Investment Bank Launches Cannabis Business Accelerator


The cannabis industry is full of startups, many of which have great ideas or even deep domain expertise but lack critical skills required to scale their company, similar to other industries. While a few cannabis companies have been able to participate in traditional business accelerators, many of those programs exclude companies in the cannabis industry. Further, cannabis companies face particular challenges related to the complexities surrounding federal illegality.

Fortunately for cannabis companies, accelerators devoted to the industry have begun to offer seed capital and mentoring. CanopyBoulder, which launched in Boulder in 2015, was the first cannabis business accelerator, and it has been joined by Oakland-based Gateway and Philadelphia-based Greenhouse Ventures.

Ackrell Capital, the investment bank that issued a research report on the cannabis industry earlier this year, has partnered with Vator to create cannabis business accelerator Cannavator, which, according to a press release, is accepting applications through mid-August and will commence its first class in September in Oakland.

Vator (short for innovator) aims to help great entrepreneurs find funding, and for investors to get in on the ground floor of tomorrow’s leading companies.

Companies that are accepted into CannaVator will receive invaluable strategic advice from Ackrell Capital, Vator, and a roster of mentors and industry experts, as well as access to a broad range of partners to further develop their businesses.

Bambi FranciscoBambi Francisco-Roizen, CEO of Vator

Ackrell Capital is a leading independent investment bank focused on providing financial advisory services to global middle-market and emerging growth companies in key industries.

We feel that the timing could not be better to launch a cannabis-focused business accelerator. We identified hundreds of start-ups in the cannabis industry across various industry sectors during the research process for our ‘U.S. Cannabis Investment Report 2016,’ and we hope to use CannaVator to further identify and help launch the best companies.

Shannon Soqui AckrellShannon Soqui, Head of Cannabis Investment Banking at Ackrell Capital

Cannavator’s website includes the program’s agenda:

• Week 1: Introduction. Business Planning Overview.
• Week 2: Product Strategy and Roadmap.
• Week 3: Financial Modeling and Forecasting.
• Week 4: Branding and Market Positioning.
• Week 5: Mid-Term Presentations.
• Week 6: Go-to-Market Strategy. Marketing and Sales.
• Week 7: Corporate Governance. Culture. Regulations.
• Week 8: Fundraising Strategy.
• Week 9: Pitch Preparation.
• Week 10: Demo Day and Conclusion.

Exclusive article by Alan Brochstein, CFA
Alan Brochstein, CFA
Based in Houston, Alan leverages his experience as founder of online community 420 Investor, the first and still largest due diligence platform focused on the publicly-traded stocks in the cannabis industry. With his extensive network in the cannabis community, Alan continues to find new ways to connect the industry and facilitate its sustainable growth. At New Cannabis Ventures, he is responsible for content development and strategic alliances. Before shifting his focus to the cannabis industry in early 2013, Alan, who began his career on Wall Street in 1986, worked as an independent research analyst following over two decades in research and portfolio management. A prolific writer, with over 650 articles published since 2007 at Seeking Alpha, where he has 70,000 followers, Alan is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a frequent source to the media, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV. Contact Alan: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email

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