BeyondSKU brings together experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors to mentor early stage CPG companies with a focus on better-for-you products and mission-based business values. The inaugural class for BeyondSKU’s Track 1 program will commence in September.
“As a serial natural products entrepreneur, I look back on my early days as a scrappy startup and if communities of mentorship and value-added capital were available back then to guide me, I could have made far less mistakes. Along with our partners at SKU, we see the value in ‘giving back’ to the next generation of passionate founders, whom are trying their best to make their brand win with consumers, create change in the world — all while taking great risk in living out their dream to be a successful entrepreneur,” Eric Schnell, BeyondSKU Executive Director and Co-Founder of BeyondBrands, Steaz, and Good Catch, said in a statement. “We want to give dreamers a community to help them find the very best mentorship, capital and networking opportunities in order to succeed.”
BeyondSKU creates industry-focused Tracks, matching the New York City area’s highest caliber industry experts with companies who are ready to take their ideas to the next level. The First Track will focus is on “Conscious Business” startups that are truly passionate about making a better world through their brands. Up to seven selected companies will attend an intensive 12-week mentorship program that delivers the tools for success, including: seed cash up to $20,000, individual and group mentorship and education, direct networking with outstanding industry leaders, connections to distribution, logistics and relevant expertise, legal and other professional services, and access to qualified investors. The 12-week program will conclude with a Showcase Day and Funding Forum Event on Dec. 3, 2019.
“We’re thrilled for SKU to be expanding into New York City, one of the hottest CPG markets in the world. What entrepreneurs need is access to knowledge, talent, and capital. BeyondSKU was created to help the next big brands reach their full potential,” SKU’s Chairman and Co-Founder of Deep Eddy Vodka, Sweet Leaf Tea, and CAVU Ventures Clayton Christopher, said in a statement.
Applications are being accepted through August 1 from CPG companies that could most benefit from industry mentorship and resources. Selection factors include a fully developed product and plan, a well-rounded founding team, innovative market entry points, large revenue potential, an ability to scale quickly and a great pitch. Applications are encouraged from companies with up to $3 million in revenue that are located in the New York City area — or are willing to relocate for the duration of the program, which will run from September 5 through December 3, 2019.
Apply now here. BeyondSKU will announce chosen companies around August 20, 2019.