors for each track. Applications for companies and mentors for each track can be found here.
Ideal candidates are market-validated companies with compelling founders and innovative products in hot categories that include a spring food and beverage track, women and BIPOC-owned, and a track focused exclusively on brands in the pet care industry.
Over the past decade, SKU has worked with more than 100 alumni, including a variety of innovative and successful brands that include EPIC Provisions, Siete, DUDE Wipes, and The Seaweed Bath Co. Next year’s tracks, all based in SKU’s hometown of Austin, Texas, feature growing categories in the CPG industry — woman-owned/BIPOC and pet care.
Brands can be from a wide range of areas in the following categories:
• Food & Beverage | Spring 2023: Companies can be from a wide range of areas in the food and beverage space from snacks, non-alcoholic beverages to frozen goods and more.
• Women’s & BIPOC Owned | Summer 2023: A track for Woman/BIPOC-owned brands. The cohort will be open to brands from a wide range of categories — from beauty to beverages.
• Petcare | Fall 2023: Open to companies in the pet care space that specialize in apparel, supplies, toys, and food.
Official start dates for each track will be announced in early 2023. Each track will include a live Showcase Pitch day in person in Austin, Texas, to an audience of investors, CPG leaders, and fellow successful founders.
“SKU accelerated us in all aspects of our business,” said SKU alum Laurel Orley, co-founder and Crunch Executive Officer of Daily Crunch Snacks. “Looking back at our brand positioning, it’s night and day compared to where we were before after going through SKU. There was so much about our brand in the market that I wasn’t aware of and now I have a clear sense of how to move forward and succeed.”
The curriculum covers topics important to CPG startups, including Mission + Vision, Branding, Channel Strategy, Supply Chain, and Innovation.
One of the most valuable components of SKU is its elite community of mentors from some of the most successful consumer product companies as well as successful CPG founders, subject-matter experts and investors. Each SKU founder is surrounded by a hand-picked team of mentors focused on helping them scale their businesses as they guide them through the program. In addition to the rewards of working with founders to help them achieve their potential, mentors benefit from the experience of working side by side with their peers.
“SKU is on a mission to connect founders to CPG resources so they can create the household brands of tomorrow, our 2023 track schedule is a shining example of that,” says Emily Kealey, Managing Director of SKU. “Through our mentors, partners, and sponsors, our unique ecosystem gives us the opportunity to accelerate these Founders so they can make lasting change in the CPG industry.”
Want to learn more about SKU? Catch up on our co-branded video series Accelerating Brands here.