Grocery delivery platform Gopuff is launching a small business accelerator program to support entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented groups.
Selected startups will take part in a six-month program designed to help raise brand awareness through Gopuff’s platform. The accelerator, called Put Me On, also will provide tools and resources aimed at unlocking barriers to distribution.
Developed in partnership with professional basketball player Chris Paul, the program includes the launch and promotion of participants’ products on Gopuff’s platform, access to monthly workshops hosted by industry leaders, networking events and one-on-one capacity building sessions with Gopuff’s marketing, merchandising and supply chain teams. Participants also will leverage Gopuff Advertising Solutions, a service that helps brands execute strategic ad campaigns on the platform.
Founded in 2013 by first-time entrepreneurs Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev, Gopuff uses micro-fulfillment centers to deliver thousands of food and beverage products, pet products, cleaning supplies and over-the-counter medications, along with alcohol and fresh prepared meals in some markets, for a flat $1.95 delivery fee.
“As first-time entrepreneurs, Rafael and I know firsthand how impactful mentorship and community is in developing and growing a successful business,” Gola says. “Chris Paul has dedicated his time off and on the court to support entrepreneurs and we are excited to work with him to help aspiring entrepreneurs grow their businesses and reach new customers."
The first group of Put Me On participants includes:
- A Dozen Cousins, a Los Angeles-based startup offering ready-to-eat rice and beans inspired by traditional Creole, Caribbean and Latin American recipes.
- Cool Cat Wine Spritzers, a Miami Beach, Fla.-based maker of low-calorie, gluten-free wine spritzers.
- French Toast Bites Ale, Philadelphia, a line of ales inspired by popular Philadelphia street food.
- Me & the Bees Lemonade, Austin, Texas, a line of lemonade featuring honey and flaxseed.
- MUMGRY, a Vancouver-based nut butter brand.
- Pipsnacks, a New York-based startup offering better-for-you versions of classic salty snacks.
- Cards for All People, Columbus, Ohio, a toys and games company.
- Donata SkinFood, a Hollywood, Fla.-based maker of vegan personal care products.
Entrepreners interested in participating in Gopuff’s next cohort may apply through the Put Me On website through Oct. 24.