My name is Ed Soehnel and I work in the early-stage and lower middle-market (0-$50MM in annual revenue ) CPG, FMCG, consumer goods, B2C, and B2B2C marketplaces. As a CXO-level employee, 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 goods startups.
I created Basecamp InQb8r for the following reasons.
I love entrepreneurship and everything about it
It is very motivating for me to interact with startups and other entrepreneurs because I love to feed off their energy and learn how they do things to possibly apply to my businesses.
I wanted a way to efficiently interact with and work with as many entrepreneurs and startups as possible, which lead me to develop my incubator that lets me leverage my knowledge into working with many startups at once.
I want to influence good companies being built
I think the best way to do this is to leverage my knowledge to help others rather than keeping it locked in my head.
Secondarily is to help fund them, but there are only so many I can help in this way. My knowledge, on the other hand, can be freely shared with many, which is why it is free for early-stage consumer goods startups.
We need innovation
There are so many incumbent products that are inferior at solving problems. In fact, so many just create more problems.
We need innovation to give us better products and improve the quality of people’s lives. I want to be a part of facilitating innovation through my content and my incubator.
I believe in entrepreneurship as a catalyst for creating dynamic, diverse and successful cities and communities
But it seems like that gets forgotten through the way things work now, which is aligning huge resources in education and funding all towards supporting a small percentage of businesses and stakeholders.
I see no reason why we cannot have that but also help all the other businesses that are the real drivers of our economy and growth and can do the most towards a more equal distribution of wealth.
My hope is that my incubator will play a part in helping all the “other” businesses in our ecosystem.
@web said this about businesses that I want to support:
“I’m always fascinated by the businesses that seem modest while maintaining a tremendous impact on the families or neighborhoods in their orbits. We always think about business in terms of growth, exits, or liquidity. We rarely consider them to be platforms for some to do good.”
Consumer goods startups have limited resources that could be addressed through online education
Since 2008, when I started writing and publishing my expertise online, I have had 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 goods company.
It just seems to me that the more startups I can help with a base level of knowledge, the more opportunities that means for me as a potential partner/investor in their company.
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.