There’s no doubt that Austin is a CPG (consumer packaged goods) enthusiasts’ playground. With household brands like High Brew Coffee, SkinnyPop, and Lemi Shineall finding booming success within the Lone Star State’s Capitol city, one must ask; how did Austin become the haven for CPG?
While the mild winters, vibrant culture, abundance of music festivals and good ol’ southern charm may draw in those who are looking to start a business, CPG brands are ultimately looking for a place where they can put down roots and grow their local following in a community that will support them. Austin is nothing if not supportive.
In fact, the first CPG accelerator ever created calls Austin its home, but they’re making an impact all over the world. SKU is a consumer products accelerator with a one-of-a-kind 14-week program that helps turn market-validated consumer products into recognizable and sought after brands.
You may have products from some SKU alumni in your home right now, including Epic Provisions, Shade Tree Lemonade, Verb haircare, Siete Family Foods, The Seaweed Bath Co., and us! SKU supports CPG companies with world-class mentors, startup advisors, and investors who work with the CPG founders and their leadership teams to teach them valuable skills and help their brand become the best version of itself. Through product development, marketing and branding, legal and financial guidance and fundraising, SKU sets CPG brands up for empowered success and prosperous futures.
In true supportive Austin spirit, the Capitol city has also recently welcomed another organization who wants to help entrepreneurs in central Texas. Naturally Austin, a branch of the Boulder-based national non-profit Naturally Network, will provide support and a community for Austin businesses and start-up’s that specialize in organic and natural consumer products.
Some of the biggest entrepreneurial names in the city, including Clayton Christopher (co-founder of Sweet Leaf Tea and Deep Eddy Vodka), Dan Graham (CEO of BuildASign), Aimy Steadman (co-founder of Beatbox Beverages) and former managing director of SKU, Genevieve Gilbreath, are combining their wealth of expertise and knowledge to help natural brands excel in Austin.
Naturally Austin’s board president, Genevieve Gilbreath, told the Austin-Business Journal, “We felt there was something missing in Austin for people who don’t get into SKU…the natural products community has been hungry for something like this for so long,”.
Whatever driving cosmic force causes CPG businesses to gravitate towards Central Texas, one thing is for certain; Austin is ready to welcome everyone with open arms, and we can’t wait to see the upcoming additions to the list of CPG alumni who found their start in Austin – we’re certainly glad we did.