San Diego Based Cannabis – Technology Business Accelerator Announces Graduates of Second Cohort

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Canopy San Diego, Southern California's premier seed-stage accelerator program for technology and business infrastructure companies that support the legal cannabis industry, is pleased to announce the graduation of its second cohort. This week, eight companies completed the 16-week cannabis-specific business accelerator program that is designed to spur business development and prepare the companies to raise outside capital.

Spring cohort graduates at Demo Day

Eric Gomez, CEO of Canopy San Diego, stated, “We are very pleased with the diversity across business and consumer segments that we achieved with this group of eight companies. These companies will lend a hand to the growth of the cannabis industry."

Canopy San Diego, Southern California's premier seed-stage accelerator program for technology and business infrastructure companies that support the legal cannabis industry, is pleased to announce the graduation of its second cohort. Canopy San Diego invests cash, mentorship, and services to accelerate the development of its portfolio companies.

This week, eight companies completed the 16-week cannabis-specific business accelerator program that is designed to spur business development and prepare the companies to raise outside capital. Throughout the program, the companies were exposed to nearly 100 potential mentors, representatives from local venture firms, local angel investors, and key figures within the local entrepreneurial community. Additionally, Canopy San Diego hosted numerous public and private events to increase the participants’ exposure to early adopters and potential customers within the local cannabis community, as well as local early stage technology investors.

The program culminated with Demo Day, a public event held on June 28. Demo Day was attended by more than 250 members of the San Diego entrepreneurial and cannabis communities. All proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the charity Realm of Caring California, whose CEO, Ray Mirzabegian, gave an overview of the organization’s origins and future vision.

Melissa “MJ” Stapley, CEO of MJ Hybrid Solutions, commented that, “the Canopy accelerator program was a huge learning curve for me as a new entrepreneur. As a Founder and CEO you have so many roles and aren't always specialized in all of them, so having this program to help mentor you in areas you need was invaluable. And having the opportunity to be around other entrepreneurs and learn from each other is the best thing you can do for your own growth as well as your company’s growth.”

Each company participating in the accelerator program was given office space for up to four employees at the Canopy San Diego offices, and received $20,000 in seed capital. Four of the companies were selected to receive an additional $40,000 in follow-on funding prior to graduation.

The eight companies that graduated the second cohort are:

  • BudTender is a mobile ordering application for dispensaries and their customers in Canada. Customers can download the application, place orders and skip the line in the store. BudTender makes ordering cannabis as easy as 1,2,3 for Canadian customers.
  • Collectif is a peer-to-peer marketplace for finding cannabis-friendly places to stay and cannabis-inspired things to do. Our community driven platform allows cannabis consumers to curate unique travel experiences by connecting them with hosts who are cannabis friendly. Live High, Travel Far!
  • EventHi is the world's first cannabis event management platform. Discover events, buy tickets and sponsorships, or create your own event. Whether it's a local farmers' market, music festival, or business conference, our online marketplace is designed to bring people together to experience cannabis in a safe and social space.
  • MJ Hybrid Solutions is an online sales training platform targeting the retail cannabis market. Currently, less than 30% of budtenders receive any formal training and business owners are quickly learning that a professionally trained sales staff is necessary to compete in tomorrow’s legal cannabis market. Our solution focuses on increasing profitability through customer service.
  • Ripe Metrics is a Customer Experience Management platform for retail cannabis that allows business owners to increase business performance, profits and customer lifetime value. Ripe Metrics’ cloud-based software captures Voice of the Customer feedback, analyzes it in real-time, and delivers actionable insight to retailers.
  • Traffic Roots is a digital ad network that connects brands to cannabis friendly ad-space. Google, Facebook, and Yahoo are banning vice industries, including cannabis, from placing digital ads through their network. This creates a unique opportunity for Traffic Roots to bring digital advertising in cannabis to modern standards.
  • Urban Laboratories is a cannabis testing network dedicated to solving the scalability issues plaguing traditional cannabis testing through the development of the industry’s first “lab in a box” kit. Our kits form the basis of a decentralized network of independently owned quality control testing centers, allowing entrepreneurs easy access to the exciting world of cannabis testing.
  • VertiCann provides a turnkey vertical cannabis cultivation system for the commercial cannabis industry. In an industry experiencing significant price compression, VertiCann allows indoor cultivators to be competitive by reducing labor and input costs while increasing the canopy size normally available with traditional growing methods.

To date, Canopy San Diego has graduated 16 companies from its accelerator program. Together with its partner CanopyBoulder, the two accelerators have combined to graduate 64 companies.

Eric Gomez, CEO of Canopy San Diego, stated, “We are very pleased with the diversity across business and consumer segments that we achieved with this group of eight companies. These companies will lend a significant hand to the growth of the cannabis industry. The founders brought experience in their segments to the table and are ready to execute with the additional assistance received from our mentors. We are grateful for everyone who played a role in their development.”    

Canopy San Diego is always seeking mentors and investors that are interested in being part of the Canopy network. Additional information for mentors and investors can be found on the Canopy San Diego website http://canopysd.com/.

About Canopy San Diego
Canopy San Diego is Southern California's only seed-stage accelerator program for technology and business infrastructure companies that support the legal cannabis industry. As an accelerator, Canopy San Diego invests cash, mentorship, and services in their portfolio companies to 'accelerate' each company’s development. In return, they hold a 6-9.5% equity position in each company and their investors share in the success of the portfolio companies. Canopy San Diego does not invest in companies that directly grow or sell cannabis and its derivatives.

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Gina Harris

Jack Scatizzi
@CanopySanDiego
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