SKU, a CPG accelerator, will expand into Atlanta in Spring 2022 to help serve as a catalyst for the Southeast's consumer-products industry.
An informational cocktail party for potential mentors will be held from 4-7 p.m. ET, August 17 at City Winery in Atlanta.
"SKU is excited to be launching SKU Atlanta in the spring of 2022," says Kirstin Ross, managing director of SKU. "With our model of building an ecosystem of seasoned experts, we create the network of support for young CPG founders to succeed. Great people and partners are onboard to make SKU Atlanta a destination for the CPG community in the region.
Austin-based SKU is partnering with Atlanta-based Goods & Services and Craft Catalyst and Charlotte-based Silver Falcon Capital.
"The Southeast has for years needed a leader like SKU to plant a stake in a hub like Atlanta, and to be a driving force in creating more cohesion among the emerging food and beverage players throughout the region," said Chris Olivier, a principal at Craft Catalyst. "Up to this point the ecosystem down here has been comprised of somewhat disparate pockets of activity. The arrival of SKU has the potential to be a force multiplier in bringing the Southeast together."
SKU founders go through a 12-week program that covers a wide range of topics of high importance to CPG entrepreneurs, taught by the nation’s industry experts.
One of the most valuable components of SKU are its elite community of mentors - a who's who of top executives, successful founders and investors. Each SKU founder is surrounded by a hand-picked team of mentors focused 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 working side by side with their peers.
SKU was founded in 2011 by lawyer Shari Wynne Ressler and serial entrepreneur Clayton Christopher, founder of Sweet Leaf Tea and Deep Eddy Vodka, with the mission of accelerating CPGs. It has been a catalyst in establishing Austin as a CPG powerhouse.
SKU has produced a variety of brands, including Siete Foods, EPIC Provisions and Seaweed Bath Co. Of SKU’s more 90 alumni, more than 90% are still in business today.
Over the past three years, SKU has been expanding nationally. In addition to Austin, 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 year, SKU partnered with Naturally Austin to launch M/O – a program for BIPOC CPG founders.
If you would like information about mentoring for SKU, email firstname.lastname@example.org.