Leaders in Retail, CPG, and Academia Unite to Launch Bentonville-Based Consumer Product Innovation Lab

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CPI Lab's incubator and 8th & Walton's, "Selling to the Masses" courses help inventors and companies sell products to major retailers.

30,000 new consumer products are launched each year and 95% of them fail; CPI Lab is designed to change that statistic.

8th & Walton, best known for its “by suppliers, for suppliers” approach to Walmart supplier education has launched a new division in partnership with some of the biggest names in retailing and consumer product marketing, called “Selling to the Masses,” an answer to the high number of consumer products that are launched annually but fail to succeed.

According to a study by Harvard Business School, 30,000 new consumer products are launched each year and 95% of them fail; the courses offered through Selling to the Masses are designed to change that statistic.

“Selling to the Masses and CPI Labs have the potential to dramatically increase the success rate of the more than 30,000 consumer products that go to market each year by arming early stage companies with the tools, resources, and connections they will need to go to market,” states Matt Fifer, founder and partner at 8th & Walton and its parent company 101 Ventures.

During several scheduled events slated for 2012, early stage consumer product companies from all over the country will gather in Bentonville and other major U.S. cities to learn from experts who have spent their careers selling to the country’s top retail chains.

“We have the benefit of being headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, which is not only home to the world’s largest retailer, but also to more than 1,200 of the most successful consumer brand teams which also have a presence here. There is nowhere in the world with a greater concentration of knowledge and experience when it comes to taking consumer products to market,” Fifer continues.

Instructors and guest speakers include current and former executives from some of the world’s most successful retailers and consumer product companies.

Selling to the Masses mentor and board member, Tom Muccio, retired president of Procter & Gamble’s Global Customer teams states, “Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to compete for a limited number of spots in the Consumer Product Innovation Lab, where many of the same instructors and mentors they’ll meet in the classroom will take a hands-on approach in helping take the very best products to market.”

Teams will be striving for one of two outcomes: getting their product onto the shelves of at least one major retailer or selling their business to a larger consumer product company.

Beginning February 22, 2012, early stage consumer product companies can register for a Selling to the Masses course or workshop. Applications for the Consumer Product Innovation Lab will be made available to course attendees at each event.

Mentor and board member Bob Connolly, retired Executive Vice President of Merchandising for Walmart, explains, “Our objective is to get personally involved in these early stage companies by bringing the best of the best together as teachers and mentors to these companies and dramatically improve their chances of success.”

Mentors and instructors include: Bob Connolly - Executive Vice President Merchandising (ret.), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Tom Muccio - President of Global Customer Teams (ret.) Procter & Gamble, Andy Murray - Founder & Chairman (ret.) Saatchi & Saatchi X, and Lois Mikita - Senior Vice President / GMM Apparel & Home (ret) Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., among many others.
For more information on Selling to the Masses and CPI Lab, visit http://www.SellingtotheMasses.com.

About 8th & Walton

Founded in 2006, 8th & Walton is a Bentonville, Arkansas based supplier development company that has helped thousands of organizations in their efforts to do business better with the world's largest retailer.

About the Consumer Product Innovation (CPI) Lab

The Consumer Product Innovation (CPI) Lab reviews applications submitted by early stage consumer product companies willing to give up a small amount of equity in exchange for access to capital and to some of the most experienced and connected consumer product marketing experts in the world.

Six times each year, the Lab’s advisory board reviews applications from past workshop attendees who believe they have ‘the next big thing,’ and who think they would benefit from a team of experts that can work with them side by side to help them finish what they have started. A limited number of the most promising product teams are funded and brought to Bentonville to go to work with our team.

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Jeff Clapper
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