Kirstin Ross, SKU incoming Managing Director
SKU is a Texas-focused, female-led consumer products accelerator that advances innovation and entrepreneurship within the consumer products industry. SKU has built a community of serial entrepreneurs and industry experts to aid in turning emerging CPG businesses into strong brands and scalable companies. Since launching their first track in January 2012, SKU has taken in many local companies that have gone to become widely successful, such as Austin Eastciders, Siete Foods (found in Whole Foods across the nation), Seaweed Bath Co. (found in Target, Whole Foods and Bed Bath and Beyond nationwide), Wildway (sold at grocery stores across the country) and more. SKU also maintains that 96 percent of companies that go through their program are still in business to date.
”The barriers to entry for launching a consumer brand are lower than ever but once you get past the gates, understanding how to efficiently run and scale a business is crucial and that is where SKU adds tremendous value,” said Genevieve Gilbreath, SKU outgoing Managing Director.
Companies accepted into SKU are given a cash stipend, as well as exclusive access to additional forms of funding, followed by a 14-week program consisting of courses that go over various topics important to growing businesses, such as product development, marketing and branding, accounting and finance and more. 12 weeks out of the track will feature time to meet with SKU Mentors who can advise on and aid the growth of the companies. SKU Mentors for this upcoming track include Doreen Lorenzo, Clayton Christopher, Blake Chandlee, Scott Jensen, Leon Chen, Even Loomis and Caroline Goodner. These Mentors and leaders are devoted assets focused on helping conceptualize products, effective branding and business practices to maximize the odds of long-term success.