The pitch meeting is perhaps one of the most intriguing environments for private investments to take place because it forces creators to face kings of capital, where an array of interpersonal interactions can make or break a deal. When a pitch secures funding, it marks the transformation of an idea into a viable investment option. This transformation lifts entrepreneurial spirits and it is in this vein that CannaPitch will function at Marijuana Investor Summit on April 21, 2015, in Denver.
CannaPitch, the legal marijuana industry’s exclusive live pitch session, will make its debut at the Marijuana Investor Summit. Four entrepreneurs have been chosen to pitch to a panel of accredited investors lead by Summit keynote speaker Kevin Harrington, one of the original Sharks on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and co-founder of Entrepreneurs Organization. Additional panelists include Robert Hunt, principal of Consult Canna; Frederick Gross, principal of ManhattanCanna LLC; Leslie Bocskor, managing partner of Electrum Partners; Sam Znaimer, CEO of Locarno Capital; and Douglas Leighton, co-founder and principal partner of Dutchess Capital.
With the expansion of the legal marijuana industry, it can be challenging for emerging entrepreneurs and investors to identify legitimate opportunities. CannaPitch hopes to change that. Randy Shipley, co-producer of Marijuana Investor Summit, said, “We started CannaPitch to allow a better flow of curated investment opportunities by having top investment professionals involved in curation and early diligence. Combining quality deals pitching to a panel of qualified investors will allow more issuers access to capital they seek while providing a unique educational experience for all in attendance.”
CannaPitch competitors include an online real estate search portal that helps users identify the right location, taking into account zoning laws and local restrictions; an upstart media company that means to change the way the world views marijuana; a brand-name ingestibles company with a patent pending on a process for making THC water-soluble; and an online health portal that provides professional medical consultations from the comfort of your home or office.
The CannaPitch event signifies how market share in the legal marijuana industry won’t just be handed out—entrepreneurs will have to compete to carve out long-term positions. Sam Znaimer, a CannaPitch panelist and CEO of Locarno Capital, a venture capital fund dedicated to investing in legal cannabis companies, has witnessed this firsthand. “There are hundreds of hard-hustling entrepreneurs noisily clamoring for the attention of a few serious investors. Access to their capital, network, and expertise will make the difference between success and failure,” Znaimer said.
The companies chosen for CannaPitch have been culled from a pool of hundreds of applicants that have gone through an extensive review and due diligence process. While attendees are not allowed to invest in the companies pitching, CannaPitch will still act as an exclusive crash course in pitch education. Znaimer explained, “Investors should take note of how the panelists dig beyond the slick facade of the prepared presentation and ask questions that reveal central weaknesses and naïve assumptions. Entrepreneurs should watch to see how the best entrepreneur communicators pull the panelists out of their cynical shells and compel them to dream some very big dreams.”
Entrepreneurs and investors who have the slightest desire to enter the industry should attend CannaPitch at Marijuana Investor Summit. The legal marijuana industry will continue to gain momentum and those who get a head start will be the ones to create, market and identify the best opportunities possible when the industry hits full speed.