Startup consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies with excellent, market-validated products apply to SKU to supercharge their growth. SKU surrounds those stellar startups with a wraparound infrastructure of seasoned entrepreneurial mentors, customized educational content, advanced operations support, and privileged access to funding. We prepare and position our alumni companies to become breakout successes and household names.  

“SKU helped us define our story, while supplying a network of resources to help us achieve it in the shortest amount of time.”
— Steven Blustein, PrideBites


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ALUMNI

Several of today's hottest new consumer brands received early funding, guidance, and support from the SKU community.

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MENTORS

SKU mentors are successful entrepreneurs, executives, and investors who enjoy coaching and advising the founders of high-growth, early-stage product businesses. 

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PROGRAMS

SKU's intensive, ten-week programs are designed to accelerate and amplify the growth trajectories of promising startups. 


“SKU changed the way I looked at my company and created opportunities that supercharged our growth.”
— Adam Grossman, Seaweed Bath

Invested Educators

 

Every successful entrepreneur has benefited along the way from a mentor's sage advice, door-opening introduction, or timely investment. SKU mentors are paying it forward to the next generation of consumer product entrepreneurs. Our engaged community of serial entrepreneurs, active investors, and subject matter experts are great teachers and experienced guides. They love to connect participating startups with the right resources and relationships. SKU mentors also have the opportunity to make early-stage investments in each participating company.  

 
“The mentorship we received from SKU was the foundation for our early success. We had industry experts on speed dial 24 hours-a-day. Whether to be a shoulder to cry on, work on brand messaging and positioning, or closely guide us through long-term decision making, the mentors formatively shaped our path to long-term success.”
— Taylor Collins, EPIC Provisions
“The access to SKU mentors was amazing. They have incredible business insight and experience, and genuinely want to see your start-up succeed!”
— Cameron Crake, Raven + Lily
“SKU prepared us to face the challenges of the CPG industry and paired us with extremely knowledgeable and helpful mentors!”
— Erin Shotwell, Good Seed

Learn by doing.

 

In our experience, the best way to learn how to run a business is to actually run a business. SKU programs are focused on delivering applicable, actionable insights that will improve your product and your company today. Because each SKU founder brings a unique story, background, and set of strengths to the program, we carefully design a customized curriculum for every participating startup. Our classroom days are dynamic and varied, with a mix of workshops, projects, speakers, and one-on-one meetings. Startup founders also have an opportunity to learn from our amazing SKU alumni network.   

 

 
“SKU has fabulous energy. The team CARES about the people and companies they help to build, and they make me see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
— Katie Forrest, EPIC Provisions
“An MBA in raising capital. The experience led us to a whole new world of possibility.”
— Michael Portman, Verb Products / Birds Barbershop
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SKU Accelerator programs

 

At least once per year, SKU accepts applications from consumer product startups for a SKU accelerator program in Austin, Texas. Selected companies meet face-to-face with SKU mentors every Tuesday for ten weeks. Companies admitted into the program receive $8,000 from SKU as well as access to additional funding sources. In exchange, SKU receives an equity stake in each company of either 4% (for companies with revenue > $1M) or 8% (for companies with revenue < $1M). As startup advisors and patient investors, we are laser-focused on maximizing the odds of long-term success for each of our batch companies. 

 

 
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SKU MAY BE RIGHT FOR YOU IF...

   

  • Your consumer product has achieved some degree of traction or "product-market fit" in a local or regional market.
  • You recognize the need for savvy and connected partners to take your business to the next level.
  • You are interested in raising growth capital to scale your operation and to promote your brand.
  • You want to see your product in shopping carts and households across the country or globe. 

   

“SKU showed me the advantages of thinking strategically about every phase of my business, instead of being reactive to every opportunity.”
— Brian Sanderson, Texas-Texas Salsa / Sanderson Foods

SKU SHOWCASE

 

At the end of each program, SKU hosts a special Showcase event to introduce our batch companies to invited investors, partners, and media. SKU Showcase is like a demo day, only more delightful and delicious. 

 

 

More 2015 SKU Events will be announced soon.

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