In this series, New Hope Network covers the ins and outs of accelerators and incubators across the United States that provide mentorship, funds and resources to help grow natural businesses. SKU and Naturally Austin are partnering to offer M/O and accelerate diverse CPG founders. Michelle Breyer, SKU's COO, explains what the new program is all about.
What: M/O, a two-pronged initiative that immerses fellows in financial empowerment education and then pairs them with seasoned business leaders to provide insight, advice, connections and access to capital.
When: The Naturally Austin Fellowship runs March through May. The second phase, a customized SKU track exclusively for Central Texas BIPOC-owned CPG companies, runs June 1 to July 27, 2021.
When are M/O applications open, and when is the application deadline?
M/O applications are open now until Feb. 23, 2021.
What types of companies does M/O assist?
M/O wants to assist CPG startups that are at least 51% BIPOC-owned.
What’s your mission in doing this work?
It is vitally important that we have more diversity within the CPG industry. There are a number of BIPOC-owned businesses creating innovative products who may need additional business and market education, social capital development, as well as directed access to capital. We want to close the gap that currently exists to help level the playing field.
What top attributes is M/O looking for in applicants?
M/O is looking for looking for passionate, committed founders with products that bring something unique to the industry. We would like to see some traction in the market, whether that’s selling at a farmers market or online.
What is one game-changing piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs?
Know your numbers; know your market. This is vitally important, whether you’re looking at your channel strategy or reaching out to investors.