Marijuana Business Magazine October 2018

l n the high-risk, high-reward world of cannabis invest- ing, those pondering where to place their bets have a growing field of opportunities to consider. When it comes to handicapping the countless startups looking to break into the booming industry, few inves- tors can match the depth of knowledge and endurance possessed by Patrick Rea, CEO and co-founder of Canopy- Boulder, a Colorado-based, marijuana-focused business accelerator that invests in early stage companies and offers them guidance. “The only sound investment strategy in the cannabis industry is through diversification. Simple as that,” Rea told Marijuana Business Magazine. Since launching CanopyBoulder in 2015, Rea and his team have evaluated more than 1,000 investment oppor- tunities and assisted firms in raising more than $150 mil- lion to help launch more than 75 companies. Focused on seed-stage funding opportunities, the accel- erator primarily targets ancillary cannabis firms with roots in tech, data and industry solutions. The firm also recently launched CanopyVentures, a $50 million venture capital fund focused on “growth stage” cannabis companies. Rea shared his insights on the Canopy investment strat- egy and some of the lessons learned along the way. Q CanopyBoulder is an accelerator – how does that differ from an incubator? A Accelerators and incubators are similar and differ- ent at the same time. Increasingly, hybrid models are being developed that take the best part of both and combine them into one. Traditionally, an accel- erator invests and provides structured mentorship to the companies that are part of the program. This is in exchange for equity and is usually backed by investors, cities, universities and large corporations. An accelerator also usually has a defined beginning and end. Incubators often do not start with investing but trade office space and professional services for equity. Incubators also do not usually have a hard start and finish and provide a much less structured timeline compared to accelerators. MONEY MATTERS ¬nvesting & Finance ¬nsight Q&A with the co-founder and CEO of CanopyBoulder Patrick Rea By Lisa Bernard-Kuhn 12 • Marijuana Business Magazine • October 2018