Category: Leadership

How CircleUp Growth Partners will Challenge the Value-Add / Scale Paradox

This Tuesday, we announced our $125 million venture fund, CircleUp Growth Partners. In his post,  our CEO Ryan wrote about why we raised this Fund and why it will be transformational for private investing in consumer and retail. However, an essential element of what will differentiate this fund lies in how we think about creating ...

The Theme at Milken Global Conference: Be Skeptical, Be Vigilant

It’s not often that President George W. Bush, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the CEO of NASDAQ all speak on the same stage at a conference. The Milken Institute’s Global Conference is a unique environment, with a broad cross section of technologists, economists and financial leaders. Sitting on a fintech panel this year, I saw asset managers ...

Founding Figures: Austin Allan, Founder & CEO of Tio Gazpacho [video]

Austin Allan stopped by our office to share the latest with his company, Tio Gazpacho. He started Tio Gazpacho 4 years ago and shares his journey to bring ready-to-drink soups to the US market. He closed $1.25M in funding in 2016. Moderated by Ben Lee, Managing Director of CircleUp’s Family of Funds  

Founding Figures: Sheryl O’Loughlin, CEO of REBBL [video]

An intimate conversation with Sheryl O’Loughlin, former CEO of Clif Bar, Co-founder of Plum Organics, and current CEO of REBBL. Sheryl shares her wisdom and experience as a successful entrepreneur and tells it like it is: If you don’t invest in your wellbeing, your business will not succeed, nor will you. Sheryl recently published Killing ...

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 ...

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, ...

Innovation In Consumer And Retail: Where Investors Look For Innovation

How many of these ring a bell? SuperZoo, Cosmoprof, HBA, Natural Products Expo West, Natural Products Expo East, Fancy Food Show, Global Pet Expo, Outdoor Retailer. Unless you’re a consumer investor, entrepreneur or retailer, you’re likely spared from these consumer products tradeshows, which are the biggest and best in the industry. These tradeshows are where ...

A Boom of Innovation in Personal Care, as seen at Cosmoprof 2016

By: CircleUp One of the best places to find emerging trends in personal care is Cosmoprof North America. This year, there were about 34,000 attendees and 1,150 exhibitors. The event was chock full of innovative brands showcasing new products that cater to consumer demands for authenticity and quality. This comes at a time when big brands ...

2016 Superzoo Recap: Our Top Trends and Brands

Last week, our Business Development team hit the grounds of Las Vegas for Superzoo, a tradeshow swarming with innovative brands in pet food, treats, and accessories. This year’s Superzoo confirmed that the pet industry is chock full of new products that are higher quality, more unique, and more sustainable than in years past. Here are ...

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 ...