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Book on Bezos and Amazon features Spokane’s Etailz and the ‘race to zero’

A Spokane e-commerce company, Green Cupboards, shows up on page 304 of the recent book, "The Everything Store," by Brad Stone. The book is subtitled: "Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon" and it describes pretty effectively how Bezos evolved the online site from a bookseller to a company that practically sells anything.

Like many other competitive online retailers, the Spokane company is willing to share revenue by selling items through Amazon's Marketplace system. When sales happen, Amazon takes a share.

The book was written before Green Cupboards switched its business name to Etailz. The private firm operates out of the McKinstry building near downtown.  Here's the section in the book:

Even sellers who thrive in Amazon's Marketplace tend to regard it warily.

Green Cupboards, a seller of environmentally responsible products, like eco-friendly laundry detergents and pet supplies, has built a 60-person company almost entirely via Amazon, despite the fact that founder Josh Neblett says that Marketplace enables "a race to zero."

His company is constantly competing with other sellers and with Amazon's own retail organization for the lowest possible price and to capture the "buy box" — to be the default seller of a particular product on the site.

That furious price competition tends to drive prices down and eliminate profit margin. As a result Green Cupboards has had to get more Amazon-like to survive. Neblett says the company has gotten better at sourcing hot new products, locking up exclusives, and building a lean organization.

"I've always just considered it a game and we're figuring out how best to play it," he says.




Etailz (Green Cupboards) wins best retailer in Green Washington awards

Spokane's Etailz (formerly Green Cupboards) recently was chosen the best retail business in the Green Washington awards, a competition hosted by Seattle Business magazine.

As the magazine notes, the awards "recognize companies, nonprofits, and government institutions taking significant and/or  innovative steps to reduce their impact on the environment or to help others be more environmentally responsible."

Green Cupboards was a finalist a year ago. This is the first time it's won the top retailer green award. The company serves as a one-stop green product retailer, using its own website and that of Amazon.com to sell thousands of green products.

The silver retail winner is T Mobile.

All winners will be featured in the November issue.

More information is at: http://wacleantech.org/2013/06/2013-green-washington-awards/#sthash.92Ks2WRZ.dpuf

Green Cupboards — now Etailz — hits Inc. magazine list of fast growing firms

Spokane ecommerce company Etailz — formerly known as Green Cupboards — is listed No. 128 on Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing U.S. private companies.

It’s the only Spokane firm on that list. Eight other Washington companies were in the top 500, an annual ranking based on percentage of revenue growth covering 2010 through 2012.

After acquiring the online retail firm ecoMom earlier this year, Green Cupboards was renamed eTailz.com. The new name better describes the wider range of products offered beyond the “green eco-friendly” inventory developed by Green Cupboards, said CEO Josh Neblett.

The Inc. listing says Etailz generated sales of $13.1 million in 2012 and was enjoying a three-year-growth rate of 2,898 percent.

It currently has 72 employees and is based in the McKinstry Innovation Center near the Riverpoint Higher Education Center.

“It’s a cool thing to be included and to have a page featuring us,” Neblett said. “But it’s not something we spend a lot of time thinking about. We’re more focused on what’s next and what we’re doing now,” he added.

The recognition generated a spate of contacts from companies offering business services and some venture capital overtures. Etailz is not in the market for either, said Neblett.

“We’re not trying to raise any (venture capital) money. Even so, it’s always good to talk to someone about that. You always learn something,” he said.

He predicted privately held eTailz would likely double 2012’s revenue, generating $25 million in sales this year.

The eight other Washington companies on the top 500 list are Level 11, a Seattle IT services company; HasOffers, a Seattle advertising and marketing firm; Spoken Communications, a Bellevue telecommunications provider;  DiscoverOrg, a Vancouver business products and services provider; The Force Realty, a Bellevue real estate firm; Rooster Park, a Seattle software company;  Add3, a Seattle-based advertising and marketing firm; and C2S Technologies, a Bellevue IT services company.

Level 11 had the highest Inc. ranking, at No. 22. It reported revenue growth of 9000 percent over the previous three years.

Greencupboards CEO Josh Neblett visits Power Lunch tomorrow, makes his pitch

CNBC's Power Lunch will feature Josh Neblett, CEO and co-founder of Spokane green-retailer GreenCupboards on Wednesday (June 5) from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the network's Power Pitch program.

In the segment, the hosts give Neblett 60 seconds to  "power" pitch his e-commerce start-up.

After the pitch Neblett takes questions from a trio of inquisitors. The panel quizzing him includes CNBC host Julia Boorstin, BuzzFeed COO Jon Steinberg and Norwest Venture Parnters' Josh Goldman.

In advance of the broadcast, CNBC has uploaded Neblett’s 60 second GreenCupboards Power Pitch to CNBC.com. You can see it here http://cnb.cx/13D9RMq and let us know what you think of the pitch by voting if you're "in" or “out."

GreenCupboards, three other firms on Seattle Business list of state’s Green 50

A Seattle business magazine has added Spokane's GreenCupboards, to its 2012 Washington Green 50 list.

The list is described as Washington's top sustainable organizations and businesses.

A total of four companies from Spokane made the list. The other three are Avista Utilities, plus Itron Inc. and Demand Energy, a startup in Liberty Lake.

Tove Tupper, GreenCupboard's marketing director, noted that this listing is the first recognition for the company by Seattle Business

The full list is available here.

GreenCupboards was also a finalist in the retail and consumer category, taking second place. Other companies in the retail and consumer category included Brooks Sports and Alaska Airlines.

The company started four years ago and recently moved into offices at the McKinstry Innovation Center, east of downtown Spokane.

GreenCupboards has been on a growth tear lately; in the past two years it's expanded from 14 employees to 55 employees.

Where are the state’s fast-growing private firms? Not here, if you ask these guys

Who are the state's fastest growing private companies?

My guess is that it has to include Spokane's Green Cupboards and at least a few other risers, like Imprezzio Solutions.

Not according to a survey produced by Puget Sound Business Journal. We just took a look at it and we saw not one company from our side of the woods.

Here's the full list of 100. If you spot a company that is from over here, let me know, and I'll buy you a cup of joe for the help:

• 110 Consulting Inc
• 206inc.
• Aeroform Inc.
• Affirma Consulting
• AIM Consulting Group Washington LLC
• Akvelon Inc.
• Andelcare
• Arryve
• Arterian
• Attunix Corp.
• Audigy Group LLC
• Axelerate
• BDA Inc.
• BlackRapid Inc.
• Blazing Bagels and Bakery Inc.
• Blink Interactive Inc.
• BooginHead LLC
• Bridge Partners Consulting LLC
• C2S Technologies
• Cashmere Molding Inc.
• Chess4Life
• Comm/net Systems Inc.
• Compendium Inc.
• Contour Inc.
• Danforth & Associates Inc. (dba Coldwell Banker Danforth & Associates Inc.)
• DBBest Technologies
• Edifecs Inc.
• Epic Seats Inc.
• Evergreen Capital Management LLC
• glassybaby
• GM Nameplate Inc.
• Gravity Payments
• Heatcon Composite Systems Inc.
• Hughes Group LLC
• Hunt Marketing Group
• InDemand Interpreting
• Institute for Corporate Productivity Inc. (i4cp inc)
• JeffreyM Consulting LLC
• Kalani Packaging
• Kotis Design LLC
• Lenati LLC
• Mactus Group LLC
• Madrona Solutions Group Inc.
• Management Services Northwest Inc.
• Matisia Inc.
• Method Homes LLC
• Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear
• Nayamode Inc.
• NIC Global Manufacturing Solutions
• Northwest Modular Systems Furniture
• Nuun & Co.
• Nytec Inc.
• Obot Electric
• Omax Corp.
• omniFAB LLC
• Paracle Advisors LLC
• PartyPail Inc.
• PeopleFirm LLC
• Point It Inc.
• Point to Point Transportation Services Inc.
• Powell-Christensen Inc.
• Produxs Inc.
• Protingent Inc.
• Quote Wizard
• Rainier Financial Group
• Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
• RealSelf.com
• Red Arrow Logistics
• Redapt Inc.
• RGen Software Solutions
• Rooster Park
• RSVP Real Estate
• Saturna Capital Corp.
• Schakra Inc.
• SEOmoz
• Servpro of Central Seattle
• Sesame Communications Inc.
• Simplicity Consulting Inc.
• SmarTek21 LLC
• Society Consulting (formerly Pentad Solutions)
• Spectrum Controls Inc.
• Sportswear Inc. (dba Prep Sportswear)
• SST Group LLC (dba Seattle Sun Tan)
• Sterlitech Corp.
• Strong-Bridge LLC
• Summit Imaging
• Tableau Software Inc.
• Teleion Consulting LLC
• Tomlinson Linen Service
• TTF Aerospace LLC
• Turner Exhibits Inc.
• Unify Square Inc.
• Urban Renaissance Group LLC
• Vintners Global Resource LLC
• WaterTectonics
• Wimmer Solutions Corp.
• Winshuttle LLC
• World Medical Equipment Inc.
• Xtreme Consulting Group Inc.
• Yoogi’s Closet Inc.

Which Idaho or Eastern Washington startups belonged in today’s story?

Today's SR story on three growing Spokane area startups is part of this newspaper's yearlong look at jobs and employment challenges.

The three we focused on are were digital marketing agency Seven2, green online retailer  GreenCupboards and Liberty Lake software and app developer Gravity Jack. All three showed the same pattern: gradual and steady growth in a relatively new market or industry, along with the ability to land  work from outside the immediate region.

We didn't do one thing, and maybe our readers can help. What are the best examples of fast-growing startups in North Idaho or in the rest of Eastern Washington?  We considered Coeur d'Alene-based Pacinian, a company with immense upside. But much of its work to date has been beta development and the firm has yet to announce any one big deal with a major customer.

There are certainly other job-growing startups we didn't include. Please pass along any suggestions by posting them here.

Spokane’s Green Cupboards comes close, doesn’t get tech award

Spokane's hot young ecommerce company Green Cupboards came close but didn't take home the top award in an annual  tech awards contest last week in Seattle.

Sponsored by the Washington Technology Industry Association, the 2012 Industry Achievement Awards are presented to recognize bright and aspiring firms in the state.

Green Cupboards, which sells organic, "green" and eco-friendly items, lost out in the best early stage company category to Big Door, a Seattle firm that "gamifies" other company websites.   Green Cupboards was started by seed money and a team of GU grads who conjured up the company idea during a Hogan Entrepreneurial Contest hosted by the school a few years ago.

No other East Side companies got any recognition in the achievement awards.