Press Release: Cobalt Helps People with Product Ideas Develop Them into Businesses

Sep 29, 2021 | Media, News

Cobalt Helps People with Product Ideas Develop Them into Businesses

Cobalt connects creators, entrepreneurs, and inventors of all sizes to designers, engineers and manufacturers to launch their own products with step-by-step platform that streamlines the complex process of developing ideas into real products


Today, Cobalt, the first end to end platform to help anyone turn ideas into products, comes out of private beta for public availability. The platform features step-by-step guidance and a product idea generator for free, as well as access to an international expert marketplace, connecting designers, engineers, manufacturers and other highly specialized experts who “match” with product ideas to further develop them into real products.

Cobalt is founded by talent tech entrepreneur turned CEO Elle Shelley Black and her husband, venture capital veteran Ben Black of Akkadian Ventures, who serves as the company’s chairman of the board.To-date, Cobalt has raised $2.8M in a seed round from friends and family, including former executives from Doordash, Gusto and DocuSign, as well as strategic partners from Mexico, including A&H Haiat y Amezcua, a well respected fund out of Mexico City known for their role in IKEA’s scale up in Latin and Central America. Notable advisors include Brit+Co & Selfmade founder Brit Morin and a former executive from Etsy.

Shelley, who spent the last decade helping Fortune 10 brands develop and launch new products, noticed a shift in the breakout products coming to market: they were born online and sold directly to consumers by creators. She calls this category audience-first products and spotted an opportunity.

“Million-dollar brands, cult favorites, and must-have products are today born and sold online by digital native entrepreneurs,” said Elle Shelley Black, founder and CEO of Cobalt. “We are building infrastructure so creators, inventors and innovators of all sizes can unlock the ability to launch their own brilliant, best-selling, audience-first products – these entrepreneurs are the future and the next wave of small and medium size businesses.”

From idea to product design in as little as one week.

Cobalt enters the market as people everywhere are realizing their dreams and rethinking the way the pandemic has changed the way they work. The traditional product development process is highly fragmented, with no single or organized place to start and store completed tasks. This often stems from siloed proprietary processes and access reserved for the upper echelon of production innovators- at companies or expensive Silicon Valley hubs.

Cobalt replaces the high barrier of entry and risk associated with designing, manufacturing and launching products via a simple, intuitive and proven workflow.

Cobalt was designed to develop custom product ideas in some of the most popular verticals for audience-first products, including beauty, pet, health and fitness, family and parenting, home and garden, plus technology and apps. For creators, this means the ability to go beyond merch and for the everyday inventor or innovator, the ability to launch their dream product without ever having to leave the house.

Expert Marketplace is the heart of Cobalt

The heart of the Cobalt is the Expert Network. Unlike other online labor marketplaces, Cobalt matches vetted experts at the task level. Cobalt delivers the exact right set of experts for each task in the process. Creators choose who to hire, but the platform smartly suggests experts. From there, creators can message experts to define the work together under an agreed-upon individualized fee and set of deliverables set upfront by experts.

“Hybrid work and the evolution of the ‘side hustle’ have never been more popular with the growing population and movement of the global gig economy,” continued Elle. “Cobalt solves for the instability in one-off projects by offering experts opportunities that they’re passionate about bringing to life.”

Further, the marketplace connects an untapped labor market, Latin America, for design, engineering and most notably, manufacturing capabilities.

Experts must first apply to be part of Cobalt and once accepted, they set-up and sell “service products” in the Expert Marketplace in one of three service product categories: creative services, including product design, branding and logos, and packaging; business services, like go-to-market and patent help; or manufacturing services, including engineering, prototyping, sourcing, and manufacturing. Experts define which service products they want to sell and for how much.

The full range of products and services can be viewed at

About Cobalt:

Everyone has ideas, but only very few understand what it really takes to bring a product – digital or physical – to life. Cobalt is a product idea development platform that helps anyone with an idea for a digital or physical product design and develop it into a business. Its built-in expert marketplace offers a DIY, step-by-step and automated product creation process and matches users with the most relevant experts who can help develop ideas into brilliant, best-selling products. We help you get from idea to Idea, Inc. For more information visit