If you’re starting, launching, or building a startup, a blog, a product, an idea, or a service, Startup Sleuth is for you.

You know you have a great idea, but you have so many questions you need answered before you can really get started.

There are so many experts out there telling you what you need to do to stand out and make sure your ideas and products have a ready and willing market, it’s hard to keep it all straight.

Market research. Demographics. Current awareness. Ideal customer avatars. Domain knowledge. Competitive analysis. All these buzzwords and terms are starting to blur together.

You’ve read every article, blog, and tweet about standing out from your competition, but you’re not sure where to start (or that you’ll even be able to implement all these tricks and tips once you do).

I know it can be really overwhelming to try and keep up with all the experts are telling you to do.

You know a lot of it is really sound advice. You know a lot of those tips and tricks really do work. You know you have to do your homework. You know you have to learn about your market and space and keep up with your competitors.

But no one said you have to do it alone.

All the advice and tips and tricks in the world are meaningless if you don’t actually implement them. Plans and strategies are useless if you don’t have the tools, resources, or skills to carry them out.

I have the tools, resources, and skills to take you from advice to action.

Hi, I’m Janelle Barnette, a recovering librarian turned information entrepreneur.

I started Startup Sleuth for people just like you: startup founders, new entrepreneurs, and small business owners that want to keep up with their spaces, discover their target markets, and stand out from the crowd.

I’m not a coach. I’m not here to throw buckets of advice at you. I’m here to get you the answers you need to start something smart, using tested research methods and tactics. 

All those things the experts are telling you to do? All those things you know you need to do in order to create a great product or service that people actually want? I have that covered.  I don’t just tell you what to do. I do it. I sleuth your target market, dig up choice bits of info on your competition, and give you actionable evidence that uncovers your target market. Together, we can build a viable foundation for you to build your business, services, or products. A foundation that is informed by research, insight, and analysis.

This is all I do. 

Digging, delving, and diving into your biggest questions is my one and only job.

Every day I work with startups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who want to start something great, but can’t seem to get started because of all the questions they have, the clues they lack, and the inability to move from thinking to doing. I love helping people just like you get out of the information procrastination cycle and get back to creating and building.

Startup Sleuth is invested in your success.

I know that research is an investment. I believe that before I can ask you to invest in Startup Sleuth, I need to invest in YOU. How do I do this? I spend the time and money to make sure my sources, resources, tools, and skills are are current, relevant, fresh, and up-to-date as possible. 

One way I invest in my clients is by subscribing to, ensuring access to, and using both fee-based and free proprietary research databases. The following are just some of the full-text research databases, subscription services, and research tools I subscribe to and/or use regularly to help my clients find the information and insights they need:

  • New York Times
  • Newsbank
  • Newspaper Source Plus
  • Nielsen MyBestSegments
  • Owler
  • ProQuest
  • Reference USA
  • Regional Business News
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Small Business Reference Center
  • SocialMention
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage
  • The Consumer Expenditure Survey
  • TradeStats
  • US Census resources
  • ValueLine Resource Center
  • VentureDeal
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Zanran
  • ABI Inform
  • American FactFinder
  • Ancestry
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Business Insights: Essentials
  • Business Source
  • Canadian Trade Comissioner Service
  • Consumer Reports
  • Corfacts New Jersey
  • EDGAR company filings
  • ERIC
  • Gale Business Collection
  • Grants.gov
  • Hoover's
  • IRS Tax Stats
  • Market Potential Index
  • Millie
  • Morningstar Investment Research Center
  • National Center for Education Statistics


I also invest in my clients by subscribing to, tracking, and monitoring a number of leading industry publications, governing bodies, and websites to stay current and aware for my clients. A small sampling of the publications and media I follow is:

  • MarketWatch
  • Mixergy
  • Pando
  • Quora
  • Read Write Web
  • Silicon Beat
  • Tech Stars
  • TechCrunch
  • TechRepublic
  • The Economist
  • This Week in Startups
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • VC News Daily
  • VentureBeat
  • Wall Street Journal
  • AVC
  • AngelList
  • Biz Journals
  • Bloomberg
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Business Insider
  • Business Wire
  • CNBC
  • Fast Company
  • Financial Times
  • Food Business News
  • Forbes
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Inc.
  • Knowledge at Wharton


Finally, by investing in my own business through professional memberships, continuing education, study, and practice, I make sure my skills are as sharp as possible. I'm always on the hunt for the next greatest tool that will make my work more efficient and the results and insights I give to my clients better than ever. 

Startup Sleuth isn’t just for startups.

If you’re starting, launching, or building a startup, a blog, a product, an idea, or a service, Startup Sleuth is for you.

Not building a startup? That’s ok! Startup Sleuth is here to help you get started and take action. If you’re stuck and don’t know where to go next, Startup Sleuth is for you. If you want to start something great, but researching and digging and tracking down bits of info has turned into an exercise in procrastination and frustration, Startup Sleuth can help. If you want to stand out from the crowd and be the signal in all that noise, Startup Sleuth is on the case.

Janelle was responsive, communicated expectations clearly, and was a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend Janelle and hope to work with her again on future projects.

— Christie Cruz, HR Professional
Janelle is EXCELLENT. As a person who does multidisciplinary research, I needed someone who was very knowledgeable on research in academic and non-academic databases as well as general web search, and more importantly someone who could meet deadlines. Janelle has the skills and experience and always delivers fantastic results.
— Xavier Green, Consultant