This year, SXSW 2020 will host a cannabis and hemp pitch contest for the first time ever.
Hosted by CanopyBoulder “Cannabis Jumpstart: A Business Showcase” will feature six cannabis, hemp or CBD companies presenting their businesses live, on stage, in front of a panel of cannabis experts and venture capitalists. Judges are:
- Javier Hasse, Managing Director at Benzinga Cannabis.
- Emily Paxhia, Managing Director at Poseidon Asset Management.
- Matt Nordgren CEO of Arcadian Fund.
Organized by cannabis business accelerator, CanopyBoulder, these six teams will deliver 2-minute presentations to a live audience, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A from an esteemed panel of judges. The best presentation as determined by the judges will be announced at the end of the session and the winner will receive a free pass to SXSW 2021, along with a basket of other prizes.
Commenting on the selection process, Nordgren told Benzinga he found it "quite fascinating."
He noted that, "thanks to the great work by the folks over at Canopy Boulder, we were able to efficiently look through almost 100 business opportunities. The result will showcase a collection of diverse, proven, and capable entrepreneurs leading the cannabis and hemp industry forward.”
Hasse added, "the whole process was surprisingly entertaining. We got to see all kinds of companies, from innovative to boring, and from outstanding to not-so-great. I'm really happy with our final picks: a combination of very cool businesses run by a very diverse group of founders and executives."
Now for the six winners (drumroll, please):
- Pineapple Express - Pineapple Express delivers legal, dependable and quality medicinal and recreational cannabis. They currently serve the California market.
- Sana Packaging - Sana Packaging designs and develops cannabis packaging for a circular economy using 100% plant-based hemp plastic, 100% reclaimed ocean plastic, and other sustainable materials.
- Quim - Quim is a self-care line for humans with vaginas and humans without vaginas who love vaginas. We make plant-based vaginal health and sexual wellness products.
- Alt Thirty Six - Alt Thirty Six offers digital payments for cannabis by enabling consumers to seamlessly purchase cannabis products in-store and online.
- Oppidan Wellness - Opiidan Wellness is a comprehensive hemp based product company specializing in Personalized Medicine.
- Asia Horizon - Asia Horizon is the first western-backed company to obtain a permit to operate a processing facility in China to transform industrial hemp into CBD. In addition to being a low-cost producer of CBD for the global supply chain, they are also establishing distribution networks in China to sell North American CBD brands into the world's largest consumer market.
Image courtesy of SXSW.
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