Attention: All Cannabis Startups!
This might be your chance to turn your greens into gold.
Canopy Boulder, the marijuana business accelerator and investment fund, is now accepting applications for Fall 2016. Classes will be held in Oakland, California from August up until November. Applications from interested cannabis startup companies are due on June 24th; the link to the application form can be found here: https://www.f6s.com/canopycentral
Ganjapreneurs who are accepted by the program are required to relocate to Oakland for the duration of the 16-week course. Students have the opportunity to receive up to $70,000 in seed funding for their cannabis idea as well as training with a mentor in exchange for a 6 up to 9.5% equity.
Seed investment worth $20,000 may also be provided as well as a $50,000 follow-on investment halfway through the program. Canopy Boulders also require that founders themselves must attend the entire duration of the program, so nope you can’t send in a rep or proxy to attend for you.
The program will include fundamental and insightful information on how to make your cannabis business succeed. It will include information on how to define the minimum viable product (MVP), how to conduct market research, finding and raising funding, financial models, and more. Applicants will have a chance to learn from the exceptional team at Canopy Boulder have experience with successful startups as well as Fortune 500 companies who have worked in a diverse range of industries including healthcare, venture capital, private banking, technology, and more. The team also has experience working with the growing cannabis industry and they have access to a strong investor network. Perhaps one of the most valuable takeaways from the program is that ganjapreneurs will also have access to mentors who can teach them valuable ways to succeed.
However, the program is only open to founders of ancillary products since Canopy Boulder does not invest in businesses involved in testing, growing, or sales of marijuana products. Basically if you touch the plant, you aren’t encouraged to apply. The seed investment is provided so that participants don’t need to worry about food and paying rent; and can be completely focused without distractions. Because of this, participants are also forbidden from working while attending Canopy Boulder to further increase their chances of succeeding. The website also states that they will not be accepting teams that are unable to commit to focusing on the business full-time.
Canopy Boulder’s accelerator program, while focused primarily on cannabis, will also examine other businesses that are not in the industry but they will take it on a case to case basis. For the first 12 weeks of the 16 week program, participants will be involved in structured courses although the last four weeks will be focused on fundraising and less rigid.
Canopy Boulder accepts anywhere from 8 up to a maximum of 12 teams for each session, depending on the applicants’ strengths and if they can be helped. Even for those of you who aren’t well-versed in marketing and entrepreneurship can apply since you don’t need to know how to write a business plan. To be admitted into Canopy Boulder, you just need to provide information about the founding team, your vision, and your ideas for growing your product or service using a short pitch deck. Canopy Boulder has a strong emphasis on each team’s focus on growing their brand that applicants will not be allowed to pitch two ideas since this shows that they aren’t focused 100% on one.
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