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Episode 17 | How CircleUp is Using Machine Learning to Make CPG as Efficient as Tech, with CircleUp Founder Ryan Caldbeck

By January 21st, 2018

Episode 17 | How CircleUp is Using Machine Learning to Make CPG as Efficient as Tech

with CircleUp Founder and CEO Ryan Caldbeck

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The Consumer Packaged Goods space is 3.5 times the size of Tech, but you’d never know it based on how much attention Tech companies receive compared to CPG brands.

Part of the reason has to do with efficiency, and the relative ease with which tech startups can access capital – and make splashy headlines as they take on funding or make big exits.

Compared to Tech, CPG just isn’t efficient. Right now, the best way to learn about new opportunities – both for investors and brands – is to attend a few gigantic, hectic trade shows each year.

Ryan Caldbeck is here to change all of that.

Ryan is the founder and CEO of CircleUp, an investment platform that provides capital and resources to innovative, early-stage consumer brands. They’ve developed game-changing machine learning technology called Helio that continuously analyzes 1.2M CPG companies to help connect investors with brands and brands with resources. 

In this episode, Ryan tells us why he founded CircleUp, why he’s so bullish on data, and why right now is the best time to be an entrepreneur.

He also shares a DIY data hack that any brand – regardless of resources – can deploy to help make smarter decisions and iterate their products at the speed of the market.


  • We know data is king – but what if you’re a young brand that can’t afford the money, or time, to invest in it? Ryan presents an ingenious DIY data hack.
  • What’s the #1 metric that investors and retailers care about? Ryan lives and breathes data, and tells us the right KPI to focus on.
  • How do you optimize sampling for maximum insights? Not all sampling is equally effective – Ryan tells you what you need to know.

Jump to

  • Ryan describes the journey to find his purpose and the origins of CircleUp. 4:40
  • A great breakdown of CircleUp’s mission and the Helio technology platform that powers much of what they do. 9:19
  • The DIY data hack that all emerging brands should use to make decisions and iterate their product. 15:10
  • Why you should think twice about sampling at that big music festival. 22:00
  • The most important KPI for emerging brands. 23:20
  • Why right now is the best time to be an entrepreneur. 24:33


Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line!

Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

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