My name is Ed Soehnel and I work in the early-stage and lower-middle-market (0-$50MM in annual revenue ) CPG, FMCG and consumer product marketplace. With partners, I took one company to $100 million, another to $50 million and 32,000 retail outlets, a third to $25 million, and a fourth that is niche focused in 6-figures.  Previous to these companies,  I sold one technology company, crashed two others, and built a new division for an existing company. In between all this, I’ve worked on so many other ideas that I have lost count and have done extensive mentoring and advising. Since 2008,  I’ve been writing online on my personal website at EdSoehnel.com and on Quora about strategies and tactics for consumer product startups.

I created Basecamp InQb8r to help address some issues I see with respect to the consumer product startup marketplace, while also giving me more opportunities to work with consumer product startups.

Startups have limited resources

Startups come to me all the time for help, but it is not economical for them to spend precious cash and resources to hire me.  I created my platform as a more economical way to help startups by publishing everything I know from past experience about developing, launching and growing a consumer product company.

As a consumer product entrepreneur, Basecamp InQb8r currently has most of what I would be looking for in a consumer product business intelligence platform to help me develop, launch and grow, including:

  1. Education that teaches me the comprehensive basics to develop, launch and grow a consumer product company, while also staying current with industry and marketplace practices;
  2. A knowledge board that has current strategies and tactics working in the marketplace that I can include in my company, while also helping me stay abreast of key news and trends;
  3. A list of curated resources I can tap to help me grow, including additional education sources, mentors/advisors, investors, vendors, distribution sources, events and more.
  4. Ability to speak with an expert to get specific questions answered and one-on-one advice.

Investors have a hard time with small investments and operate in a hyper-competitive environment

Investors traditionally have a hard time working with early stage companies because the amount required to invest is too small, as it takes about the same amount of time to do due diligence for any cash investment.

Through my platform, I can work with investors to help find prospects that might fit their criteria and develop a relationship while educating them to help groom for potential investment.

Investing at later stages is hyper competitive for investors, so the earlier they can identify prospects in which to develop a relationship, the more opportunity they have to potentially secure prospects for investing.

Through my platform, investors can outsource their lead generation, relationship building and entrepreneur-in-residence functions to me for early stage companies so they can focus on the business of due diligence and investing in later stage companies.

A very small percentage of startups get accepted into incubator and accelerator programs

Something like 3% is the average acceptance rate.  But many that are not accepted still present great growth opportunities and they need help, which they can get through my platform.

Startups and investors may not be leveraging data like they could

Whether its internal data or external data or simple data analysis to complex machine learning, I have built my platform to help educate startups about using data.

I also use big data to help source prospects for investors.

But it goes further than that for me.  I am very interested in learning about datasets that companies create from their own data which can be leveraged in different ways to help them grow.  The same goes for external datasets that can be assembled to help companies grow.  I am doing some of that through my Data Platform, which takes external data and structures it into datasets to make it useful.