BOULDER, Colo. – Canopy, a venture fund and business accelerator for companies developing ancillary products and services for the legal cannabis industry, is pleased to announce the launch of the Spring 2017 class. Ten startups are taking part in the 16-week accelerator program with businesses ranging from geo-mapping technology to help consumers find the best value on cannabis products, to vending machines that use facial recognition technology to securely identify consumers.
Each startup accepted to Canopy’s program receives $30,000 in seed funding, with a chance to earn an additional $50,000 in funding later in the program. The Canopy model prioritizes connecting companies with experienced mentors and introducing founders to a wide cannabis investor network through its partner, The Arcview Group.
The program is designed to spur business development and prepare the companies to raise outside capital while providing access to local venture firms, key figures within the local entrepreneurial community, and exposure to early adopters and potential customers. After weeks of intensive pitch practice, refinement of business models, and miles logged meeting cannabis businesses around the country, the cohort “graduates” on Demo Day, where each company presents their business to an audience of potential investors, cannabis business professionals and the local community.
The 10 companies included in the spring cohort include:
- Snapp Digital provides ad control for digital networks. Snapp’s platform allows advertisers to buy ad space and manage content from a simple dashboard, solving the problem of buying and managing ad space in a simplified and cost-effective platform. Founded by Dustin Lato and Ron Warner of Cleveland, Ohio.
- Solutions Vending believes smart vending machines aren’t smart enough. SVI utilizes facial recognition software to convert standard vending machines into an intelligent data collection kiosk, collecting valuable purchasing information. Founded by Dawn Dickson of Miami, Florida.
- Who Is Happy connects cannabis consumers around the globe with an international geo-location-based social network. Founded by Joao Paulo of Brazil.
- Cannabis Big Data integrates with data sources such as POS and accounting to publish critical business management reports that identify areas for improved efficiencies and revenue. Founded by Henry Finkelstein of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- Sana Packaging believes current packaging solutions are wasteful, don’t store efficiently, and don’t allow space for branding and compliance labels. Sana offers rectangular, stackable cannabis containers made from biodegradable hemp-based plastic, resulting in a reduction of their carbon footprint by eliminating traditional petroleum-based plastic from the equation. Founded by Ron Basak-Smith of Easton, Connecticut and James Eichner of Montagnola, Switzerland.
- Bloom Automation provides robotics for the cannabis industry. A solution for the high cost of manual labor, Bloom creates high-tech robotics that allow for tasks within a cultivation setting to be automated. Founded by Jon Gowa of Boston, Massachusetts.
- CannaZoning is a platform that provides visualization of state and local marijuana zoning laws, helping businesses understand the lay of the land, filter the noise, and avoid costly pitfalls associated with cannabis business zoning. Founded by Ben Livingston of Seattle, Washington.
- Firesale uses geo-mapping technology to provide real-time information on cannabis deals in any location. Its user-friendly search functionality allows consumers to find flower based on potency, strain or price. Founded by Damien Payne and Clay Nutting of Sacramento, California.
- Estrohaze is a cannabis-focused media outlet designed to break the stigma surrounding women and minorities. The platform includes resources, career opportunities, and lifestyle content that focuses on women of color benefiting from the cannabis plant. Founded by Safon Floyd, Kali Wilder and Sirita Wright of Brooklyn, New York.
- Croptimize provides technology to drive efficiencies for growers, encouraging energy savings and conservation. They optimize demand profiles and reduce operating expenses through machine learning to leverage rate structure management and utility incentives. Founded by Kevin Mayer of Boulder, Colorado.
“We are very excited to welcome our newest cohort into the Canopy family of over 45 startups and 100+ founders,” said Micah Tapman, Managing Director of Canopy. “We have an incredibly supportive ecosystem of startups, investors and mentors, all of which will prove to be valuable resources and partners for our startups as they tackle this booming industry.”
Source: Cannabis Business Times