Austin-based SKU, the nation’s first accelerator focused on consumer products, is accepting applications for its ninth Austin cohort through Nov. 15. Companies can apply here.

The 12-week program consists of programming that covers a wide range of topics invaluable to CPG entrepreneurs, including channel strategy, positioning and branding, packaging, labeling and safety, operations, and fundraising presented by top industry experts.

‘We are looking for the passionate founders who have created products that bring something new and exciting to the market,” says SKU managing director Kirstin Ross. “The ideal SKU company has a proven traction, with annual revenues of $100K to $1 million.”

Founders are assigned a dedicated mentor team who advise them throughout the program. SKU mentors include some of the top CPG experts, entrepreneurs, and investors, including Scott Jensen, CEO of Rhythm Super foods and co-founder of Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q; Matt O’Hayer founder of Vital Farms; and Clayton Christopher, founder of Sweet Leaf Tea, Deep Eddy Vodka, and Waterloo Sparkling Water. Since SKU was founded, SKU mentors have represented more than 25 industries with more than 1,500 years of experience.

Throughout the program, brands hone their investor pitch, culminating in a pitch showcase at attracting influential angels, venture capitalists, and retail partners from around the country.

“SKU provided Mushroom Revival a startup MBA education in just 14 weeks,” said SKU Track 8 Alex Dorr, founder of Mushroom Revival, a functional mushroom. “We benefited from the weekly classroom discussions taught by experienced entrepreneurs as well as the knowledgeable mentors in the SKU community. Our business foundation and network is now solid to support our accelerated growth thanks to SKU.”

SKU has worked with more than 70 brands in a wide range consumer product categories, including food and beverage, beauty and personal care, clothing, and wellness. SKU alumni include such CPG success stories as The Seaweed Bath Co., Siete Foods, EPIC Provisions, and Austin Eastciders.

SKU was named one of the nation’s top natural foods product accelerators in an August 2020 article by New Hope Media, which puts on Expo West and Expo East, the industry’s largest trade shows. A 2016 Forbes magazine column identified SKU as one of the country’s top three accelerators.