Leafwire, a new online cannabis investment platform announced recently that they will be hosting “The Future of Cannabis,” a pitch competition taking place in Santa Monica, California later this month.
Leafwire’s website, which just launched a few weeks ago, seeks to help cannabis companies and investors connect and succeed in the burgeoning market.
"We wanted Leafwire to act as a kind of LinkedIn for cannabis," said Leafwire CEO Peter Vogel, "to give all cannabis professionals a place to share industry news, announce new products, promote events, post jobs and of course, connect with each other."
The platform was primarily built to help connect investors with cannabis companies. Vogel added that while finding fundraising for cannabis-related ventures can be challenging, they wanted provide resources and education to help entrepreneurs succeed.
"We want to support the cannabis community by providing a place to connect, share knowledge and support each other," said Vogel.
Vogel explained that the upcoming pitch contest was the best way for Leafwire to represent what they do in a single event.
"It's our mission to connect investors with cannabis companies and that's exactly what these events do in a very real, physical way. Investors learn about new companies and can meet the entrepreneur and shake their hands in person."
The pitches will be presented to a panel of judges representing some of the most influential and knowledgeable cannabis investment funds in the country.
Over the course of the three-hour event, there will be plenty of networking opportunity before and after the pitch session, in which six companies will each present their brief, three-minute pitches, followed by questions from the judges. Once a winner is selected, cash and prizes with a cumulative value of $16,000 will be awarded.
The goal, Vogel said, was to give investors and entrepreneurs a place to connect and meet. He added that special attention was paid to structure the event so that it would equally benefit both investors and entrepreneurs.
"We’re always looking to get more investors and more companies to join Leafwire and begin connecting. Connections are the first steps towards a company's eventual long-term success and really the success of our industry," he said.
The event has garnered a great deal of interest already, pre-selling a decent share of the tickets, which Vogel believes is a clear indication of how the industry continues to grow and flourish.
"We think it's very impactful for everyone to see how dynamic the cannabis economy really is," said Vogel. "We want everyone to see the diversity of people, ages, genders and social classes that are all involved in cannabis, as well as the amazing variety of companies that have emerged and flourished over the last five years."
The event, which is sponsored by Vicente Sederberg, High Times, Startup Coil, Axiswire and 420 Interactive, will take place on August 22nd at Expert Dojo.