Eaze’s 2021 accelerator class shows off an emerging genius
In the past three months, ten companies have given the Momentum Incubator everything they have. The winners earned $ 50,000 and the chance to introduce their companies to heavyweights and investors gathered to hear about their entrepreneurial ideas.
Eaze announces 10 winners of $ 50,000 cannabis business grants
The Momentum 2021 class is a dynamic group of talent full of creative energy that extends across the weed industry and beyond. And it’s not just the participants who are ready to make the headlines. Eaze’s Momentum program was recognized by Fast Company this spring as a globally changing idea.
Good ideas and a better future
While it may seem daunting to place a company in front of people with life-changing sums of money, members of the Momentum 2021 class applied both professionalism and innovation to their presentations to multiple investors, including ideas for:
Expansions from single to multi-state operatorsOnline education platformsSuperfast weed deliveryCommunity-centric pharmaciesFunctional wellness products and more.
The class took weeks of Eaze’s custom cannabis curriculum to improve their business ideas and improve their pitches. All along the way, they were supportive of each other and strengthened their already deep connections with the cannabis industry across the country.
Among this year’s winners, two companies announced plans with The Parent Company. One is ready to partner with Seth Rogens Houseplant, and another is slated for a launch with a major national retailer. These are no small feats.
“We’re trying to change the culture. We’re trying to change the system. “
The Momentum 2021 class was hosted by a council of professionals with a deep interest, passion and investment in the cannabis industry.
In between business calls, former NBA players Matt Barnes and Chris Webber had a chat about their desires to help underrepresented entrepreneurs get a real look at the legal weed business.
Webber recently launched a $ 100 million cannabis impact fund with partner Jason Wild to invest in cannabis companies run by black people.
Embodiment of the development of cannabis
As we continue to try to learn and expand our knowledge of the cannabis plant, we need forward-thinking companies like those in the Momentum Accelerator.
Dorian Morris’ Undefined delves into the magic of plants and adaptogens and finds a natural association with cannabis that cannot be falsified. Kika Keith’s Gorilla Rx keeps the tenacity and spirit of South Central LA alive. Nina Parks offers her signature terpene flower blends to help clients curate their perfect “vibe style” with Gift of Doja. And the old Fresno and Detroit markets live on in The People’s Dispensary and Neighborhood Essentials.
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Peakz founder Jesse Grundy discussed his experience with a cannabis NFT and plans to add even more technology to his business.
The group’s energy was palpable, even online. And when they explained their business ideas, many also gave the audience a glimpse into their past.
Legacy market meets current market
At least half of the companies that went through the Momentum program in 2021 have direct connections to the legacy markets in their communities. They have used their experiences from all walks of life to inspire their business ideas and bring real connections into their business plans.
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Their backgrounds have given the presentations an authenticity that cannot be falsified. Between the detailed knowledge each participant had about their local consumers and the innovation described in the demos, they practically hosted a workshop on cannabis business flourishing themselves.
Eaze continues to fight for cannabis justice
Jennifer Lujan, Senior Director of Social Impact at Eaze, reiterated why Momentum will continue to be an impactful program.
“BIPOC-owned companies are often excluded from the limited capital available to cannabis companies. That’s why we developed momentum to bring talented entrepreneurs in front of investors who understand the power of these brands. Consumers value supporting social justice, so the smart money rests with these companies. ”
And while the Momentum class is finishing their coursework in 2021, it looks like they’re just warming up.
Janessa was born and raised in the Midwest. She is the current arts editor for Leafly. She has a background in content, activism, and African American studies.
Show article by Janessa Bailey