Ryan Caldbeck

All posts by Ryan Caldbeck

CircleUp25: The Most Innovative Consumer And Retail Brands Of 2017

Self-driving cars, quantum computing and virtual reality may dominate most of business news headlines—but at CircleUp, we believe strongly that some of the most exciting innovation is occurring in the consumer industry. That is why each year, we host CircleUp25, our awards recognizing the most innovative consumer and retail brands. CircleUp25 shines the light on the brands improving some of ...

The Product Launch Fallacy of Big CPGs

It’s no secret that the largest, oldest CPG brands haven’t innovated at the pace they should have. New CircleUp data released here illustrates how big brands have fallen behind. Pepsi soda, Kitkat bars, and Clorox cleaner are decades, near-centuries old, and still have largely unchanged formulas. Just imagine if giants in other industries changed at ...

Announcing The Launch of Helio

CircleUp exists to help promising entrepreneurs raise capital and sophisticated investors invest in breakthrough brands with confidence and efficiency on both sides. Since we opened our doors in 2012 we’ve been challenging private equity norms by revolutionizing manual company sourcing and vetting with a technology-driven private marketplace. The ability to standardize and extract deep insights ...

Innovation In Consumer And Retail: What Drives Disruption

One of the biggest sectors of the economy today is going through massive disruption through innovation. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. I don’t mean banking and fintech; it’s not Detroit and electric cars; it’s not even media and online streaming. It is so pervasive that many people seem to forget it even exists, ...

CircleUp25: The 25 Most Innovative Consumer Brands of 2016

It’s rare when one of the biggest sectors of our economy experiences massive change. The change is so pervasive, it can sometimes fly under the radar since it’s constantly happening right under our noses. Consumer and retail is seeing tremendous innovation, and it has once-dominant, big industry players stumbling. CircleUp25 recognizes trailblazers leading this innovation. Previous ...

How to Close Your Funding Round

This post features an essential closing checklist, downloadable and printable here, which we helped create for entrepreneurs to guide and monitor fundraising periods. Fundraising is really hard to do, no matter how attractive the company. It is especially hard in for emerging consumer and retail brands, where there’s no centralized network surfacing the most promising ...

How the Rise of Marketplace Investing Will Change Finance

In five years, no one will be talking about crowdfunding. The term is inherently flawed, as it focuses on the wrong side of any investment: the donor/investor. And it’s become too broad to be meaningful. The missions of the leading players are widely misunderstood, even by their own users. ‘Crowdfunding’ conflates a variety of very ...

Why Early-Stage Consumer Entrepreneurs Are Having More Success Fundraising

Companies that sell food, clothes and packaged goods are less profitable than companies pushing software and online services, right? Not exactly. Saar Gur, a general partner at Charles River Ventures, a multi-billion technology venture capital fund, recently published detailed research challenging conventional wisdom about the potential for consumer product companies. Gur’s research (reproduced with expressed ...

Our Data-Driven Approach to Marketplace Investing

By: Ryan Caldbeck Read more about the Classifier in the Wall Street Journal. Today we’re announcing the Classifier, our data-driven approach to Marketplace Investing. Over the past 19 months, we have created a machine-learning algorithm that automatically evaluates companies on an average of over 92,000 data points, each, before they are accepted onto CircleUp. Since we started ...