Launching Physical Products – Don't Sheet the Bed
60-min panel, 30-min Q&A. In this session, you'll learn how to strategically launch and scale a physical product company from a panel of amazing Colorado consumer brands, moderated by the Managing Director of Techstars Boulder. Topics covered will be: crowdfunding, direct-to-consumer marketing, e-commerce insights, how to approach the Amazon channel, physical retail do's and don't's, supply chain and inventory management, inventory financing, customer experience, brand building, acquisition strategies, fundraising, and other fun and terrible things about growing physical product companies.
Moderator: Natty Zola, Managing Director of Techstars Boulder and and Managing Partner at Matchstick Ventures. As MD of Techstars Boulder for 5 years (and as a seed investor), Natty has seen countless companies launch, scale, succeed, or fail. Combined with his experience as a former founder with a successful exit, Natty has a unique outlook on building and scaling companies.
Colin McIntosh – founder & CEO of Sheets & Giggles (sheetsgiggles.com), one of the fastest-growing direct-to-consumer bedding brands in the US. Makers of sustainable, premium Eucalyptus bed sheets, S&G launched with a crowdfunding campaign in May 2018, won Denver Startup Week's pitch competition in Sept 2018, participated in Techstars Boulder 2019, and sold $1 million worth of product in its first 12 months of sales. Almost entirely revenue-funded, S&G is currently on a 4x growth trajectory year-over-year, and in July 2019 S&G raised a $1.3M seed round to accelerate its growth.
Jaclyn Fu – co-founder & CEO of Pepper (wearpepper.com), a rapidly growing direct-to-consumer apparel brand specializing in bras for small-breasted women. Jaclyn is a proud member of the IBTC, but has stuffed her bra once or twice in high school. Her claim to fame now is being able to say her boobs made an appearance in the Huffington Post when Pepper was launched. Jaclyn has led marketing at consumer technology companies like Etsy, Grouper Social Club and Mozilla. She is passionate about building online and offline communities, including teaching yoga as a certified instructor.
Jens Nicolaysen – co-founder & CMO of Shinesty (shinesty.com), a leading apparel brand that exists for one reason and one reason only: to bring you the most outlandish collection of clothing the world has ever seen. Shinesty has experienced rapid growth since its launch in 2014, and it now has thousands of SKUs across dozens of categories, including a hugely successful monthly boxer subscription (or as Shinesty calls them, ball hammocks). A graduate of CU Boulder, Jens is one of the foremost e-commerce marketing experts in Colorado, and Shinesty continues to dominate their category and grow aggressively year-over-year.
Joel Stevens – Co-Founder & Partner at Boulder-based Epic Water Filters (EWF), a leading DTC brand in the portable & home water filtration space. Epic Water Filters has experienced rapid growth in their subscription model since 2017, and their products are now sold in over 33 countries. EWF builds the premier water filter system for both the Hydro Flask & Nalgene wide mouth water bottles. Joel is unique on the panel, as he and his team have completely bootstrapped EWF's growth, taking no outside investors as of yet. Joel is a graduate from the University of Northern Iowa and former US Marine. He built his first e-commerce site in 1999, which failed miserably.