By Randy Shipley
The Marijuana Investor Summit delivered quality educational sessions to more than 200 entrepreneurs and investors at the recent Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sept. 16, 2015.
The summit covered a wide range of topics on the risks and rewards of investing in the cannabis industry for both public market investing and private investments. Sessions were led by experts in their fields, including licensed broker dealers, investment bankers, venture fund managers, angel investors and top c-suite executives from leading micro-cap companies on the Marijuana Index.
Chris Bunka, CEO of Lexaria; Frank Marino, CEO of MJIC; Matthew Mills, CEO of Med-X; and Randy Shipley, CEO of CrowdFund Connect, closed the sessions with a lively panel discussion about the risks, opportunities and rewards of public markets drawing upon their years of experience in capital raising, IPOs, and running publicly traded companies.
Despite a delay of over 90 minutes due to a bomb threat, the conference attendees stayed to watch CannaPitch, the legal cannabis industry’s exclusive live pitch event. CannaPitch companies were chosen from a large pool of applicants on CannaFundr.com, the leading online investment network for entrepreneurs and investors.
Space Brain, owner of SpeedWeed; Harvest; Infinite Distribution and Healthy Headie each had seven minutes to pitch their investment opportunities to a panel of qualified accredited investors, including Matthew Mills; Sam Znaimer, CEO of Locarno Capital; Frank Marino; Rob Hunt, Partner at Tuatara Capital; and Kevin Gillespie, CEO of First Harvest Financial.
Dooma Wendschuh was the emcee, drawing on his prosperity as an entrepreneur and as the founder of ebbu, a startup focused on consistent consumer experience products in the cannabis industry. Wendschuh kept the companies and panelists engaged, while also entertaining the audience with his knowledge of the industry and his quick wit.
Wendschuh emceed the inaugural CannaPitch event in Denver on April 21, 2015, so he has been able to witness CannaPitch build upon its previous success.
Wendschuh explained, “The difference between this CannaPitch and the last one in April just shows how far this industry has come in such a short time. This is no longer a cottage industry. People are waking up to the fact that this industry will change the world.”
Within that progress, CannaPitch also demonstrated the knowledge entrepreneurs need to navigate funding opportunities. According to Robert Hunt,
It is helpful for companies to understand what investors are looking for in a business and why an investor would not be interested in a specific model. It is even more helpful for the entrepreneurs to make the distinction between an angel investor or crowdfunding platform or VC fund or a growth equity fund. Each has its own requirements and sweet spots, and meeting the sharks on the panel provided the entrepreneurs with valuable insight as to the differences of each.
All four companies were asked to meet later and provide more information to at least one of the panelists to discuss possible investments, making the close to the Marijuana Investor Summit another success for everyone that participated.
The Marijuana Investor Summit & Business Expo also announced its second annual spring event to be held March 3-5, 2016, at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco, and it has already started the search for the next quality group of entrepreneurs to present to CannaPitch’s panel of accredited investors.
*Cannapitch attendees do not participate in the opportunity to invest, they watch for entertainment and education purposes only.
Randy Shipley is the founder and CEO of CrowdFundConnect, the first to provide an active white label crowdfunding site to a FINRA registered broker/dealer. CFC owns and operates CannaFundr.com, the first syndication site connecting accredited investors with emerging growth companies in the legal marijuana industry.