Frequently Asked Questions & Product Instructions

General FAQ

We want to see consumer product startups become viable businesses that are profitable, sustainable and potentially fundable, if they want to or need to raise money.

It makes no sense to withhold valuable education content, which is typically the approach of existing incubators and accelerators who only accept a small percentage into their programs. 

A startup can hire consultants but that burns precious cash. 

We think it is better to give everyone the education to help them get oriented and running in the right direction, which thereby increases the chances that they become a business that can hire consultants, if they need them, or raise funding if they need to or want to go in that direction. 

We know that time is your greatest and most valued asset, so we built Basecamp InQb8r to give you want you need and quickly.  You don’t have to pop in to constantly monitor information feeds and remember what you already reviewed.

We send out emails twice per month with new content updates so you do not have to always be checking. We build the updates in a blog post and then at the end of two-week period, we copy and paste that into an email (which you can unsubscribe from at any time).  If something in the email looks helpful to you,  you can pop in to access the content. Platform updates are located here: https://basecampinqb8r.com/category/updates/

We also include filtering of information and data on the platform by date added/updated so you do not have to remember if you reviewed something already or not.

We have an orientation for new members further down this page.

The goal for incubator members is to build into their companies the following top line fundamentals.  If entrepreneurs can successfully do all five, they are more likely to be successful.  Basecamp InQb8r’s content is designed to support these five elements.

  1. Capture customer’s attention: your product or something about your company has a “WOW” factor that grabs consumers quickly.
  2. Defensible: you have a patent or the potential for a patent, or you product is hard to copy, or anything else about your company that makes you unique that customers desire which is hard to copy or duplicate.
  3. Repeat purchasers: you are not constantly having to replace lost customers with new ones.
  4. Scales, or can grow to serve a lot of customers, which by nature defines a typical consumer product company, but further means that the supply chain is not overly fragile and there are economies of scale gained with growth.
  5. Profitable at a 20% net margin that is sustainable, which means you probably have good cost control in your cost of goods sold, your marketing acquisition costs and your operating expenses.

If an incubator member is executing successfully on these top-line fundamentals or shows strong potential to do so, Basecamp InQb8r may be open to investing, which typically includes participation from additional outside investors that we work with.

The process is to become a member, learn how to build in these top line fundamentals through our content, start executing, and then as the startup shows progress and success, they may become a candidate for funding.  If a startup is not yet executing on these top line fundamentals but believes they have strong potential to do so, they can still apply for funding.

The funding application is only available to incubator members.

We will look at provisional and awarded patents from inventors and will consider licensing.  The IP must be about a consumer product.

Orientation for new members: PLEASE START HERE

This is the main account dashboard page.  Please bookmark it as the login page.

We suggest the following to help you get started quickly:

  1. Start with a quick review of the University Section and how it is organized.
  2. Following that, jump into the Growth Stack, because it is a powerful growth approach and might give orientation on where to go with your company.
  3. From there, you can access the University Sections in the sequence laid out (which mirrors the Growth Stack roadmap) or access specific sections as you need.
  4. We post content to the Knowledge Boards constantly based on what we see going on in the marketplace and what is working that you might be able to apply to your company. It is organized by section that mirrors how University is organized.
  5. The Calendar includes online events that we hold for members.

Data Platform Overview & Reports: Review each dataset contained in this section for which you have access.

Data Platform Overview & Reports: Review each dataset contained in this section for which you have access.

You will be subscribed to our newsletter that goes out twice per month with content and platform updates.

Please whitelist [email protected] in your email account.

We designed our emails to be quick reads so you can easily grasp what has been added or changed in the platform to see if it is relevant for you.

Our emails are blog posts first, which we build through the course of two-week period, then copy and paste that into an email which goes out at the end of the period.  See those update posts here.

Data Platform Use Instructions

To scroll left/right, click into any cell and use the left/right arrow keys.

To view details on each resource on one screen, click “view”.

You can filter the table in this view or export the entire table and work with it in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.

We suggest checking the dataset monthly and filtering by date added/updated so you only see what has been added/updated and you do not have to review the entire dataset again.

If you cannot scroll down to the bottom of the page (where you see the footer), try resizing your browser window by selecting the Maximize/Restore down button on the top right of the browser window.  Doing this once should correct the view and then you can resize your browser as you desire.  Sometimes the embedded table distorts formatting that should fix itself with this action.

The Company Dataset includes companies we submit based on our research.  They could be category leaders or are doing something interesting that we want to make note of and follow.

But just because they are on this list does not mean they are profitable or succeeding.  But they have captured mindshare so are important to potentially follow for your product category.

You can use this list to research companies in your category that might give you ideas to model in your own company (such as how they market their products). Even if a company on this list is not in your category, you might still consider tracking them as ideas can easily cross-pollinate from one category to another.

We curate this list even further by summarizing strategies and tactics that we find interesting from selected companies in our dataset.  View our Strategy Teardown posts on the Data Platform Overview & Reports Page.

Not all records are complete.  Some have significant information while others do not. The information may depend on what we can obtain, what assumptions we can make and what level of research we are doing into a particular company or category.

The qualitative and quantitative data points on each company that we track are included in this document.

External Datasets are data sources or specific datasets either publicly available or for purchase that may be useful for a consumer product company.  The purpose of this dataset is to serve as a directory of potentially useful data sources that consumer product companies can use to help grow.

The Hierarchy field categorizes a dataset by its scope of data, starting with global down to companies/competitors.  There is also a value to indicate if the dataset is a directory of datasets.

If applicable, we include data under product category, product sub-category, distribution category and distributions for each record.

The Workflows Dataset includes examples of or actual workflows used in data science projects for a consumer product company.  The purpose of this dataset is to give examples of data analysis and data science workflows that a consumer product company can model to use in their company.

If applicable, we include data under companies, vendors, operational focus, product category and product sub-category for each record.

The following dataset includes data science use cases for data in a CPG or consumer product company.  There are 2 ways to use it:

  1. Include generic data sets and their business use by department or company division so you can see if they apply to your company and include them in your data strategy.
  2. Track more specific data use cases practiced by other companies, with emphasis on what they are doing with more advanced data analysis, like using machine learning.

Division: company department

Data:  data sources

Business Need:  description of the use of the data as it relates to the business need or problem our outcome desired

Application Level:

  • Basic: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, averages
  • Intermediate: utilizing more advanced statistics to analyze past data
  • Advanced: utilize modeling (AI and machine learning)

Data Location:

  • Internal: data produced by the company
  • External: data produced external to the company, either by other vendors and available for sales or in the public domain

Note that these fields are also included in the Company Dataset, where we may have more information on each company.

The Resource Dataset includes records with the following information.

Resource Name

Parent/Supporting Organization: If any

Website

Product Category: If blank then the resource works in all consumer product categories

Resources Offered:  The specific resources offered, including

  • Education/Knowledge Base
  • Mentors/Advisors
  • Networking/Events/Tradeshows
  • Accelerator
  • Incubator
  • Seed/Angel Investor
  • Venture Capital/Private Equity Investor
  • Lender
  • Crowdfunding
  • M&A
  • Consolidator

Address

Miscellaneous Notes

This dataset includes vendors with offerings that may be helpful for growing consumer product companies.  Those on this list have more unique and differentiated offerings.  This list is skewed towards vendors with data science related products and services.

Records with Data Science Methodologies identified lists the specific functions the vendor provides with respect to data science.  Please see the University Data Science section to learn more.

Those labeled as Tools/Resource offer free resources that we have found useful.

These datasets include distribution companies (platforms, resellers, retail, wholesalers, affiliate).

There are two datasets available.

Distribution Categories Dataset

This is a list of distribution categories we use to categorize distribution companies. You can use this list to think about where your product might be distributed.

Distribution Companies

This dataset includes distribution companies.

This data is by no means comprehensive. We are not able to include every potential company that is eligible for inclusion in this dataset, but we do our best to include all that we can.

The quantitative data is a rule of thumb. Each specific category and/or vendor may be different. Information fields are as follows.

Distribution Name

Product Categories

Channel

Distribution Channel Type:  identified based on the distribution categories dataset (above).

Distribution Points: number of locations.

States with Locations: which states with locations.

Markup/Margin Range: most retailers operate in a range, expressed here.

Markup/Margin Percentage: some retailers operate with one markup/margin number across all products, expressed here.

Tradespend Percentage: an average for this retailer across all products.

Distribution Notes: if any.