Clayton is passionate about entrepreneurship and loves helping small food and beverage companies to scale. He is the Founder and Former CEO of Sweet Leaf Tea, an organic Bottled iced tea company he started in 1998 with $10K in savings and a recipe from his grandmother, Mimi. Sweat Leaf grew to a nationally recognized brand which was acquired by Nestle in 2011. Following his success at Sweet Leaf, Clayton co-founded and was the Chairman of Deep Eddy Vodka. Deep Eddy became the fastest growing spirits brand in the United States and was acquired by Heaven Hill Distilleries in August of 2015. In 2016, Clayton co-founded CAVU Venture Partners, a CPG focused investment firm where he served as Managing Partner for Funds I and II. He raised over $450 million, investing in 23 better-for-you food and beverage brands, including Bai (acquired by KDP), ONE Bar (acquired by Hershey), Vital Proteins (acquired by Nestle) and Nutrabolt.
Clayton is also the co-founder of Waterloo Sparkling Water, Rhythm Super Foods, Naturally Austin, Bridge Leasing Group and SKU, the largest consumer product accelerator in the U.S. In both 2006 and 2020 he was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Central Texas. He is also the recipient of the Austin Under 40 Austinite of the Year Award. Clayton also served on the University of Texas President’s Innovation Board and the advisory board of Big Brother Big Sisters.
Clayton currently serves on the boards of Austin East Ciders, High Brew Coffee, KOS, Physician's Choice, Kitsch, Onda Sparkling Tequila, and The Beard Club. Clayton is an avid outdoorsman who loves cycling, skiing, sailing and spending time with his wife Carly, their two children, James and Charlotte. He splits his time between Jackson Hole, WY and Austin, TX.