SKU, the nation’s first accelerator for consumer packaged goods (CPG), has selected the brands that will participate in its two upcoming tracks in Austin and Atlanta.
This is the first year that SKU will run two concurrent tracks, tapping into mentor talent in two regions and enabling a larger number of brands to participate in the accelerator’s acclaimed program. Both cohorts will be hybrid programs with both online and in-person programming — a model SKU first adopted during the onset of the pandemic.
This is the tenth Austin track for SKU, which launched in Austin in 2011. SKU Austin includes companies and mentors from Texas and the Midwest.
This is the first cohort for SKU Atlanta. It draws from the region’s vibrant ecosystem of CPG talent. The companies and mentors participating in SKU Atlanta ’22 hail from the Southeast and mid-Atlanta regions. Coca-Cola North America’s New Revenue Streams division is a sponsor for SKU Atlanta.
SKU is also partnering with Atlanta-based Goods & Services and Craft Catalyst, and Charlotte-based Silver Falcon Capital. The companies are providing access to their vast network and their experience working alongside CPG companies.
The companies for SKU Austin ’22 and SKU Atlanta ’22 were selected based on the innovation of their product, their traction in the market, and the strength and coachability of their founder.
SKU works by equipping startups with the tools they need to succeed. Startup companies receive the resources and relationships that they require to become breakout successes and household names. During the 12-week program, SKU surrounds founders with a customized curriculum focused on the entire CPG ecosystem, advanced operations support, and access to funding.
One of the most valuable components of SKU is its elite community of mentors — a who’s who of top executives, successful founders and investors. Each SKU founder is assigned a hand-picked team of mentors focused exclusively 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 networking with their peers.
SKU Austin ‘22 Companies
Happy Moose: Happy Moose Juice, founded by Ryan Armistead, crafts the juices and functional wellness shots from upcycled, heirloom produce sourced directly from the fields of independent, family farms.
Mesa de Vida: Founded by personal chef Kirsten Helle Sandoval, Mesa de Vida offers chef-crafted, multi-tasking meal starters and salt-free seasoning blends to easily transform simple ingredients into a healthy gourmet meal.
Raeka Beauty: Raeka Beauty brings New Generation Ayurvedic South Asian ingredients to the forefront. The company is on a mission to make Ayurveda-based beauty products more affordable and accessible.
Rollin’ n Bowlin: Austin Patry and Sophia Karbowski developed Rollin’ n Bowlin’ to enable consumers to create make-at-home smoothies and açaí bowls with pouches filled with fruit, veggies, and nut butters from the comfort of their own homes.
Tend: Tend, the world’s first real-food prenatal bar, provides an all-natural, delicious alternative to prenatal vitamins. Created by Behzad and Hannah Varamini, the bars are made using 25 nutrients from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Yips Yogurt Chips: Co-founded by Erin Vranas — Head Yipster — Yips are the first chips made from real probiotic Greek yogurt, available in flavors like Almond Butter Banana and Superberry Chocolate.
SKU Atlanta ‘22 companies
Beyond The Equator: Beyond the Equator makes seeds butters, seed flours, and more products from seeds like chia, pumpkin, hemp, sunflower, flax, watermelon, and cranberry.
Holmes Applesauce: At the age of 15, Ethan Holmes launched a company with his grandfather’s recipes to create all-natural, award-winning applesauce.
Mocktail Club: While Pauline Idogho was expecting, she found it difficult to find healthy and sophisticated non-alcoholic drink options. Mocktail Club has created innovative, sophisticated, and healthy ready-to-drink non-alcoholic cocktails.
NoBull Burger: Crissanne Raymond — known as the “veggieburger lady” — created the NoBull Burger recipe to feed her five kids a healthier patty. Run by the mother-daughter trio of Crissanne, Heather and Elizabeth Raymond, NoBull sells premium, hand-crafted veggie burgers made from real ingredients in five flavors.
Pulp Hot Sauce: Founded by Nicholas Gregory, Pulp is a gourmet, small-batch fermented hot sauce. All sauces are raw, vegan, gluten-free, and Probiotic. They use Georgia-grown peppers.
UP TO GOOD Energy: Founded by Lars Oltmanns, UP TO GOOD Energy uses upcycled cascara — the naturally caffeinated fruit of the coffee berry — to create a better-for-you energy beverage.
Over the past three years, SKU has expanded nationally. In addition to Austin, where it is headquartered, the accelerator now operates BeyondSKU in New York for natural products, ImpactSKU in the Twin Cities for purpose-driven brands, and SKU Dallas. Earlier this SKU partnered with Naturally Austin to launch a program for BIPOC CPG founders. The second cohort of SKU Elevate (formerly the SKU M/O Track) kicks off in June.
SKU has produced a variety of innovative and successful brands across the U.S., including Siete Foods, EPIC Provisions, and Seaweed Bath Co. Of SKU’s more than 90 alumni, more than 90 percent are still in business today. SKU companies have produced more than 1,200 products generating a combined $2.5 billion in revenues and creating more than 2,500 jobs.