New Accelerator to Target Cannabis Technology CompaniesThursday, July 21, 2016
A new business accelerator targeting cannabis technology companies is opening in San Diego.
The company, called Canopy San Diego, is focused on recruiting startups that are developing technology-based products and services serving the legal cannabis market.
The accelerator was formed through a partnership with CanopyBoulder, an organization that’s operated similar business accelerators in Boulder, Colorado, and San Francisco for the past two years.
The relationship with CanopyBoulder connects the new San Diego accelerator to an investor network called Arcview Group. Arcview has over 550 investors, and has invested about $75 million into 121 companies, according to a Canopy news release.
The local accelerator will be led by CEO Eric Gomez and Managing Director Jack Scatizzi, along with founding partners Lincoln Fish and Wyatt Hinshaw.
“We couldn’t be more excited about launching an accelerator for technology companies serving the cannabis market right here in San Diego,” said Gomez in a news release. “Entrepreneurs have always had a solid base of support in Southern California, and we are a hub for biotech, which has strong parallels to the maturing cannabis space. This industry is set to explode, and Canopy San Diego will be helping to lead that charge.”
The crew is bringing a good amount of experience into Canopy San Diego.
Scatizzi was most recently the head analyst for the Tech Coast Angels San Diego network, where he reviewed hundreds of funding applications and oversaw the organization’s due diligence efforts, resulting in $27 million worth of investments in 35 companies over the past four years. Previously, Scatizzi was a venture partner at Analytics Ventures, and an executive of San Diego-based SingldOut Inc., a DNA-based dating site which eventually fizzled out despite loads of national press.
CEO Gomez previously worked as vice president of Max InterAmericas Inc., an export management firm focused on Latin American markets and the consumer packaged goods industry. Gomez also has experience in the angel investment community, according to the Canopy news release.
Co-founder Fish is CEO of OutCo Labs, a fast-growing company in the cannabis space, and Hinshaw is a trained engineer skilled in diligence and guidance of early-stage technology companies, the release said.
The accelerator plans to launch this fall with a first cohort of 10 companies. Canopy San Diego will mentor and help launch as many as 40 companies over the next two years, the company said in a statement. Every portfolio company selected will receive $20,000 in seed capital, office space, and mentoring from both local startup and cannabis experts. The top three companies from each cohort will also receive $50,000 in follow-on funding from Canopy San Diego.