Superfood Energy Snack Company Will Receive $40,000 in Marketing & Accelerator Services
CHICAGO, Aug. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- TeaSquares, a Chicago-based producer of tea-infused energy snacks, has captured the top prize in the first annual StartUp Chicago event sponsored by local business accelerator Queue Lab. The Lab will provide $40,000 in strategic advisory, marketing planning and execution services to help accelerate TeaSquares' growth.
Launched in 2016, TeaSquares offers bite-sized, caffeinated energy squares formulated with a proprietary blend of natural, plant-based ingredients specifically designed to provide focus and clarity. The product is among the first in an emerging mental fuel segment of the snack market, being driven by the 25% of snack consumers who say they are looking for mental pick-me-ups when they purchase nutrition and performance bars.
TeaSquares are currently sold in more than 350 locations ranging from corporate offices where employees frequently need an afternoon energy boost to Jewel-Osco, Whole Foods Market and Amazon. In addition to expanding its customer base, the company's goal is to fuel economic development in low-income urban communities such as Chicago's South Side where its production facility is currently located.
"Being selected as Queue Lab's StartUp Chicago winner will help us in areas like upgrading our e-commerce website and strengthening our digital and social media strategies. It's like winning the lottery, and it's going to help us really step on the growth gas over the next year and beyond," said TeaSquares CEO Jordan Buckner. "We have a truly unique product, solid distribution and revenue growth for a startup, and a pioneering position in the new mental fuel space that is projected to be a $1.5 billion market. We've done all that largely on our own with no outside professional services."
TeaSquares was selected from a group of five finalists who presented their business stories at an August 22 showdown. Finalists were evaluated based on market analysis, product or service analysis, marketing strategy, operations, management and finances. Judges included Julie Beck, a Queue Lab advisor focused on accelerating sales growth; Gabriel Ramirez, host of B96's Gabe and Nina morning show; Molly Soat, editor in chief for the American Marketing Association; Rachel Stillman, associate at 7Wire Ventures; and Jackson Jhin, a former Chicago Ventures investment advisor who is now interim CFO at Chicago startup Cameo.
"Our mission at Queue Lab is to meet the overwhelming demand of Chicago's entrepreneurial community for startup support go-to-market strategy to marketing execution. We're a new kind of business accelerator specifically focused on helping startups accelerate growth at a level that will help them attract investors or buyers," said Ross Vangalis, Queue Lab Chief Transformation Officer and CPG Committee Chair of global investment community Keiretsu Forum. "Our inaugural StartUp Chicago event was a great showcase for five strong finalists who represent some of the most promising entrepreneurial talent that Chicago has to offer."
About Queue Lab
Queue Lab is a Chicago-based business accelerator that uniquely combines marketing communication services with accelerator methodology and business consulting to help early-stage companies anywhere in the country grow and scale. The Lab's services are designed to position startups for large-cap infusion, funding or acquisition, drawing in part on parent company Queue Brand Communications' success in these areas for its marcom clients. The Lab works directly with startups and also assists private equity and venture capital firms seeking growth for early-stage companies in their portfolios. For more information, visit queue-lab.com