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SKU in the News

CPG Accelerator SKU Plans 3 Tracks for 2023

Applications are open for up-and-coming food & beverage, women & BIPOC-owned and petcare brands.

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The Power Of CPG Brings A Steady ROI To VC Funds

Some, like Springdale Ventures, see an opportunity in funding early-stage companies in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space. The venture capital firm invests in everything from food and beverages to durable goods and from emergency preparedness to subscription books for kids.

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Watch the SKU Elevate Showcase

Founders of the six brands who participated in the second cohort of SKU Elevate (formerly the SKU M/O Track) will celebrate the culmination of the program with a virtual pitch event. The showcase will debut on August 25 at 12 pm CT.

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From Innovative Ice Cream to Energizing Kombucha, SKU Dallas Accelerator Aims to Grow the Next Batch of Consumer Brands

Now it’s announced its third lineup of CPG startups. All female-founded, they Brands in SKU’s 3rd cohort range from sexual wellness and body product company to a California-based Vietnamese cold-brew coffee brand.

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Female-led startups selected for SKU Dallas accelerator

SKU, the Austin, Texas-based consumer packaged goods accelerator, has selected five female-owned businesses to participate in the third cohort of SKU Dallas.

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Guest Insights: How One Brand Lost the Alcohol Without Losing the Spirit

The path to creating a successful brand is rarely a straight line. It can have twists and unexpected turns along the way. It is not uncommon to see companies rebrand, reposition and pivot multiple times.

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Accelerated Brands: Go Behind the Scenes of Yips Yogurt Chips

SKU, the Austin-based consumer packaged goods accelerator, has named six startups to participate in the second cohort of SKU Elevate, formerly SKU M/O, beginning in June. The program was developed to build a more inclusive industry and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs of color.

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SKU Picks 6 Startups for its 10th Austin-based Accelerator Program

Austin has become a world-renowned place to launch new brands and consumer packaged goods.

And a big reason is that Whole Foods is based in Austin and H-E-B is based in San Antonio.

Central Texas is an incubator for new products and one of the accelerators behind scaling those products is SKU, which this week announced its 10 cohort of startups since it launched in 2011.

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SKU View: Keys to successful innovation

A food scientist with a passion for health and wellness, Lauren Jans leads research and development at SmartSweets, a brand of reduced-sugar candy. Previously she was a product and process developer at Mondelez International, Inc.

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Food & Lifestyle SKU program elevates BIPOC entrepreneurs to new levels of revenue, distribution

Less than a year after joining a SKU program focused on helping underrepresented businesses flourish, Funky Mello LLC has moved into its own production facility, launched its plant-based marshmallow cream in Austin-based Whole Foods Market Inc. and doubled monthly revenue.

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Accelerated Brands: Go Behind the Scenes of Tend Prenatal

In the premiere episode of Accelerating Brands — a new video series from ForceBrands in partnership with SKU — go behind the scenes of Tend Prenatal with Co-Founder Behzad Varamini, Ph.D. as he shares the story behind the company, advice for fellow founders, and how he’s leveraging data to empower business decisions.

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SKU Elevate empowering entrepreneurs of color

SKU, the Austin-based consumer packaged goods accelerator, is seeking startups to participate in the second cohort of SKU Elevate, formerly SKU M/O, beginning in June. The program was developed to build a more inclusive industry and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs of color.

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Consumer-Products Accelerator Seeks Innovative Brands for Third Cohort

SKU, the nation’s first accelerator for consumer-packaged goods (CPGs), is accepting applications from CPG companies around the country for the third cohort of SKU Dallas 2022.

SKU has worked with more than 100 alumni, including a variety of innovative and successful brands, including EPIC Provisions, Siete, DUDE Wipes and Seaweed Bath Co.

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Seeking applications for SKU Dallas

SKU, the Austin, Texas-based consumer packaged goods accelerator, is seeking startups to participate in the third cohort of SKU Dallas, beginning in August.

Participants will receive education, mentorship, networking and funding during the program. Brands are selected based on market traction, innovation and founder story and must have annual revenue of more than $500,000. The 12-week program culminates in a pitch event in November.

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SKU View: Rebranding 101

A new brand identity can yield powerful results for a food or beverage company, but there are many factors to consider. Founders should understand the risks associated with rebranding, said Andy Kurtts, founder and creative director of Buttermilk Creative, a brand and packaging design studio.

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Applications open for SKU Dallas '22

SKU, the nation’s first accelerator for CPG companies, is accepting applications from consumer brands around the country for the third cohort of SKU Dallas 2022.

Ideal candidates are market-validated companies with compelling founders and innovative products in hot categories. Brands can be from a wide range of areas in CPG, including food, beverage, apparel, personal care, and household products. Companies interested in applying for SKU Dallas 2022 can apply here.

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SKU Elevate: SKU’s Track for BIPOC-Owned Brands to Kick Off Second Cohort

SKU, the nation’s first consumer packaged goods (CPG) accelerator, will kick off the second cohort of SKU Elevate in June 2022. This groundbreaking program was created to foster a more inclusive community in the CPG industry.

“Because of last year’s overwhelming success, we have a ton of momentum moving into 2022 with this mission-critical program to support diverse CPG founders,” says Emily Kealey, Managing Director of SKU. “We’re seeking diverse founders who want to be on this exciting second track and mentors, sponsors, and partners who want to be a part of this program that is now nationwide.”

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Navigating the Supply Chain Crisis

The pandemic has precipitated supply chain challenges for companies across the food and beverage industry. Ben Greene, founder of Strive Logistics and Greene Capital Partners and SKU mentor, weighed in on how early-stage brands may navigate the crisis.

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Tech and Startup Personnel Moves

Austin-based consumer packaged goods accelerator SKU announced that Kirstin Ross has stepped down after three years leading the organization as executive director. Filling the role is Emily Kealey, who joined SKU last year as program director of its Dallas-based program.

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How to Find and Keep a Copacker

Outsourcing production to a co-manufacturer offers numerous advantages. It is cheaper than purchasing equipment or building a manufacturing facility. It also is more efficient than producing batches in a commercial kitchen.

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Twelve Startups Chosen for SKU Acclelerator

Twelve startups have been selected to participate in consumer packaged goods accelerator SKU’s upcoming cohorts in Austin and Atlanta. Participating brands receive funding and mentorship from dozens of entrepreneurs, industry experts, executives and investors. Two concurrent 12-week programs will culminate in pitch events and include a curriculum covering such topics as mission and vision, branding, channel strategy, supply chain and innovation.

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SKU Announces New Austin and Atlanta Tracks

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.

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SKU Accelerator Announces Innovative Startups for Two Upcoming Cohorts in Austin and Atlanta

SKU, the nation’s first accelerator for consumer-packaged goods (CPGs), has selected the brands for companies for its two upcoming tracks in Austin and Atlanta. This is the 10th Austin track for SKU, which got its start in Austin in 2011. SKU Austin includes companies and mentors from the Texas and the Midwest.This is the first cohort for SKU Atlanta. It draws from the region’s vibrant ecosystem of CPG talent.

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Ayurvedic Haircare Brand Shaz & Kiks Raises $500K To Help Realize Its Big Omnichannel Ambitions

Ayurvedic haircare brand Shaz & Kiks has big omnichannel aspirations that will be bolstered by a $500,000 round of funding from friends, family and angel investors.
About half the funding is from Concept to Co, a firm led by Divya Gugnani, CEO and co-founder of Wander Beauty, that’s invested in beauty brands such as Tower 28 and Topicals, and Fab Ventures, the backer of Good Light, Bloomi, Dr. Elsa Jungman, Bubble and Veracity founded by ex-Lancôme CEO Odile Roujol.

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SKU accelerator expanding to Atlanta

Consumer packaged goods accelerator SKU is expanding to Atlanta in a partnership with the Coca-Cola Co. SKU Atlanta will provide resources and relationships to startups across the southeast United States beginning early next year. Participating brands will receive $20,000 in funding and mentorship from dozens of entrepreneurs, industry experts, executives and investors. The 12-week program culminates in a pitch event and includes a curriculum covering such topics as mission and vision, branding, channel strategy, supply chain and innovation.

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Aura Bora raises $2 million in seed funding

Aura Bora, a maker of craft sparkling water featuring herbs, fruits and flowers, raised $2 million in a seed round. Consumer product accelerator SKU and venture capital fund Balanced Breakfast participated in the round, along with Leon Chen of Tiff’s Treats, actor Scott Eastwood and musician Marley D. Williams. Aura Bora will use the funds to expand its team, support expansion and double down on its direct-to-consumer channel.

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CPG Accelerator Blends Mentorship & Networking

Starting and growing a company is hard – especially in the highly competitive food and beverage industry, but Austin, Texas-based accelerator SKU is tipping the odds of success in favor of entrepreneurs with its “proven blend of mentorship, community,” unique programming and industry connections.

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Austin CPG accelerator SKU continues national expansion

n the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Austin’s only consumer packaged goods accelerator has continued to add staff and expand its programs throughout the country.

Part of SKU’s success may be attributed to the sustained growth of the Texas capital’s CPG sector, further cementing its status among the nation’s most significant hubs for startups and founders in that arena.

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Austin CPG accelerator SKU continues national expansion

n the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Austin’s only consumer packaged goods accelerator has continued to add staff and expand its programs throughout the country.

Part of SKU’s success may be attributed to the sustained growth of the Texas capital’s CPG sector, further cementing its status among the nation’s most significant hubs for startups and founders in that arena.

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CPG Accelerator SKU Selects Six Startups For Its Second Dallas Cohort

Austin-based SKU, which calls itself the country’s first accelerator dedicated to entrepreneurs in consumer packaged goods, has chosen six startups for the second iteration of its Dallas cohort.

In September—at a time when the CPG industry was facing extraordinary challenges amidst the pandemic—Dallas-Fort Worth welcomed SKU, which combined in-person and virtual programming to give founders access to industry experts, investors, and serial entrepreneurs

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SKU Selects Later-Stage Startups for Dallas 2021 Cohort

SKU, an accelerator for consumer packaged goods (CPGs), has selected six companies for the second cohort of SKU Dallas. The startups represent a range of categories, including a cashew vegan queso, inventive mocktails and a subscription company that provides unique games for couples to connect.

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SKU Atlanta to Launch in Spring 2022

SKU, the nation’s first CPG accelerator, is expanding into Atlanta in Spring 2022 to help serve as a catalyst for the Southeast’s dynamic consumer products industry.

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Second Dallas Cohort Kicks Off August 24th, 2021

SKU, the nation’s first accelerator focused on consumer packaged goods (CPG), is seeking experienced consumer-product leaders for SKU Dallas to mentor the next generation of brands. Mentors can apply at mentors@sku.is.

Mentors for SKU Dallas do not need to be based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. SKU Dallas is supported by DFW CPG, a local group working to foster growth and connection within the region’s food and beverage industry.

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Industry Incubation

A lot goes into starting a company – time, capital, resources. For a natural foods entrepreneur, this can get overwhelming, fast. Most want to get their products on retail shelves, but the path to shelf isn’t often paved.

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SKU Dallas and BeyondSKU Seek Industry Experts for Accelerator Programs

SKU Dallas and BeyondSKU are looking for CPG leaders, serial entrepreneurs, and investors who want to help shape the next generation of consumer product brands as mentors.

The second track of SKU Dallas, which focuses on later-stage emerging brands with revenues of $500,000 and above, kicks off in August and runs through November. Mentors do not need to be based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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Industry incubation keeps innovation and brands growing strong

These programs offer a crash course—and funding help—to entrepreneurs who need a lift to get their companies off the ground or take them to the next level. This is the place where many entrepreneurs today are getting their start to see how viable their brands are before going all in. It’s also a great way for retailers to get their hands on new products before the brands find their way into national distribution.

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EXCLUSIVE: How Charlotte startup HA! snagged actor Patrick Schwarzenegger as an investor

Patrick Schwarzenegger’s professional portfolio includes actor, model and angel investor, and now he’s backing Charlotte-based startup HA!

Earlier this week, HA!, founded in 2017 by Justin Wiesehan, launched a new crowdfunding campaign. With it came the announcement that Schwarzenegger had invested in the company. Schwarzenegger first invested in HA! in January, though the amount was not disclosed.

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SKU and Naturally Austin Select 10 Startups led by Diverse Founders for new SKU M/O TrackKU M/O Track

SKU announces its third lineup of all female-founded brands, ranging from a Brooklyn sexual wellness and body product company to a California-based Vietnamese cold-brew coffee brand.

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SKU and Naturally Austin Select 10 Startups led by Diverse Founders for new SKU M/O Track

SKU, the consumer packaged goods accelerator, along with Naturally Austin, have selected ten companies to participate in its SKU M/O track that focuses on diversity and inclusion. The accelerator provides education and mentorship to diverse founders. It’s a combination of Naturally Austin’s Fellowship program and SKU’s accelerator curriculum.

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Twin Cities packaged goods companies earn spots in accelerator cohort ImpactSKU

Six companies consumer products companies have earned a spots in a startup accelerator cohort. The ImpactSKU ’21 program is run by consumer-packaged goods accelerator SKU.

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ImpactSKU Accelerator Announces Selected Brands for Minneapolis Cohort

SKU, an accelerator for consumer packaged goods (CPGs), announced six companies that will participate in the upcoming track of the Minneapolis program, ImpactSKU ’21 kicking off June 1. Each was selected based on the basis of product innovation, market traction, and the passion of founders. This second track follows last year’s 8-week ImpactSKU Preview – a shortened virtual program created when COVID-19 forced a pivot.

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10 startups to join M/O; New program boosts minority-owned ventures

Ten companies are part of the initial cohort at M/O, which focuses on supporting and accelerating minority-owned CPG startups. The program has the backing of two powerful organizations in the entrepreneurial ecosystem: SKU and Naturally Austin.

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How do we make the Austin food scene more diverse? Through programs like this

Today, there are hundreds of food businesses that call Austin home, in part because of several organizations that help launch and support them. But after last summer’s protests brought attention to the lack of diversity in many industries across the country, SKU’s chief operating officer Michelle Breyer started working with Emily Kealey, then the executive director of Naturally Austin, an organization founded in 2019 to support local CPG companies in the natural foods and wellness space, on a program that would specifically support and accelerate businesses owned by people of color.

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Aura Bora makes a splash in sparkling water market

The sparkling water category has experienced explosive growth in recent years as consumers seek healthier alternatives to traditional soft drinks. But about two years ago, Paul Voge and his wife, Madeleine, noticed a gap in the market for premium options featuring elevated flavor profiles. Months of experimentation with a carbonation machine, essential oils and fresh herbs led to the creation of Aura Bora.

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ImpactSKU Kicks Off Its Second Cohort in June

Twin Cities-based cities-based ImpactSKU will kick off its second cohort in June to accelerate the growth of purpose-driven consumer-product (CPG) startups.
Applications are currently being accepted for startups with market traction and annual sales of $100K and above.

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ImpactSKU seeking startups, mentors for upcoming cohort

ImpactSKU, an accelerator program for purpose-driven consumer product startups, is accepting applications for its second cohort beginning June 1.

Early-stage brands with market traction and annual sales of $100,000 or more are encouraged to apply. Applicants must demonstrate business practices promoting environmental sustainability, fair labor practices, ethical supply chains and healthy communities.

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From Innovative Ice Cream to Energizing Kombucha, SKU Dallas Accelerator Aims to Grow the Next Batch of Consumer Brands

SKU Dallas set up shop in North Texas in 2020, partnering with DFW CPG as a local arm of the Austin-based CPG-focused accelerator. It’s graduated 12 companies since then, including local plant-based jerky brand All Y’alls Foods, along with Texas-based mmmpanadas and Meli’s Monster Cookies. Now it’s announced its third lineup of CPG startups.

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Texas accelerator M/O focuses on boosting BIPOC-owned CPGs

M/O blends hands-on learning opportunities with one-to-one connections to peers and mentors to expedite learning and assist in the acceleration of BIPOC-owned small businesses.

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Local entrepreneur strives to offer healthy, tasty snack option with startup Macro Snacks

Charlotte entrepreneur Justin Wiesehan figured out a way to snack healthy without sacrificing taste. And he wants to share it with everyone.

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A decade of scaling startups

Epic Provisions, Siete Family Foods and Peatos are among the more than 70 companies that have participated in SKU, an Austin,Texas-based accelerator program for consumer product startups.

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SKU Selects Seven Startups for its 9th Cohort in Austin

SKU, an Austin-based consumer packaged goods accelerator, announced it has picked seven companies to participate in its ninth cohort.

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SKU's new CPG startups pitch instant coffee, agua fresca and body care

Austin’s software sector may get the most recognition. But the city’s consumer packaged goods ecosystem is booming right alongside it, churning out new brands that go on to raise big funding rounds or even get acquired.

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Meet Startup Accelerator SKU

For local companies such as Siete Family Foods and Austin Eastciders, it’s the key ingredient to their success.

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SKU CPG accelerator selects cohort of later-stage startups

Five consumer packaged goods startups were chosen to participate in an eight-week curriculum taught by the nation’s top experts; a 16-year-old entrepreneur is also auditing the program.

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SKU DFW: Introducing the Inaugural Cohort for the ‘First Consumer Products Accelerator’

Five consumer packaged goods later-stage startups have been chosen for an eight-week accelerator program taught by the industry’s top experts.

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SKU is bringing its CPG startup accelerator to North Texas

Even if you haven’t heard of the Austin-based consumer packaged goods accelerator SKU, there’s a chance some of their alumni’s brands have ended up in your fridge, pantry or even on your feet.

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Meet Startup Accelerator SKU

What do local brands like grain-free tortilla empire Siete Family Foods, protein snack company Epic Provisions, and cidery Austin Eastciders have in common?

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SKU CPG Accelerator to Expand to Dallas This Fall

Austin-based SKU — the nation’s first accelerator focused on consumer packaged goods (CPG) — will expand into the Dallas-Fort Worth market this fall with a program tailored toward later-stage startups.

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The first and leading Consumer Product Goods (CPG) accelerator

SKU is embarking upon its 8th track to develop a select group of emerging brands with their high powered mentors and custom designed curriculum.

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ImpactSKU Preview Kickoff

SKU has partnered with FINNOVATION Lab and two of Minnesota’s great CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies: General Mills, 301 Inc. division and The Stable to create the ImpactSKU Accelerator.

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SKU Accelerator

This week Axel is digging to all things funding, investing, and growth with Kirstin Ross of SKU. SKU is the go to consumer products accelerator in Texas.

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SKU-Accelerates Innovation & Entrepreneur Success

Founded in 2011, SKU is the first and leading Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) accelerator. SKU accelerates innovation & entrepreneur success by creating a thriving CPG ecosystem.

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Austin-based accelerator SKU opens up applications to CPG brands for sixth year of program

SKU, a business accelerator based in Austin, Texas, is calling for CPG brand applicants as it readies for its sixth year in business.

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3 Of The Best Accelerators: Different Business Models And Sectors -- Sephora, R/GA And SKU

Since they’ve become such a popular form of innovation, I wanted to investigate a few of the best that operate with different business models and strategies, and in different sectors, to see what lessons can be learned.

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NATION’S FIRST CONSUMER PRODUCT GOODS ACCELERATOR SKU PRESENTS SHOWCASE DAY TUESDAY, MAY 14 FOR SEVENTH TRACK

Tickets now available for SKU 7 track finale; see seven companies in the cohort present their final pitches to investors and Austin community with an evening of networking and celebration

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Renamed SKU, Consumer Goods Accelerator Announces New Startup Class

Fresh off a name change, Austin, TX-based consumer goods accelerator SKU has unveiled the seven startups that make up its fourth class.

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3 Of The Best Accelerators: Different Business Models And Sectors -- Sephora, R/GA And SKU

Since they’ve become such a popular form of innovation, I wanted to investigate a few of the best that operate with different business models and strategies, and in different sectors, to see what lessons can be learned.

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Renamed SKU, Consumer Goods Accelerator Announces New Startup Class

Fresh off a name change, Austin, TX-based consumer goods accelerator SKU has unveiled the seven startups that make up its fourth class.

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