The vaping industry is moving into a new phase, away from the startup mentality and competing identical unregulated products.
Business must be ready to meet challenges and embrace new opportunities.
To remain relevant and competitive companies big and small are racing to secure patents, acquire innovative technologies, increase distribution, and raise capital.
In a global economy, businesses should use international expansion as a growth vehicle.
The key is in systematically identifying market trends and accessing
the right tools for local brand integration.
Every product and industry has a cycle, with external factors dictating its fate.
Rapid consolidation signals prime opportunities for mid-sized companies
with capital and strong technologies.
9.8 Group, a holding company with several consulting practices spanning pharmaceuticals and healthcare, marketing communications, international market entry and business development
TNV Ventures, an international advisory on vapor and tobacco policy and regulation
Wingle Group, a China-based research and development consulting service geared toward the e-cigarette and adjacent technologies and manufacturing processes.
Our founding partners have extensive experience spanning numerous industries and continents. In Calumet Advisors they put this experience and a vast international network at their clients’ disposal to give world-class opportunities to companies passionate about smoking alternatives and vaping industry.
Focusing on the areas most crucial for dynamic business development we help clients navigate new regulation, increasingly competitive marketing, barriers to distribution, cultural challenges of launching in new markets, and the need for capital.
Mr. Topchishvili started his professional career as a scientist, completing his Master’s degree in Solid‐State Physics, followed by a Doctorate Program in Physical Chemistry. Years of research resulted in more than 100 articles and seven patents. Later, bridging years of work in science and a natural sense of art, he authored a number of books on business strategy, including Marketing in the New Millennium – Models for Success and The Science of Winning in Investments, Management and Marketing.
Mr. Topchishvili has more than 25 years of corporate experience, both in Europe and the United States, featuring unique business exposures. Serving in the capacity of founding Board Member of RosBusinessConsulting, Mr. Topchishvili worked on structuring the first IPO in the history of Russia. Leading the 9.8 Group, he created a unique resilient framework where holding companies benefit from synergies of internal assets driven by core strategic engines. Global Advertising Strategies, with 20 years of market‐entry experience, is complemented by a top‐notch marketing vehicle, Prime Access.
Mr. Topchishvili is the visionary behind 9.8’s proprietary market and product cycle analysis methodology. He is an art collector, patron, and active member in prominent charitable organizations and business societies.
Ron Tully is the founder of TNV Ventures, a specialty consultancy and business advisory service that provides strategic public policy guidance and business development services to the tobacco, vape and nicotine industries. He is also also a partner in Next Generation Labs, a company established in 2014 to develop nontobacco nicotine sources for the tobacco, vapor and pharmaceutical industries.
Mr. Tully is an experienced senior public policy expert who previously managed international federal and state regulatory issues for National Tobacco Company (NTC), including the broader FDA engagement strategy for the company on vape products. Prior to working at NTC, Ron worked as Vice President of Public Affairs at Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, the maker of the Natural American Spirit cigarettes.
Ron is currently a Board Member of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), which focuses on lobbying and PR communications for the US vape industry, and is on the advisory Board of the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF), The US Council of Independent Tobacco Manufacturers of America (CITMA) and the US Small Business Cigar Association (SBCA). Most recently Tully worked closely with other industry leaders to set up a new U.S. industry trade group to represent the vapor industry, called the Vapor Technology Association (VTA).
CEO of Wingle Group, Dmitry Churakov, represents the company on Calumet Advisors’ Board. Wingle Group is a premier R&D consulting service to manufacturers of vaping technologies, accessories and e-liquids. With headquarters in China, and research facilities in Hong Kong, Israel and Belorussia, Wingle Group works with companies worldwide, putting their products through rigorous tests to ensure safety and quality control. Wingle Group’s international network is instrumental in facilitating manufacturing, import and export logistics, and distribution in Asia and Europe. They are also highly active in organization of many e-cigarette conferences and grassroots events.
Churakov has extensive experience in manufacturing and consumer goods. He has focused exclusively on the vaping industry since 2007.
Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship...the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.
If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.
What would you do if you weren't afraid
The best way to predict your future is to create it
Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing
In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity
You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out.
Calumet’s consulting services focus on critical issues facing the industry today. We provide business support and development activities with data and analysis that is critical for making informed decisions on entering new markets and planning strategically over a product lifecycle.
We analyze risks and opportunities, provide regulatory consulting, offer strategic brand management and marketing services, and support product development from concept to beta testing
We filter data monitoring, research and analysis through the prism of over two decades of experience in marketing across various industries
Our international exposure and experience qualifies us to look across borders in strategic pairings, and we are equally at home advising buyers or sellers, without the conflicts that come with underwriting relationships
We use proprietary market and product cycle analysis to develop time and cost efficient strategies to launching in new markets
Access to capital can be among the most pressing issues for any client. We help navigate different financing options, such as private placements, equity and debt raises and various financing options acquisitions or other strategic goals
We work with a network of distributors across the full spectrum of retail: from c-stores, to online platforms, and independent vape shops, and will help you find the right path to win shelf space for your product
More than ever before, vaping is becoming part of the public discourse. Education is necessary to combat the stigma of a ``Wild West`` industry that is only now finding its footing
We help vaping companies envision and execute a strong brand narrative that grabs the maximum return on each marketing dollar spent. We also guide brand adaptation when launching in new markets
We have the knowledge and expertise to help clients set up shop in different geographies, and we have a trusted network of preferred vendors that can help take the guesswork out of strategy
We have access to leading R&D teams in the industry to help you perfect your hardware or e-liquid product. Services include manufacturing consultations and logistics optimization
Calumet offers its clients access to seasoned regulatory affairs experts who can guide companies through the maze of product importation rules, federal statutes and state compliance obligations surrounding the manufacture, labeling, distribution, marketing, and sale of e-cigarette and vape products.
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