My name is Ed Soehnel and I work in early-stage consumer product startups and small companies. I sold one company, built five and crashed two and am the founder of Basecamp InQb8r.

It’s genesis was 2008, when I began writing online about strategies and tactics for consumer product startups. Writing was a way for me to clarify my thoughts and became part of my knowledgebase so I did not have to keep everything in my head.

In 2012, I came up with the concept of an online platform as an efficient way to help startups develop, launch and grow, while also serving as a leads generator to give me advising opportunities, consulting work and/or investment prospects.  From there I continued to capture and organize the content and in 2017, published the first iteration of Basecamp InQb8r.  Since then, I have substantially evolved the platform with more content and based on learnings from and participation by startups, to where it is today.

As a consumer product entrepreneur, Basecamp InQb8r currently has most of what I would be looking for in an online 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. Data on other consumer product startups and companies so I can see how I compare and potentially model in my company;
  4. 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.

The platform has helped me to understand, identify, locate, vet and work with early-stage consumer product startups and small companies. This ecosystem has traditionally been very hard, inefficient and opaque to operate in because of the lack of available information. To help solve this problem for the platform, I have had to design and build my own marketplace intelligence tools and processes, which I discovered are also of value to other consumer product marketplace participants, including investors, vendors, manufacturers, service providers, government and non-profits. As a result, I work with these participants in a few different ways:

  1. By providing access to the data and tools for marketplace intelligence, which can be used for filtering and analyzing data across different variables to identify startup and product trends, understanding the competitive landscape, who is gaining traction and why, and much more;
  2. With prospect development, by identifying and locating early-stage consumer product companies for investment in, partnership with, intellectual property licensing, co-marketing relationships or as customers.
  3. As an outsourced entrepreneur-in-residence, where I can use the platform to help me efficiently incubate startups for others.

Future Directions

My ideas for how to further evolve Basecamp InQb8r include the following:

  1. Further develop my databases to include more data and tools for analysis and insights.
  2. Use big data in the marketplace to identify trends and design smart growth strategies.

More about me can be found at https://EdSoehnel.com.