2018 was a landmark year for the cannabis industry: California, Vermont, Oklahoma, Canada, & Mexico all deregulated marijuana, making it more widely accessible.
With deregulation, entrepreneurs & investors have made the cannabis space a hotbed of innovation, attracting the attention of press, lawmakers, investors, & consumers.Global funding to cannabis companies reached nearly $2.2B (a new record high for this emerging industry).
On July 26th, 4 of these frontier entrepreneurs will join us to discuss what inspired them, how they determined the right business model & how they've grown their business thus far. We'll also hear about the unique challenges of the space, from legal & regulatory complexities to the residual stigma of cannabis.
We'll also discuss
Designing & prototyping your product
Marketing for cannabis products
Adhering to rules & regulations
Fundraising options for a cannabis startup
About the panelists
Ryan Smith is the Co-founder & CEO of LeafLink, the cannabis industry's standard platform for orders, sales & relationship management. LeafLink has $14 million in venture capital from investors including Lerer Hippeau & Nosara Capital. The platform went live in Colorado in March 2016 & now has more than 2900 retailers placing orders for over 950 brands across 19 territories. In 2016, Ryan was the first CEO of a cannabis-facing company to be listed on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list. In February 2018, LeafLink was the first company in the cannabis space to make Fast Company's 2018 list of Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Enterprise. Prior to co-founding LeafLink, Ryan successfully founded & exited two companies, one of which he sold to an NYSE public firm.
Benjamin Witte is the Founder & CEO of Recess, a consumer wellness company creating CBD infused functional beverages & nutraceutical products to help people feel balanced in an increasingly stressful world. While working at Life Capital, Witte began to experiment with CBD, as he has always been hyper, wired & overwhelmed with the stresses of everyday life. CBD (oil) helped Witte feel more balanced, creative, happier & productive - but he had a problem with the delivery method...placing the product under the tongue simply wasn't the most delightful experience. There was an incredible opportunity to bring CBD into new formats, with beverage serving as the largest market that already came with an engrained functional education.
Beryl Solomon is the Founder & CEO of Poplar, a platform that offers curated CBD products with expert insights on how they work, what they do, & ultimately, how it will benefit specific health & wellness needs. Prior to founding Poplar, Beryl served as the CEO of STATE bags. Under her leadership, revenue grew more than 100% YoY.
Robert Tankson is the Co-founder & COO PrestoDoctor,an online medical cannabis recommendation service based out of California that puts patients in contact with cannabis-friendly doctors in California, Nevada, Oklahoma, & New York. All evaluations are conducted online via a secure video chat for an easy, discreet, HIPAA compliant process. Prior to PrestoDoctor, Tankson worked as ananalyst for both technology & finance companies. He spent time at Google, where his team launched the Chromebook & partnered with Virgin America for marketing efforts. In addition to PrestoDoctor, Tankson is a board member for Cannabis Sativa & the Minority Cannabis Business Association.
6:30 - 6:50: Drinks & Networking6:50 - 7:50: Panel7:50 - 8:15: Audience Q&A8:15 - 9:00: More Drinks & Networking
Stacklist hosts startup events in NYC to help entrepreneurs learn from successful founders & experts. Previous speakers have included the founders of Greenhouse, Movable Ink, x.ai, & Techstars. You can find all of ourpast events & speakers here!If you have any questions, please email me email@example.com.
Thanks to Alley powered by Verizon for hosting our event. Alley powered by Verizon locations are developed by Verizon, the world's leading technology company, in collaboration with Alley, a membership-only community workspace for creators. Each location is a curated community powered by the emerging technologies & thought-leadership of Verizon.
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