Announcing the Prizewinners of the Fall 2018 Accelerator Program

In Fall 2018, Cratejoy launched our first-ever Subscription Box Accelerator Program. This six-week intensive course built and improved upon our previous prelaunch programs by incorporating a rigorous curriculum of webinars, online assignments, virtual office hours, and industry mentorship. In addition, our exclusive Facebook group for Fall 2018’s cohort blossomed into a supportive, creative, and resourceful community.

The Accelerator Program culminated in the exciting launch (or relaunch) of a participant’s subscription box business.

While Cratejoy’s prior prelaunch program resulted in participants earning revenue four times higher than the average, the results of the Accelerator Program could be even more impressive if these early weeks are anything to go by.

So take a look at our Accelerator Program winners below!

How We Chose the Winners

Cratejoy’s committee selected our three prizewinners based on the following three pillars of criteria:

  • Good Citizenship. In other words, the merchant participated in the program’s community to support and advise their cohort, seek feedback on their own work, and resolve challenges. Additionally, the merchant maintained a positive, resourceful outlook during the program, eager to learn and achieve.
  • Commitment to Program. The merchant showed initiative and dedication in their efforts to build a strong business. They regularly met program deadlines, strove to go above and beyond in their work, and took an active role in participating through the six-week course.
  • Launch Success. Since the end of the program, the merchant’s revenue has grown and they have a strong conversion rate. Additionally, the merchant took initiative to improve their store appearance and apply for marketing promotions.

As the program’s cohort ranged from relaunching merchants to new subscription box entrepreneurs, the committee’s review process was holistic, considering all three pillars of criteria in equal measure.

Grand Prize

We are proud to announce that Fall 2018’s Grand Prize winner is High-Strung, an exciting new subscription box for guitarists. Every month, subscribers to High-Strung receive unique, high-quality guitar picks, new strings, exclusive access to how-to videos, and curated tools and accessories to maintain your guitar’s performance. Subscriptions were introduced for acoustic or electric players and curated by guitarist Dalton Hamilton.

High-Strung’s Dalton Hamilton and Cassie Shey went above and beyond throughout the program, dedicating themselves to developing and improving High-Strung’s launch and business operations, growing their box sustainably, cheering on their fellow merchants, and regularly taking initiative to improve their box.

As the winner of Cratejoy’s Grand Prize, High-Strung will receive:

  • $10,000
  • 2 tickets to SXSW 2019
  • 1 year of VIP Membership to the Subscription Trade Association (SUBTA)
  • 2 tickets to SubSummit 2019, the annual subscription industry conference
  • 2-hour coaching session with Christopher George, SUBTA Chairman
  • Automatic spot in the 2019 SubSummit Pitch Competition
  • Exclusive photo package and website consultation with Allie Dorobis Photography (valued at $600)
  • DYMO Turbo Printer
  • 350 free boxes from Arka

Runner-Up Prize

Second-place winner We Craft Box has grown immensely since their relaunch in October. It’s no wonder: this fun, family-friendly subscription sends subscribers the supplies and instructions to make 2-3 themed craft projects each month. Kids aged 3-9 can explore their artsy and creative side with We Craft’s detailed projects, from building a snowy holiday scene to creating fanciful, fun llamas out of construction paper and yarn.

Betsy Wild, We Craft’s founder, earned our second-place prize this year, impressing us with her work ethic, resourcefulness, strong growth, and thoughtful assistance to peers in the early stages of their business.

As the winner of our Runner-Up Prize, We Craft Box will receive:

  • $5,000
  • 1 year of VIP Membership with SUBTA
  • 2 tickets to SubSummit 2019
  • 2-hour coaching session with Christopher George, SUBTA Chairman
  • DYMO Turbo Printer
  • 250 free boxes from Arka

Check out some We Craft Box reviews on Cratejoy’s Box Insider, The Huffington Post, Mashable, and Real Simple.

Community Prize

Our Community Prize winner, Ten Thousand Cookies, was created as a fundraiser to help the founders adopt a baby. As domestic adoption costs can reach $40,000, Ashley Greeno and her husband Hunter set a goal of selling 10,000 delicious, gluten-free cookies. The cookies were so popular that they decided to launch a new subscription box for monthly orders. Subscribers can choose between vegan chocolate chip cookies, monster cookies, and frosted sugar cookies.

Ashley Greeno, the baker behind Ten Thousand Cookies, secured our third-place spot with the dedicated energy she invested in her business, her reliable and considerate support of fellow merchants, and her sustainable growth.

As the winner of our Community Prize, Ten Thousand Cookies will receive:

  • $2,500
  • 1 Year of VIP Membership with SUBTA
  • 2 Tickets to SubSummit 2019
  • 2-hour coaching session with Christopher George, SUBTA Chairman
  • DYMO Turbo Printer
  • 100 free boxes from Arka

Prizes for All Participants

Overall, the inaugural Accelerator Program participants impressed us every week with their hard work, creativity, determination, encouragement, and positivity. We’re proud to have been able to help their subscription box businesses launch – and looking forward to seeing those businesses grow in the future.

For this reason, each merchant that completed the program and launched within three weeks will receive the following prizes:

  • 3 months free on the Cratejoy platform
  • 50% off boxes from Arka
  • Exclusive deal from Sticker Mule

Fun Facts

Overall, our Accelerator graduates have grown into a successful, supportive community of exciting new merchants. Check out these fun facts:

  • We helped launch some brand-new merchants to great success! The top third of new merchants received an average of 52 new subscriptions in their first month, averaging almost $4,000 in revenue.
  • Not to be outdone, our relaunching merchants stepped up their game! The top third of relaunching merchants received an average of 226 new subscriptions during the program, increasing their average monthly revenue by over $28,000.
  • We’re pretty social! The Facebook community played a huge role in our merchants’ success. Over the course of the program, the exclusive 64-person group generated 650 posts, 5,126 comments, and 8,800 reactions — and counting!
  • One merchant performed so well that we didn’t even include them in our average calculations! This merchant grew their subscription base by over 1,100 subscribers, increasing their monthly revenue by more than a hundred thousand dollars.

In the few weeks since launch, Accelerator graduates have already been featured in gift guides by, CNN Underscored, and Parade. Check out the full list of graduates on the blog!

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