My name is Ed Soehnel and I do consumer product startups. I have one company, built five and crashed two and am the founder of Basecamp InQb8r.
It’s genesis started in 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. I also became more involved in mentoring and advising consumer product startups.
Over time, I began to recognize certain needs with respect to consumer product startups:
- The best way to promote entrepreneurship and startup success is to help people at the earliest possible stage – when they have an idea and have not spent much time or any money. Educating entrepreneurs is generally a part of incubators and accelerators but they tend to be exclusive, only accepting a few, and that education happens later when time and money has already been spent.
- The focus of traditional incubators and accelerators is to fund startups to achieve 9+ figures in sales and an exit event. I built Basecamp InQb8r to help consumer product startups down a path where they can self-fund, operate at smaller levels and exist privately and profitably. But the principles taught in Basecamp InQb8r are the same that investors look for to fund companies, which makes the platform positioned to help those consumer product startups that want investor participation.
- I wanted a platform that aggregates what others are doing in consumer product startups so that all can learn.
So, I organized my content online and in 2017, launched the first iteration of Basecamp InQb8r by productizing the University sections and charging for access.
That was not an ideal model because consumer product startups lack the monetary resources. But I was not sure how to offer a fremium model that I could also monetize.
As I operated Basecamp InQb8r and learned, it became apparent that a way to monetize the platform was through data, for which others are able and very much willing to pay. The consumer product startups funding landscape is not well developed like technology, so platforms like Basecamp InQb8r maybe serve a need for investors who want data and early access to consumer product startups.
I switched to a freemium model in 2019 that allowed consumer product startups free access, but where investors could purchase access to the data and sponsors could be promoted through the public content. This switch also saw me move the platform off of my personal website and onto its own domain. I also added the Knowledge Boards and the Data Platform sections.
More about me can be found at https://EdSoehnel.com.