Entrepreneurship · Financial planning

Are there low or no cost ways to discover population, consumer and market industry data?

Calvin C.S.C.S Health and Wellness Educator

July 25th, 2016

Do anyone have suggestions for gathering financial and marketing information for a business plan, where cost is an obstacle?  I'm developing the financial for a health sector startup, that isn't yet operational nor does it have a prototype.  

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

July 25th, 2016

Cheap and available industry research is contained in the many reports by stock analysts connected to broker/dealers. You usually have to be a client of a particular broker/dealer firm, but that shouldn't be a problem. Another source of good industry information can be acquired from the lobbying offices of industry Associations.. Many are located in Washington, D.C. You might also look for Frost & Sullivan industry reports that might be filed in your local university library reference section - although the reports there might not be current. There also data bases and (gulp!) books in the Dewey Library at MIT that you could access. Sent from my iPhone

Daniel Johnsen Catalyst for change, innovation | Technology advocate

July 26th, 2016

You can always buy a report, sometimes it is worth it, other times it may not be.  I've purchased a few lists/resources before and wish I would have done it sooner.  Sometimes the report can come from a trade group.

Here's my quick suggestions:
  • Use Facebook if it is a consumer group to create a mock ad for the target demographic.  Do geographic searches based upon the likes & interests that you can add and remove for a segment of the ad viewing.  Pay attention to the right hand side of the screen and you'll see the total number of targeted users change as you add criteria.  This is more accurate than census data.
  • Use http://news.google.com to find the trade/industry terms, frequently the reporters will quote industry trade groups or basic information of the industry that they have been told or they have researched.  If more than a few people specify the demographics try to verify it and take it as a good sign.
At the end of the day it is how much effort you want to spend.  If you have a week to gather the info, scout out the news articles & trade press releases; otherwise just buckle down and buy the industry report, but contact the report company before and ask if the information you seek is in the document.  There aren't refunds for those items typically. 

Good luck!

Tomasz Leppich Inspire and implement modern CRM ERP business applications

July 27th, 2016

I'm not sure what data exactly you are looking for, but for employment, salary, population, housing and health situation http://datausa.io/ is a good point to start with nice graphics that you can view per industry, location, occupation or education. 

Sophia Lin Founder of Pamperologist | Tech Entrepreneur in Beauty Space

July 25th, 2016

Another resource to consider: http://cfo-lab.com

ajay rajani Entrepreneur & investor. Aspiring merchant of progress.

July 25th, 2016

Hey Calvin, good question!

I actually started a brand new kind of accelerator, called Nextt, to address this exact issue - getting from idea to MVP that generates actionable data/feedback.

Put simply, we help people test big ideas before they leave their job or ask investors for money. 

My partner and I have been early investors/executives atAccel-backed Grovo, Sacca-backed Inventure and Sequoia-backed Everwise. We have a good idea of what we're doing. And we're supported by 50+ designers, engineers, data scientists & more from companies likeSnapchat, FourSquare & VICE

We've already helped a number of projects go from idea to high-quality MVP. It takes us just six weeks to do so & the only cash cost is a $100 application fee. We take small equity stake if/when your project evolves into a company, and we love what we do. 

Learn more about it at nex.tt and see highlight reels from our pilot cohort of projects here

Look forward to hearing from you & seeing your application come thru :) 

- Ajay 

Gary Belford Board of Directors Recruiting

July 25th, 2016

Calvin:  As Martin notes, Frost & Sullivan's reports are quite expensive, running into many thousands of $$.  The report I found on the web, however, was one posted for free!  So you might google "Frost and Sullivan hospital industry": and see if you can find some free data.  I would also perform various searches this way, you don't know what you may find!  Here is a link to their site which shows you the many ways they explore healthcare.  This may give you an idea of what kinds of searches you might try.


Ernest M. Kestone CEO, Co-founder, Clear Protocol, Inc.

July 25th, 2016

It's hard because hospitals or doctors - don't report like say, the auto industry. Where you can look up exact unit sales, etc. Sometimes they don't report at all. Or, if they report, it's all different forms. If you don't have the $ to hire experienced consultants, you will have to spend the extra effort yourself. But you'll get it, in due course. Try to locate competitors and see what their metrics are. For the prototype, a prototyping company may give you a ballpark figure. But you may want to approach customer(s) and get a use case before you try to estimate costs. Good luck, with it. Regards, Ernest. Ernest M. Kestone *Clear* *Protocol (TM)* (626) 888-2378 voice/text ernest@ClearProtocol.com linkedin.com/in/ClearProtocol *crunchbase.com/organization/clear-protocol#/entity *

Gary Belford Board of Directors Recruiting

July 25th, 2016

Good comment Martin.  I forgot about Frost and Sullivan.  I have found several of their complete reports on the web by searching
"frost and sullivan, safety gear" for ex.  I found a valuable safety gear industry report that was key in providing me mtrics for a franchise client.

Calvin C.S.C.S Health and Wellness Educator

July 26th, 2016

Thanks everyone for the great advise and information.  You've all given me homework and I look forward to addressing the advise provided.

Matt Brocchini Chief Product Officer, Entrepreneur, Tinkerer

July 26th, 2016

If you are looking for population data, I have found this to be a great tool:


My original concept for Tinkering Labs involved stand-alone retail locations, and I used this tool to find out how many children in our age range lived in various 1-mile and 5-mile radii from potential locations.  For example, it can tell you that there are 1,856 kids aged 5-9 within 1 mile of Whole Foods in Mountain View - or at least there were at the time of the 2010 census.

Tinkering Labs moved on to a new, less capital intensive and easier to scale model, so this tool is not of much use to me anymore but it's pretty powerful if that is what you need.