Culture

The secret to canna-business success

July 23, 2017
Oakland cannabis startup launcher Gateway Incubator co-founder Ben Larson
Courtesy of Gateway
Oakland cannabis startup launcher Gateway Incubator co-founder Ben Larson
SOURCE: Courtesy of Gateway

These days it seems as though everyone and their grandma (Jeff Sessions aside) is working feverishly to come up with The Next Big Thing in cannabis. From new software platforms to automated grow lights and infused coffee, the industry is exploding in all directions with new ideas.

Yet having a good idea isn’t quite the same thing as having a successful business. And that’s where Oakland’s Gateway Incubator comes in.

Just like with tech startups, burgeoning cannabis businesses often need mentorship - and money - to get off the ground. Gateway, and its co-founder, Ben Larson, invest in a handful of nascent companies each year; they also introduce the “founders” to a long list of mentors and industry movers and shakers.

Gateway is about to begin working with their third cohort of “founders, and Larson has learned just as much from the companies that he’s investing in as he’s taught them.

Listen in to our interview with Larson, as he explains what inspired him to launch Gateway, what he’s looking for in companies and how he has changed tactics along the way to best empower them to succeed.


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