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Stage 1 Fund Contributes to G.O.A.T. Fuel Raise

Dallas, May 22, 2023/ — G.O.A.T. Fuel, the amazing new energy drink, has completed raising a $5 million Seed round of funding led by Stage 1 Fund. Stage 1 Fund is dedicated to strengthening consumer-driven brands like G.O.A.T. Fuel and it is Stage 1 Fund’s honor to be a part of this raise.

G.O.A.T. Fuel is co-founded by the NFL Legend & Hall of Famer Jerry Rice along with his daughter, CEO Jaqui Rice Gold, and his son-in-law, CMO Trevion J. Gold. Jerry Rice is considered by most NFL fans to be the Greatest Of All Time wide receiver. His drive for excellence continues off the football field and into the business arena. It’s why they call it G.O.A.T. Fuel.

G.O.A.T. Fuel was born from the lack of a healthy option in the energy and sports drink market. Jerry Rice decided he could find a better solution and that determination lead to the birth of G.O.A.T. Fuel. An energy drink crafted from the very mushrooms that Hymilain goats consume to get more oxygen to their bloodstream. He succeeded in bringing something better to beverage enthusiasts everywhere.

Stage 1 Fund’s partner David Bartholomew had this to say about G.O.A.T. Fuel’s deal, “Stage 1 Fund is pleased to announce our 2nd investment in the emerging beverage silo with our closing of G.O.A.T. Fuel.  In particular, The U.S. energy drink market continues on an explosive path and is projected to be $30 Billion by 2027.  G.O.A.T. Fuel has differentiated itself from the competition by formulating clean energy derived from plant-based adaptogens and has already demonstrated strong growth and velocities via a large distribution network.  We are excited to be partnered with Co-Founders Jaqui Rice Gold & T.J. Gold, as well as the Greatest Of All Time, NFL Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice said Stage 1 Fund Managing Partner, David Bartholomew.”

Katy Triefenbach, CEO at Stage 1 Financial added, “Over the past several months Stage 1 Financial tracked a significant decrease in the amount of invested capital in the beverage silo. However, Stage 1 Fund saw a unique market opportunity for G.O.A.T.  Fuel to take a leadership position in the growing segment of adaptogen Energy Drinks. Similar to what we saw in Lemon Perfect three years ago, G.O.A.T Fuel’s strong leadership team and unique flavor profile allow them to stand out among competitor brands entering the market. We are thrilled to partner with G.O.A.T. Fuel and project significant near-term achievements for the brand.” 

This round of funding will be their first infusion of institutional growth capital and marks a significant shift in success for G.O.A.T. Fuel.

Greatest of All Time. The Energy Drink that Fuels Your Greatness. Tap into the Frequency. Tap into the Mindset. Tap into YOUR Greatness. No sugar, no preservatives, no aspartame, NO EXCUSES. To learn more about their brand or to find their products please visit

Stage 1 Fund has built a robust and proprietary pipeline of deal flow through its affiliate Stage 1 Financial, which provides outsourced corporate services to consumer companies that are potential investment candidates. This unique and advantageous model applies quantitative and qualitative protocols via the core business of Stage 1 Financial, thereby heavily vetting potential investment opportunities prior to deploying capital. Stage 1 Fund is also focused on consumer brands that are driven by sustainability, environmental concerns, female and minority-founded companies. Learn more at

For more information, contact David Bartholomew –

SOURCE Stage 1 Fund
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How our Reporting Solutions Work

The data and information your business has access to can feel overwhelming. We know the feeling. It can also feel like a huge task just gathering all of that data into usable reports, and then you are stuck with the task of analyzing, understanding and implementing that information. It’s no wonder some business owners cringe a little or roll their eyes when you bring up reporting. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way.

Stage 1 utilizes best-in-class technologies and 10 years of industry experience to deliver the ideal reporting solution for consumer-based companies.

You can have all of your reports in one location and have them created automatically without gathering them manually. You can have polished reports created at the click of a button and ready to share with investors. You can even see valuable information on a much faster cadence than just monthly.

Our most popular service, customized financial packages, offers detailed views of P&Ls by classes, cash flow tracking, and working capital trackers; all with detailed drill-downs and stylized to your brand and ready for investor board decks.

Just look at how our reporting solution can take all of those different data sources into a Tableau dashboard. Then, out comes refined, convenient reports, premade for all the important purposes you have for them. It’s time to work smarter, not harder when it comes to your reporting solutions.

Stage 1 utilizes best-in-class data integration tools to provide live eCommerce reports to track customer acquisition costs, customer cohort behavior, and customer retention.

It’s more than just saving you time and improving your data organization. We also play a pivotal role in analyzing that data to derive actionable takeaways. It’s why we are experts in the CPG reporting space. Years of experience with hundreds of brands have given us the ability to help direct your planning. It’s why we are both a software and a service solution.

If you want to learn more about our Business Intelligence: Reporting Solutions, please give us a call and see what you’ve been missing. It could easily be the difference between securing that next round of funding versus having to continue bootstrapping your business.

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Weathering the coming economic storm

Tough economic times ahead? 3 steps to prepare

With concerns escalating around a possible recession coming, our team at Stage 1 Financial wants to address the potential impact on your companies, vendors, and customers. Our team of experts has identified 3 critical steps to help your company thrive in this potentially difficult business climate.

To develop a more in-depth understanding of the impact this might have on your company, please reach out to schedule a meeting with one of our CFOs to talk about this topic in more detail. We’re here to support you!

Step 1: Cash is King! Start Conserving Cash

It’s critical to review expenses to ensure your operations are optimized and non-essential spending is minimized to preserve liquidity. Take a fresh look at your operations including:

    • Right size expenses – Forgo expensive in-house hires when you can outsource expertise at a fraction of the cost.
    • Lower Fixed Expenses – Categorize expenses by fixed (e.g. rent) and variable (e.g. raw materials) and understand which fixed costs may need to be reduced in the event of a decrease in consumer demand. Keep in mind that paying for fixed costs requires a minimum amount of monthly sales and that any decrease here reduces that pressure while increasing cash flow.
    • Ensure Marketing Cost Generates Cash – Confirm your understanding of the Return on Investment (ROI) of marketing spending and align spending levels with forecasted changes in revenue.
    • Optimize Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) – Reviewing and benchmarking the pricing of input items (e.g. raw materials), labor, overhead, 3rd party manufacturing, and supplier pricing (e.g. payment terms and tier pricing).
    • Leverage Working Capital – Collect A/R faster!  Reduce inventory by running more frequently (even at higher costs) and work with vendors to the right size terms.

Our CFOs and Finance team can help you in analyzing your cost base to determine opportunities for improvement and support you in the process of renegotiating contracts with key vendors and suppliers.

Step 2: Adjust Expectations for Raising Capital and Start the Process Early!

Companies may struggle to find financial support as interest rates continue to rise and total capital being invested shrinks. For those companies considering fundraising, there are a few key tips:

  • You might only have 1 chance, don’t miss your shot – When pitching, bring your A-game. If you can’t confidently say “This is the best pitch deck we can produce,” or if your financial model does not answer all the questions investors and lenders are asking, it’s a good time to talk to our transaction services team. Their expert advice can be the difference between being properly capitalized or not during this turbulent period of the business cycle.
  • Start raising before you need it – Give yourself more time to raise capital. If you’re thinking about raising capital in the next 6 to 18 months, we recommend starting the process NOW! A typical process takes 6 months, plan for 9 – 12 months in this environment.
  • Back up planning – Have as many levers to pull as possible, agree on a plan with existing investors and leverage the debt options. Also, try to figure out a scenario to get to cash flow break-even (or close to it).  Raising will take time, give yourself as many options as possible.

Step 3: Continually Re-Forecast

Your place in this shifting economic world can change quickly. With the possibility of a recession on our hands, companies need to continually review their financials and respond accordingly. While we entrepreneurs love to plan for the long-term, right now, we need to focus on the months just ahead and be ready to respond quickly. To ensure you are prepared, we recommend the following planning tools and processes are in place and operating effectively:

    • Great Sales Forecasting is Everything – Track sell-through, as changes in consumer behavior can be identified earlier by watching weekly and monthly buying behaviors
    • Update frequently – Update revenue forecasts with any changes in sell-through patterns, helping understand where sales are trending
    • Run Scenarios – Running a wide range of scenarios allows you to prepare for the worst and execute for the best.  Understand how to work towards cash flow break-even, what levers you have to reduce burn short and long term, and what KPIs you need to be at to look attractive for raising capital

Our seasoned group of CFOs and Finance team can help you through these trying types, unfortunately, this is not our first rodeo in terms of managing downturns!  Fortunately, we’re here to help you navigate these challenges.

Stage 1 Financial will continue to provide more information as it becomes available, please share any information and we’ll be sure to disseminate it. 

In the meantime – reach out with any questions or concerns.

We’re here to support you!

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The Road Map to Raising Capital

Raising funds can be a challenging, stressful experience. This is especially true if you’ve never raised capital before. You don’t want to sacrifice too much of your business equity, but you also don’t want to miss out on the right opportunity to accelerate the growth of your business. The good news is you don’t have to blindly tackle this on your own. We at Stage 1 Financial are here to lend a hand and be your guide.

Our Transaction Services team has helped many businesses find and secure funding. This roadmap will share their expertise and experience with you as you begin to look at finding funding. Not every raise happens exactly the same way, but in general, you can expect the processes to take six to nine months. When working with professionals like our transaction services team, you will cover the following steps on your journey to find an investment.


Prep Work: Clean the Books

It’s time to bust out the broom because the first step is cleaning your books. The devil is in the details, and you have to have all those little details cleaned up and ready to survive some intense scrutiny. It may not be the most exciting place to begin, but that’s why Stage 1 Financial is here. We will give your books the works to ensure that you can pass any inspection.

Milestone #1: Financial Model

Once your books are in order, we can set our eyes on the first milestone: building your financial model. In simple terms, this means creating a budget that shows where your business will be in the next 2 to 3 years. The tighter and more accurate you can get this model, the better positioned you’ll be in raising capital.

Milestone #2: Review Your Deck and Pitch

This is the phase that benefits greatly from experience and insight into the mind of investors. There are plenty of other accounting and finance firms that can provide adequate assistance with the other steps, but this is where Stage 1 Financial becomes indispensable. We will help coach you on speaking with potential investors and provide guidance on your investor deck so that it is dialed in and ready to wow.

Milestone #3: Due Diligence

No one is going to invest in your business without thoroughly reviewing your accounts. Potential investors will bring in their own team to review the accuracy of your financials. This is not a “fake it ‘til you make it” kind of situation. If everything is above board and the numbers are compelling, everything should transition smoothly to the next phase.

Post Work: Implement and Report

Once you’ve secured the funds, the work is just beginning. Now that you have brought in investors, they will often want to see quarterly or even monthly reporting. Stage 1 Financial is here to help build out those reports and help you to maintain a healthy relationship with your investment team. In some cases, you could also be required to do a yearly audit. That means keeping accurate and timely financials will continue to be important.

The Stage 1 Financial team is here to support you through the whole process. We can get your books ready, build out your model, set up intros, help pitch your deck, work with you to figure out who is the best investor for your business, secure the funds, and—most importantly—make sure those funds are then used to bring more success to your company. Now that you know the road map of what raising funds looks like, the next step is to reach out to us and start this process for your business.

Written by
Marissa Rudolph
A CFO at Stage 1 Financial


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4 Sephora Clean + Planet Positive brands in the S1F family

Sephora | Clean + Planet Positive

Four brands are in the Stage 1 Family


Sephora has recently announced a new category among the fantastic brands it works with to help customers make their shopping decisions based on what products care about our planet and environment called the Clean + Planet Positive Beauty Brands. Among these brands are four members of the Stage 1 Financial family! We are so proud to work with and support brands that can have this kind of recognition. Spend your money with brands that work hard to protect our future.

Ellis Brooklyn

“We decided at the brand’s very beginning that we would assess each ingredient for its safety, beauty and impact on its environment.” –




“Welcome to our world, where high performance product, sustainable packaging and products with style are just as important as good, clean ingredients.”  –



Alpyn Beauty

“Alpyn Beauty is a sustainably sourced skin care line formulated with a proprietary complex of wildcrafted and hand-cultivated alpine botanicals grown in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.” –



“Herbivore believes in the power of nature to bring tangible results you can see and feel. We make our products, ingredients, and packaging as gentle on the planet as they are on our bodies.” –



To learn more about Sephora’s Clean + Planet Positive products visit


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Stage 1 Fund Participates in Scotch Porter’s Funding

Anaheim, May 24, 2021/ — Scotch Porter, the producer of multi-purpose, handmade better-for-you, male grooming products closed a funding round that was led by Stage 1 Fund. Stage 1 Fund continues to focus on consumer-driven brands by providing financial support and strategic guidance to emerging brands that are demonstrating significant growth.

Calvin Quallis founded Scotch Porter in 2015. He quit his corporate job to follow his passion and opened a barbershop following in his mother’s footsteps. From there he worked out of his kitchen using botanicals and other nontoxic or non-carcinogenic ingredients to make products that would solve his customer’s needs.

Calvin Quallis, Founder & CEO of Scotch Porter shared, “It’s been such a pleasurable experience working with Jeremy Triefenbach, the Stage 1 Financial team, and Stage 1 Fund. We look forward to this 2nd phase of growth with such solid partners behind us.”

Stage 1 Fund is a consumer-focused Venture Capital Fund, leveraging both a proprietary pipeline of investment prospects and first-hand quantitative and qualitative diligence through its counterpart Stage 1 Financial. The invaluable data from the Stage 1 Financial’s service business, combined with deep analytical expertise significantly reduces the risk profile of investments, leading to a higher probability of return for investors. Current investments include HATCH, Herbivore Botanicals, Lemon Perfect, Ellis Brooklyn, Spudsy, Freck Beauty, Cybele’s Free to Eat, SAIE, Bond Pet Foods & Scotch Porter.

David Bartholomew, Partner of Stage 1 Fund, added, “Stage 1 Fund is extremely excited to partner with Calvin Quallis & the Scotch Porter Team. Scotch Porter has come to market with superior men’s grooming products which have been validated by their strong customer base across all SKUs and through the recurring purchases by this loyal customer base. The brand is poised for explosive growth going forward via significant distribution at national retailers and DTC channels. We look forward to our continued partnership and support of this amazing brand through Stage 1 Fund & the Stage 1 Financial Team.”

Katy Triefenbach, CEO at Stage 1 Financial said, “We are thrilled to welcome Scotch Porter to the Stage 1 Fund family. From the first moment I met Calvin I knew he was an entrepreneur we wanted to support. Scotch Porter is not only positioned to provide products in a category ripe for disruption, but Calvin himself has an irresistible personality. Our team at Stage 1 Financial enjoys working with him and helping to build his brand. I believe the next 12 months will be such an exciting time for the entire Scotch Porter team.” 

Scotch Porter is for men who want to look their best at all times—and not in that gym 45 hours a week #FitFam kind of way (but hey, that’s okay too). They have developed a line that takes facial hair to the next level. “We exist to provide healthy and effective products that help men to feel confident and look their best as they set out to explore the world and build their dreams” – Calvin Quallis. See more at

Stage 1 Fund has built a robust and proprietary pipeline of deal flow through its affiliate Stage 1 Financial, which provides outsourced corporate services to consumer companies that are potential investment candidates. This unique and advantageous model applies quantitative and qualitative protocols via the core business of Stage 1 Financial, thereby heavily vetting potential investment opportunities prior to deploying capital. Stage 1 Fund is also focused on consumer brands that are driven by sustainability, environmental concerns, female and minority-founded companies. Learn more at

For more information, contact David Bartholomew –

SOURCE Stage 1 Fund
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Izzy Beauty Launches

We’re proud of our client Izzy Zero Waste Beauty, a pioneer in sustainability in the beauty industry. Their product is completely reusable, and that’s a first for a direct-to-consumer beauty brand.

Izzy recently launched with their unique stainless steel mascara tubes. By using steel, they are putting 94% less plastic into their mascara than other brands. With Izzy, you can look good while feeling good about using their product.

Izzy was founded by industry veteran, Shannon Goldberg. Her goal with Izzy Zero Waste Beauty is to remove the disposable part of consumables in the beauty industry and show that there is a better, more sustainable way.

Purchase directly from Izzy’s website as a one-time purchase or join their membership program.

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allure beauty awards 2020

Of all the products, from all the beauty brands, in all the world… 7 S1F Partners Sweep Allure’s Best in Beauty List for 2020



Allure recently released the winners of their iconic Best of Beauty Awards, where their beauty experts gather to award brands the coveted accolade. With more than 12,000 beauty brands in the US*, only 2.9% make Allure Magazine’s Best in Beauty List – what are the odds that we work with 7 of this year’s winners!?

In a cut-throat industry that brought in over 90.71 Billion dollars in 2019, many of our Beauty & Personal Care partners are springboarding into the top brands for 2020.

Making the list were Hero Cosmetics, Coloured Raine, Herbivore Botanicals, touchland, Ellis Brooklyn, Saie, and Beauty Bakerie.

We are beyond proud and honored to work with these trendsetters.



Best in Eyes – Coloured Raine

Cruelty-free cosmetics made in the USA. Moisturizing lipsticks, eyeshadows, palettes, highlighters, eyelashes, and more. Formulated for all skin tones.


Best in Clean – Saie

You SAIE it. We create it ?
Super clean makeup formulated by beauty experts.


Best in Body – touchland

Hydrating, fast-absorbing, non-sticky, lightly scented hand mists. Upgrade your experience today! Get your travel-size hand sanitizer now!

Also Beauty Independent’s 2020 Beacon Award winner!

“Product Innovation”


Best in Tools – Herbivore

We bring you products that are safe, non-toxic, and highly effective. We believe in tangible results you can see and feel.




Best in Skin – Hero Cosmetics 

Absorbs pus while protecting pimples for faster healing. The new way to treat your acne breakouts. Cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and super gentle on skin.

Also Beauty Independent’s 2020 Beacon Award winner!

“Best Social Media”



Best in Scent – Ellis Brooklyn

A luxury naturals fragrance and bodycare line marrying the best artisanal, small-batch formulas with the finest French fragrances.




Best in Base – Beauty Bakerie

We are committed to encouraging men and women to feel both empowered and beautiful.











*Resource provided by Cience


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