FINNOVATION Lab grows community of social entrepreneurs with two national partnerships

FINNOVATION Lab, the social business catalyst that helps local entrepreneurs launch and scale their mission-driven ventures, announced today two national partnerships: SKU, an accelerator program that educates and equips market-validated consumer products companies for growth into world-class brands, and SEED Spot, a globally-ranked social impact incubator that supports impact-driven entrepreneurs.

“We’re putting great emphasis on expanding our reach and impact, and are now working with two organizations to offer enhanced programming for social entrepreneurs at a range of stages,” said Connie Rutledge, CEO of FINNOVATION Lab. “By growing our community of like-minded entrepreneurs, we’ll continue to establish Minnesota as a leader of social innovation.”

The two new national partners will build on FINNOVATION Lab’s leadership in social impact. Now with three distinct programming options – Impact SKU, SEED Spot, and the FINNOVATION Lab Fellowship Program – FINNOVATION Lab will work with entrepreneurs at all levels of development, from start-up ideation through scalable growth.

Impact SKU — Accelerator for start-ups with market validation and poised for national growth

SKU is an Austin-based accelerator program with a curated 12-week curriculum focused on consumer-packaged goods, and a strong network of mentors that include industry experts, serial entrepreneurs, and investors. SKU alumni include nationally known brands like EPIC Bar and Siete Foods. The FINNOVATION Lab has teamed up with the Stable and 301inc, two local leaders in the CPG ecosystem, to bring a new purpose-driven arm of SKU – known as Impact SKU – to Minneapolis. The first Impact SKU cohort is slated for Summer 2020, with details to come in early 2020.

“SKU has been looking to expand into the social impact space for some time, specifically the Twin Cities given the area’s dedication to mission-driven businesses,” said Kirstin Ross, Managing Director of SKU. “FINNOVATION Lab has been on our radar since the launch of the Fellowship Program in 2018. The group has helped to solidify Minneapolis as a major player in the space and we’re excited to work together to foster lasting impact nationally.”

SEED Spot — 48 hours to explore and launch an idea

SEED Spot supports impact-driven entrepreneurs in the formative stages of launching their ventures. The first Minneapolis 2-day Launch Camp is November 15 & 16 in the FINNOVATION Lab space, helping aspiring entrepreneurs explore the viability of their idea. Details can be found at here.

FINNOVATION Lab Fellowship Program — Intensive training for early stage social entrepreneurs

The FINNOVATION Lab Fellowship Program is a nine-month incubator and leadership development program for early-stage social entrepreneurs building mission-driven enterprises. The first cohort wrapped programming in summer 2019 and the group just welcomed an expanded cohort of nine new fellows for its second year.

For more information on FINNOVATION Lab and how they support start-up entrepreneurs, visit

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