Leaf Forward, Canada's first cannabis business accelerator, launched successfully, hosting two founders classes, where twelve cannabis startups participated in a full day of intensive mentoring with industry leaders. A broad range of cannabis businesses were represented including cultivation solutions for the home grower, extraction and refinement services for licensed cultivators as well as ancillary products for the end user.
“Leaf Forward provides early-stage companies with a platform to encourage and develop innovation within the cannabis industry and we are pleased to be part of it,” said Michael Garbuz, Corporate Strategy and Legal Counsel, CannaRoyalty Corp. and Leaf Forward Mentor. “As fully integrated, active investors and operators, CannaRoyalty's participation in Leaf Forward provides us with an avenue to give back to entrepreneurs in this growing industry, while having a first look at developing cannabis businesses that may be a strategic fit with our portfolio of value-add cannabis businesses in Canada, the U.S. and globally.”
Participating entrepreneurs praised the Leaf Forward program, Jeffrey Stewart, Co-Founder of Ovandi, a Toronto business developing a smart vaporizer, said, “Leaf Forward's founders class is exactly what we needed at this stage in our development, mentors provided us with solid feedback and actionable advice to move our business forward.”
Mike Roberts, co-founder of Sero, a Calgary manufacturer of secure greenhouses for the home grower, added, “Overall, this was an incredibly valuable experience – it felt like 6 months' worth of learning and networking condensed into 8 hours. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to participate in such an event.”
Leaf Forward participants weren't limited to Canada, U.S. entrepreneurs took advantage of this unique opportunity to learn one-on-one from the best and brightest in Canadian cannabis. “As a US based company with the intent of making Canada a primary market, Leaf Forward is just what we needed. The mentors' expertise helped us understand the Canadian market and regulatory landscape, allowing us to chart our path ahead,” said Danielle Smith, co-founder of Atlas Plant Trainers, a Maine based producer of customizable plant training and support systems.
Leaf Forward's founder, Alex Blumenstein, recognizes the needs of the emerging cannabis industry, and looks forward to continued growth. “After our successful launch we'll be rolling out additional programming designed to support Canada's cannabis industry, and continue to foster the canna-startup ecosystem. There's a tremendous amount of energy and innovation across this country, we're excited for what's ahead.”
Cannabis focused businesses who would like to be involved with Leaf Forward are encouraged to visit www.leafforward.org to learn more.
Full List of Founders Class Participants
- Atlas Plant Trainer
- Cannabis Goods
- Koopeh Designs Inc.
- Greenline Systems
- Grow The North
- Plant The Seed
- Sero Inc.
- The New High