As more and more countries welcome medical and recreational cannabis around the globe, the industry attracts increased investor attention. Being a completely new just-out-of-the-grey-zone space, however, it is pretty difficult for investors to navigate, to search and analyze small companies.
That’s where incubators and accelerators step in, offering initial funding, education and mentoring programs as well as access to their investment network and capital. Some of them have already been functioning for 2-3 years now.
We’ve done a selection of several renowned accelerators that are worth taking a look at if you’re considering applying for such a program.
Short for Israel Cannabis, iCan sets itself a noble goal to make every person in the world have access to medical-grade cannabis. To make it come true, iCan is “building a portfolio of diversified investments that includes R&D, clinical trials, pharmaceutical formulators, brand developers, distributors and technology & media platforms”. The incubatees include such companies as last mile delivery cannabis service Cann2Go and ophthalmic cannabinoids medical startup iCANsee.
Heaquartered in Israel, iCan helps cannabis startups create business connections worldwide, especially in the US via partnerships with cannabis ecosystem players.
On top of incubation and acceleration activities, iCan is famous for organizing the world’s leading cannabis event CannaTech.
The accelerator calls itself a global launchpad for cannabis innovation. As the part of acceleration program, the founders get up to $75,000 in funding and 16 week program with cannabis and venture capital industry members, with investment committee including partners in 500 Startups and other renowned organizations. Since 2017, Leaf Forward has worked with over 40 cannabis startups.
The accelerator also holds regular events in the US
Heavily-funded cannabis US delivery app and marketplace Eaze (that we took a look at in the previous article) announced the launch of cannabis business accelerator in September 2019. Partnering up with Ultranative and Bail Capital, the program is aimed at “cultivating the growth and success” of underrepresented founders, as the access to capital remains a huge barrier for cannabis businesses.
The first wave includes 10 chosen participants that will receive $50,000 grant and go through 40-weeks classes lead by industry experts. As the final step, the startups will present their ideas to top-level investors in the space for further funding.
Important: all applicants have to be properly licensed to conduct business in the space (especially when it comes to THC) to be considered.
Silicon Valley-based “full immersion business accelerator” for cannabis startups offers its extensive venture capital network and entrepreneurial expertise to find and boost the most promising companies in the space.
Featured in a whole lot of mainstream media, the accelerator does an impressive educational work with 70+ openly published podcast episodes and multiple articles for cannabis startup founders.
This product accelerator allows cannabis brands to pilot and launch new products on California market in the course of 6 months pilot program. Headquarters sets its goal as “bridging innovation with culture to create genre defining brands”. In November this year, HQ partnered up with iCan we took a look at above to help Israeli startups to seamlessly enter California market.
On top of the program, the accelerator also owns distribution and manufacturing facilities.
CEO at Stobox. Serial entrepreneur. Investor. 25+ years in IT Development and entrepreneurial experience. International background. Focus on technologies, stocks and crypto trading platforms, Web 3.0.