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- Patrick Rea
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Patrick is the CEO of CanopyBoulder, a seed-stage, mentorship-driven business accelerator and investment fund focused on data, fin tech, software, and IoT in the cannabis industry.
With a diverse background that includes M&A, strategic management consulting, venture finance, B2B media, e-commerce, CEO coaching, and entrepreneur mentorship, Patrick brings a wealth of experiences to CanopyBoulder.
He also sits on the selection committee for The ArcView Group, was the Executive Editor for ArcView’s State of the Legal Marijuana Market report, frequently runs panels at industry events, and has served as a judge for multiple Marijuana Business Conferece & Expo Pitch Slams.
Prior to CanopyBoulder, Patrick was Publisher and Editorial Director of Nutrition Business Journal and co-chair of The NBJ Summit, a retreat for 400 CEOs, investors, and thought-leaders in the nutrition industry.
Patrick began his career with Health Business Partners, a boutique investment bank and venture capital firm in the natural products industry.
He graduated with degrees from Brown University and resides in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and two daughters. In his (rare) free time, Patrick can be found mountain biking the backcountry of Colorado, snowboarding at his local mountain or traveling in search of warm-water surf.
Patrick Rea replied:
The biggest trend we're seeing is the rise of hemp and CBD products. The recently passed Farm Bill legalizes hemp as a national crop which is a great step forward for hemp and CBD products, though the regulation of these products for consumption and use is still up in the air as each state will have to decide (eg. some states will ban CBD for use in food). (Listen to this podcast episode about this: https://bit.ly/2SFvTOp)
Next, we're seeing exciting movement in the ancillary space. Due to the banking and tax issues related to federal prohibiton and falling wholesale prices, plant-touching businesses like retail, cultivation and manufacture are becoming less profitable. and less attractive. Instead, tech solutions in the space are taking off. Some of the trends we're seeing there are around vaporizer technologies (making it easier for users to measure their doses for consistent experiences) and data applications (providing clarity into the industry's performance).
Finally, there are issues related to prohibiton that offer opportunities for start-ups and we're seeing those turn into businesses. For example, the limitations around advertising create opportunities for startups that are providing creative advertising opportunities for brands to communicate their value to the consumer.
Patrick Rea replied:
The short answer is that it depends. However, our program is mentorship-based; that means that mentors are heavily involved in what we do and are committed to spending time with teams. We start the program with "speed-dating" to help teams find the right mentors for their business. Then teams and mentors agree on how much time they will spend together and this relationship is managed independently of CanopyBoulder.
As well, we have over 50 mentor presentations per cohort and, often, mentors hold office hours for the teams to meet with them. During these times, teams can talk and work directly with mentors.
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