Industry Leaders Come Together to Accelerate Budding Cannabis Focused Start-Ups
Representatives of Canopy Growth Corp, Cannabis Wheaton and Ample Organics to mentor next wave of cannabis entrepreneurs and innovators
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Aug. 8, 2017) – Leaders from across Canada’s cannabis industry are joining forces to participate in Leaf Forward, Canada’s first cannabis industry business accelerator program.
Leaf Forward provides early stage cannabis focused businesses with mentorship, networking, and learning opportunities from successful leaders who have taken ideas and turned them into reality. Leaf Forward’s first founders class will spend a full day with entrepreneurs, industry experts, and senior managers who advise on everything from law and finance to marketing and sales, preparing founders to pitch investors, raise money and take their business to the next level.
“As the cannabis industry matures, innovative ancillary products and services will be needed to add value across the supply chain, touching everything from increasing a Licensed Producer’s yield, to improving ease of use for patients,” said John Prentice, Founder and CEO of Ample Organics, Canada’s leading seed to sale software provider and Leaf Forward Mentor, “I’m looking forward to see what’s in store as our industry moves out of its infancy.”
Industry leaders agree, the ancillary cannabis industry is in need of acceleration ahead of legalization. Mike Lickver, Cannabis Wheaton’s Executive Vice President of Strategy and Leaf Forward Mentor said “In the run up to legal adult recreational use Canada has some catching up to do with legal U.S. jurisdictions in terms of ancillary and value added products and services. Leaf Forward is a great opportunity to spur this sector, providing founders the opportunity to better understand core industry needs and non-cannabis focused businesses the knowledge to make a successful pivot.”
The Leaf Forward program will build on the success of Leaf, Canada Largest Cannabis Industry Meetup, with monthly events in Toronto and Calgary, to nourish the ecosystem of cannabis insiders and entrepreneurs by sharing institutional knowledge and support to the next wave of cannabis focused start-ups.
Since the launch of the Leaf meetups in January we’ve seen a strong demand for learning and networking opportunities within the cannabis industry. Leaf Forward allows us to build on that success, providing value to our community, while adding value to the industry.
Alex Blumenstein, Founder of Leaf Forward
We’re strengthening the ecosystem and infrastructure all industries needs as they grow and mature. I encourage anyone working on something cool or innovative, here in Canada, or abroad wanting to do business in Canada, to apply.
Leaf Forward’s first founders class will be held in September, applications are open now and due by August 31st. To apply visit www.leafforward.org.
About Leaf Forward
Leaf Forward is Canada’s first cannabis business accelerator, providing early stage cannabis focused businesses with mentorship, networking, and learning opportunities from successful leaders who have taken ideas and turned them into reality. Leaf Forward’s founders spend a full day with entrepreneurs, industry experts, and senior managers who advise on everything from law and finance to marketing and sales, preparing founders to pitch investors, raise money and take their business to the next level.
Mentoring new entrants is a naturally inclusive and responsible way to help the cannabis industry continue to grow in the right direction. We have so much to learn from one another, and I look forward to helping brands explore and expand on new avenues for innovation, while building upon the great foundation that has already been established by trailblazers in the industry.
Amy Wasserman, Director of Marketing, Canopy Growth Corp.
Marketing cannabis and cannabis related products in accordance with the ACMPR, the soon to be Cannabis Act, and other provincial regulations can be a challenging process. I love that Leaf Forward gives me the opportunity to share with fellow entrepreneurs the lessons I’ve learned working in the space and the abundance of creative opportunities that still exist in a restricted environment.
Rachel Colic, President and Chief Strategist, YCREATIVE
Entrepreneurs looking to provide solutions to the cannabis industry have to face the reality that the industry is situated in a constantly evolving regulatory maze. Leaf Forward brings founders up to speed on important regulatory complexities and helps them navigate this process, allowing them to focus on what they do best, offering value through their core product and service offerings.
Matt Maurer, Chair, Cannabis Law Group, Minden Gross LLP
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