SKU, an Austin-based consumer packaged goods accelerator, announced it has picked seven companies to participate in its ninth cohort.

SKU selected the companies based on their innovative products, market traction, and founders’ passion.

The Track 9 companies are Agua BonitaAmerican Provenance, BeeFree Gluten Free, Green Girl Bakeshop, Macro Snacks, Shaz & Kiks, and Waka Coffee.

“We had one of the most competitive applicant pools ever with brands from around the country, and these seven companies and their founders really stood out,” SKU Managing Director Kirstin Ross said in a news release. “It continues to amaze me the level of creativity and commitment these founders have. They draw on their own personal experiences to create products that bring something really new and special to the market.”

The latest accelerator program begins on Jan. 29th and runs through mid-May. The 12-week program includes a special curriculum with mentoring. SKU’s mentors include entrepreneurs from successful consumer-product companies including Deep Eddy Vodka, Amplify Snack Brands (Skinny Pop, Pirate’s Booty), and Vital Farms.

The accelerator culminates with a showcase virtual pitch event which will take place on May 18th.

Vital Farms founder and longtime SKU mentor Matt O’Hayer will give the keynote address to kick off the latest program. He founded Vital Farms, an egg company, in 2007, and built the company, along with his wife, Catherine, into the number one pasture-raised egg and butter brand in the U.S. The company went public last summer.

Lawyer Shari Wynne Ressler and serial entrepreneur Clayton Christopher, founder of Sweet Leaf Tea and Deep Eddy Vodka, founded SKU in 2012. Since then more 70 companies have completed the SKU program including Siete Foods, Seaweed Bath Co., Austin Eastciders, and EPIC Provisions.

Over the past year, SKU has expanded nationally with a partnership with BeyondBrands to launch New York-based BeyondSKU. In addition, SKU launched The ImpactSKU program for purpose-driven CPG startups in the Twin Cities, a partnership with FINNOVATION Lab. Last fall, SKU and DFW CPG joined forces to bring to launch SKU DFW in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  The six companies that participated in SKU DFW were All Y’alls Foods, Highwave, Meli’s Monster Cookies, mmmpanadas, Re:THINK Ice Cream, and Sienna Sauce.