Startup Incubator For Consumer Product Companies
Why I Developed My Startup Incubator
I see so many startups and product launches that waste money, time or outright fail because they use the wrong growth strategy.
- An option for startups to learn how to grow is to hire advisors or consultants. But this requires money which most startups have little of and which they need to drive growth in sales.
- They could network among their peers, but seriously, going to meetings and developing relationships takes time, which is money.
- They could try to raise money from angels, private equity or venture capitalist to hire the talent or give them the runway to learn as they go, but that takes time and money by itself, and unless they have a blockbuster idea or have done it before, the chances of landing investment is low.
- They could apply to accelerators who often have education components included, which is a great option for very early-stage startups. But that also takes time and money and can mean relocating, which in my experience pretty much excludes most people who are not single and over 35.
- But there is competition to apply for funding from accelerators, and again, without a blockbuster product and some prior experience, the chances of landing investment is low.
- Or, they could just plow forward and make mistakes and hope that their mistakes do not outlast their cash to get their company to profitability or through the next round of investment. This is mostly what I see, which leads to unnecessary struggles and failures.
In my opinion, none of these are the best approach to grow.
In fact, I think I have a better approach for developing, launching and growing consumer product companies.
The Foundation For My Startup Incubator
My incubator teaches and supports my Growth Stack.
My Growth Stack is my approach to growth that in my experience, requires the least amount of investment and the least amount of risk, and has the potential to provide much faster, more robust and sustainable growth.
I have used this approach exclusively since 2007 and with it, accomplished the following with my partners:
- Took a food company to $50 mm and 32K retail outlets inside 18 months and profitable;
- Took an education company to $25 m inside 3 years and profitable;
- Took a supplement company to $100 mm inside 18-months and profitable;
- Currently working on a pet products company that is at 6-figures in annual revenue and very profitable.
My approach works with any size company. If you want to stay small, it will work, if you want to grow big, it will work.
The Primary Benefits of Basecamp InQb8r
Based on my experience as an entrepreneur and observing hundreds of others over the course of my career, I have built Basecamp InQb8r to address these specific needs for consumer product startups.
Learn the Best Growth Approach
My Growth Stack is the roadmap for developing, launching and growing a consumer product company. Incubator members will learn this roadmap to apply to their own startup.
I also developed my Lean & Agile Framework, which is an operating manual to help support executing on the Growth Stack.
It is a large collection of content, methodologies, processes, tools, spreadsheets, diagrams, resource lists, research, data and software, organized to take a startup from idea to $50 million in annual sales.
But you don’t have to aspire to be a $50 million business to use my framework. If all you want is a 5 or 6 figure business, my framework will work, because at the core, it is primarily designed to help you get a highly profitable business, with much less risk, that is sustainable and competitively defensible.
Incubator members can work from anywhere, as long as they have Internet access. Education on the Growth Stack and Lean & Agile Framework is delivered online. This saves significant time and money over trying to learn through experts, consultants, advisors, or attending networking events, seminars or webinars.
Provide Initial Intensive One-on-One With Ongoing Light Advisory Level Support as Needed
Each startup is different, so there is a need for initial one-on-one to help each incubator member get oriented to the Growth Stack and Framework.
But following that, most startups just need to execute, so the incubator’s role falls back to advisor.
Initial intensive and ongoing advisory services can be done via voice/video calls, so startups can be located almost anywhere as long as they have Internet access.
Install the Right Technology Infrastructure Supported By The Right Processes and SOPs (standard operating procedures)
The growth stack is very data driven, so having the right technology platforms and processes in place are critical to be able to execute quickly and efficiently as the company grows.
Technology is also the glue that holds a startup together. It allows people to collaborate across distances and centralizes data so that everyone has what they need at all times.
I have taken existing well-known and supported systems and further modified them using my developers to create the ideal technology platform for developing, launching and growing consumer product companies.
I also use many common off-the-shelf systems for productivity and collaboration.
I built my technology platforms and processes to take a company from startup to $50 mm in sales, so there is no need to re-build or move to new technology as the company grows.
Do a major build and implement once, and you are done. But since I have already built the key systems, it is really just implementation and customization, which can be done quickly and very cost effectively.
Access to Marketing, Distribution and Sales Channels
In nearly all cases of consumer product startups, the hardest is getting access to the right marketing, distribution and sales channels and doing so cost-effectively.
I leverage my experience and relationships to help incubator members get what they need, when they need it and without breaking the bank.
In my travels over the decades, I have come across many entrepreneurs who do not want to raise funds to scale. They are more interested in a small business that is profitable and sustainable. It is really hard to develop blockbuster products that lead to an exit, either through acquisition or IPO. In fact, that is rare.
But yet the focus of most, if not all, existing incubators and accelerators that I see, is producing companies that need funding in hopes of achieving that rare exit event.
What is needed are resources to get an entrepreneur off the ground, earning revenue and profitability in a sustainable way. That is the primary focus of my incubator.
But, the Growth Stack, as I have proven in my past companies, will easily drive substantial growth. And for some incubator members that are proving success in the marketplace through the Growth Stack, and want funding to scale and understand the risks to doing that, the incubator will also provide this resource, which may be directly and/or with participation from outside investors.
But you may be thinking that you need money just to get out the gate.
I built my incubator specifically to help startups grow without possibly needing any investor capital. That is why I call the Framework “Lean & Agile”
How to Apply to Basecamp InQb8r
If the above appeals to you for your idea or startup, then please read on to understand what you need to do to apply.
Basecamp InQb8r looks for the following:
- Startups whose consumer products solve problems, not create them;
- Products can be physical or digital;
- Consumer brands whose products can be sold direct to consumer.
Let me give you a few examples about products that solve problems and not create them:
- Raw materials. So much of our consumption is driven off of products that harm our environment and our health. An incubator member could be one that sources products in more sustainable and humane ways to help displace those in the marketplace that are causing harm.
- Logistics. So much of our consumption is driven off of products sourced across the globe, creating significant carbon footprint. An incubator member could be one that sources products locally to reduce carbon footprint to help displace those in the marketplace that do not source locally.
- Offshoring. So much of our consumption is driven off of products sourced across the globe, which is offshoring work that could be limiting local economic impact. An incubator member could be one that sources products locally, increasing local economic impact.
- Production. So much of our consumption is driven off of products that use manufacturing processes which harm our environment and our health. An incubator member could be one that uses production processes that are less harmful to help displace those in the marketplace that are causing harm and/or using production processes that are less harmful to help displace those in the marketplace that are causing harm.
- Recycling. A product could be the same as incumbents, but maybe there is recycling built in by the company to take back that product for recycling/reuse.
These are just a few very broad examples. You need to think holistically about your company, what it does and what kinds of problems you solve, while also being mindful to not create new ones or continue exacerbating existing ones.
The incubator is not tied to specific markets or product categories.
Learn The Growth Stack
All Startups must attend my workshop, where I teach the basics about my Growth Stack.
It is important to learn my Growth Stack first to make sure it is a fit for you and your company, which is what Basecamp InQb8r is designed to support.
My workshop is a 2-hour webinar converted to text format and accessible at any time. This makes it far more efficient for people to go through the workshop rather than sit through a 2-hour webinar.
The workshop is freely available to anyone, even if you do not want to become an incubator member, but just want to find out what the Growth Stack roadmap is to apply on your own.
Benefits and Costs To You
The benefits are outlined above, but in greater detail in the incubator agreement that you would receive if your application is accepted.
The cost to all members is a equity in your company and a percentage of adjusted gross sales up to a specific amount, also outlined in the incubator agreement. There is a small initial fee to install the technology infrastructure. You do not have to use my technology infrastructure, although I recommend it if you currently do not have one in place.
If the incubator invests in your company or provides more specific services that you desire, then there would be a cost in the form of additional equity received by the incubator in your company and possibly additional costs. Those equity percentages and costs are set on a case-by-case basis.
Can I Get Access To The Framework Without Applying To The InQb8r?
There are startups who do not want to be a part of the InQb8r or do not qualify, but are interested in accessing the Framework, which is an operating manual to help support executing on the Growth Stack. It is a large collection of content, methodologies, processes, tools, spreadsheets, diagrams, resource lists, research, data and software, organized to take a startup from idea to $50 million in annual sales.
As a result, I have priced out access to the whole Framework and the individual sections on their own. Please click here to learn exactly what is in the Framework and pricing to access it.
I include a link at the end of the workshop where you can access the incubator application.
If you are interested in Basecamp InQb8r , please view my workshop. My workshop is in text format and accessible at any time.