Program Launch: July 20, 2020

Creating and scaling a CPG company looks different today than it did at the beginning of 2020. The challenges vary greatly—whether it is determining how to best protect your employees, mitigating risk of a shutdown, reworking your pro-forma, expanding into new verticals and distribution models, and that’s just to name a few. This year’s virtual Consumer Goods Accelerator—produced by CO.LAB and Proof—will cover how to navigate these challenges and ultimately help build a path for success in the near and distant future.


CO.LAB’s Consumer Goods Accelerator is a 10-week program for early-stage companies working in the consumer goods sector. Founders will work closely with our region’s robust network of industry mentors and corporate partners to find paths to success.

Just so you know—this isn’t your traditional classroom accelerator. We work closely with founders to problem solve and plan for growth, whether we’re digging deep into financial strategy or even helping you with production. See the areas we tackle head-on.


We’re looking for early-stage companies who have—at the minimum—tested their product on the market and demonstrate a complete proof of concept. Ideal companies may be making products that include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Pre-packaged beverage products, such as spirits, beer, and kombucha

  • Pre-packaged food products

  • Health and lifestyle products

  • Established and scalable restaurant, brewery and distillery concepts

  • Agricultural products, such as creameries


“I knew very quickly that the work the accelerator program was setting out to do was exactly what we needed, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
— Padgett Arnold, Owner of Sequatchie Cove Creamery

“We had access to experts in the different areas of business who mentored us one-on-one and equipped us with a roadmap to take our business to the next level. It was definitely worth taking the time off from working IN my business to work more closely ON the business and I would encourage every entrepreneur to do the same.”
— Norma Maloney, Founder of LoAdebar


  • Home of a thriving food and beverage production industry and some of the nation’s leading experts in large-scale production and distribution

  • Access to Chattanooga’s growing retail industry that earned a combined $6.8 billion in sales in 2016 alone

  • Deep pool of manufacturing talent stemming from Chattanooga’s many decades of leadership as one of the strongest advanced manufacturing hubs in the Southeast

  • Exposure and opportunity to present to investment groups, funds, and strategic partners

Interested in the accelerator but not sure if you are a good fit? Fill out the form below and let’s talk:


TEAM + Mentors

Marcus Shaw
Marcus ShawCEO, CO.LAB
Mia Littlejohn
Mia LittlejohnEntrepreneuer-In-Residence
Mike Robinson
Mike RobinsonEntrepreneur-In-Residence
Kirk Burton
Kirk BurtonProgram Director, CO.LAB
Tim Moore
Tim MooreProgram Manager, CO.LAB
Adam Shearer
Adam ShearerCFO, Steam Logistics
Andrew Holliday
Andrew HollidayFounder, Special Sauce Branding
John Sweet
John SweetConsultant and Founder of Niedlov's Breadworks
Matt Hertz
Matt HertzFounder, Second Marathon Consulting
Sheila McWilliams
Sheila McWilliamsCertified Food Scientist
Joe Thrash
Joe ThrashNational Trade Relations Manager, McKee Foods
Gina Dhanani
Gina DhananiCOO, Double Cola Company


We have a robust network of corporate partners who have contributed valuable insights and resources to ensuring success for program participants.

Past Participants