All posts by CircleUp

CircleUp is a technology company that provides capital to innovative early-stage consumer brands and opportunities for leading investors to participate in their growth.

The Goodwell Company: Cleaning up (and open-sourcing) the $5BN oral care industry

By: CircleUp What’s a product that the majority of people use every day, that can be made more sustainable and environmentally friendly? The founders of The Goodwell Company, Patrick Triato and Aaron Feiger, asked themselves this question as they ruminated over their next business venture. The answer they came to: the humble toothbrush. Oral care is ...

How to Launch (And Scale) Your Brand in Whole Foods Market

 By: Zach Grannis Michael Besancon began his career at Whole Foods Market in 1994, joining as Director of Purchasing for the Southern Pacific Region. Seventeen years later Besancon retired as Senior Global Vice-President of Purchasing, Distribution and Communications. “Having worked in our line of business from soup to nuts, Michael is absolutely one of the most ...

How HYLETE Sells Athletic Apparel Without Limits (or Retail Stores)

By: CircleUp The very nature of cross-training apparel presents numerous design challenges. Creating clothes that fit a variety of different body shapes is tough enough, designing for a variety of body shapes as well as the wide array of movements functional fitness employs is another level entirely. But for companies willing to make the leap, ...

With Green Zebra Grocery, Lisa Sedlar and team are rethinking the modern convenience store.

The concept for the 20-minute neighborhood is simple: you should have just about everything you need within a twenty minute walk or bike ride. And though this idea has recently spread to other cities, states, and even countries, Oregon’s largest city is serious about it. By 2030 Portland wants to turn 90% of the city into 20-minute neighborhoods. ...

In Pursuit of Retail Hyper-Growth: Protein for Pets’ Ambitious Plan to Build the Trader Joe’s of Pet Food

By: CircleUp Stroll the aisles of the nearest pet food store and, regardless of whether it’s an independent, neighborhood joint or a massive chain, you’ll notice the store invariably stocks all the food by brand, rather than by ingredient, type, or need. It’s a strange method of stocking that clearly values manufacturers over consumers, a ...

Healthy Gelato? Why Adrian Pace Left Wall Street to Become a Gelato Maestro

By: CircleUp The branding challenge for Forte Gelato, a maker of all-natural, high-protein gelato, is an unusual one: the product may be perceived as simply too good to be good for you. Today’s consumers are rightfully suspicious of big claims, particularly when it comes to “healthy” snacks. Though ice cream is still a $10 billion ...

REDWOOD: The Small Brooklyn Creative Agency That Wants to Change How Consumer Brands Get to Market

By: CircleUp For Zak Normandin, leaving the brand he founded, Little Duck Organics, wasn’t an easy decision. “I was at a point where I had diluted myself (equity-wise) out of the company. I looked three years into the future and realized the best decision was to move-on and start something new.” Normandin founded Little Duck in ...

CircleUp Funded: How PUBLIC Bikes is Bringing Beauty and Affordability to America’s New Favorite Way to Commute

“We created PUBLIC Bikes because we wanted to bring a different design ethos to an industry dominated by sportier, NASCAR-style racing aesthetics,” says Dan Nguyen-Tan, a Founding Executive at PUBLIC, a San Francisco-based company that’s been bringing beautiful and affordable bicycles to an underserved market since 2010. The company’s founder, Rob Forbes, is the mind ...

FlyKly: A Hardware Startup That’s Making the Future of Commuting Bike Friendly

Niko Klansek is from a family of entrepreneurs. “My grandfather, grandmother, mother, uncle — everybody owned their own businesses,” he says. As a kid, though, Klansek was more interested in basketball. He played for the National Team of Slovenia (where he grew up) and it was a basketball scholarship that first brought him to the ...

Cream of the Crop: Smári Organics is Using a Thousand Year Old Yogurt to Revolutionize Healthy Eating

Yogurt may have originated as a way of preserving milk, but today its appeal is about fast, easy nutrition. Packed with protein and calcium, the cultured dairy product is big business, with Euromonitor recently estimating the 2014 US yogurt market to be over $8 billion and growing. But not all brands are alike. Smári Organics has tackled ...