AUSTIN, TEXAS — 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.
Participants will receive education, mentorship and networking during the eight-week virtual program. Brands were selected based on market traction, innovation and founder story and must have revenues of between $5,000 and $100,000.
“We had so many amazing brands apply this year,” said Emily Kealey, managing director of SKU. “We were thrilled by the passion of the founders and the creativity of the brands — from a company making honey-based spreads to an artisanal overnight-oats brand created by a mother and her teenage son.”
The four food brands selected to participate are:
Brune Kitchen, a maker of grain-free, plant-based cookies formulated with tahini and no refined sugars, additives or preservatives.
Green Sahara, a brand of African-inspired snacks and spice blends.
Oatmeal & Co., a line of gourmet oats featuring such flavors as blueberry cardamom, lemon lavender and smoked peach bourbon.
Pearl Honey Spreads, a creator of honey-based spreads, preserves and jams.
The track will be led by Kathy Guzmán Galloway, curriculum director and master teacher, with topics covering branding, channel strategy, product innovation and operations. The program will conclude with a pitch event. Each participant will receive equity-free capital to support growth.Sponsors of SKU Elevate include Tito’s Handmade Vodka, 301 INC, Foundry Brands and HumanCo.