Financial Experts Give Cannabis Entrepreneurs Solid Advice At CNvest Conference

Financial experts at the CNvest conference held on April 9 in San Jose California gave cannabis entrepreneurs solid advice on Monday. Ben Larson of Backplane Capital said, “There’s a lot of excitement around cannabis but that doesn’t give you an excuse to build a shitty product. Investors want to see companies that are built on actual business models.”

Read More
Techies put their fortunes out to grass

Ben Larson, founder of Gateway Incubator, one of the first marijuana-focused investment firms, reckons California could become the model that other states and countries follow. “The world is watching,” he said. “This is one of the largest economies in the world. We could set the benchmark for how different jurisdictions treat the cannabis industry.”

Read More
Orlando-based First Green Bank halts marijuana business

Federal laws still classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, and local banks around the country have pulled out of the marijuana business if they are in acquisition talks with a larger bank, said Ben Larson, who runs Gateway Incubator in California for marijuana startups. Larger national banks that are regulated by the FDIC must comply with federal regulations.

“Yeah, banking is probably the single largest problem in the industry right now,” Larson said. “Banking deposits being cut off happens a lot. I hear about it all the time.”

He said there are workarounds, such as making deposits with a local credit union. But uncertainty has grown since the appointment of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who sought funds to prosecute medical marijuana cases.

Read More
Orlando SentinelBen Larson
13 Methods to Improve Your Confidence as a Speaker

Speaking in front of others is your opportunity to portray your aspirational self. The audience naturally places you on a pedestal — sometimes literally — so take advantage. Be confident, thoughtful, deliberate, passionate, profound or whatever characteristics you personally identify with, and don’t be afraid to exaggerate any or all of them. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

Read More
NoobpreneurBen Larson
14 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs to Nurture in an Increasingly Digital World

Social media and other digital platforms are designed to retain your attention for as long as possible, and the methods and algorithms employed to do so have become very sophisticated. Be deliberate about how and where you spend your time throughout the day. Time management and willpower are keys to success in this digital age. Try calendaring and time blocking for very specific tasks.

Read More
NoobpreneurBen Larson
Big-name tech investors pour millions into marijuana — both medicinal and not

That’s no surprise to Ben Larson, founder of Gateway, a cannabis business incubator in Oakland.

“We’re not afraid to question authority,” he said.

Larson said some of his investors and entrepreneurs come from tech giants like SpaceX, Oracle, and Facebook. He said many of them are interested in medicinal foods and nutraceuticals — or, as he put it, “aesthetically pleasing, de-stigmatized products” that don’t play into stereotypes of long-haired, perpetually buzzed stoners.

Read More
STATBen Larson
10 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Starting Up

I've made the mistake of entering a strategic partnership with a company that could not fulfill their commitment. When building partnerships, protect yourself by implementing a thorough due diligence process. You want to ensure that everyone involved can hold up their end of the bargain and that they will be a strong extension of your brand. This is critical for a young company.

Read More
ForbesBen LarsonYEC
The Secret to Canna-Business Success

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.

Read More
SF ChronicleBen Larson
Eight Changes Entrepreneurs Must Make In The Modern Business World

More than ever, entrepreneurs need to practice the art of essentialism. There are many things you can be doing to build your brand, attract customers or investors, or build your product. There are more opportunities for networking than ever before. Evaluate your availability and what is essential to your business and personal life, execute the critical, and unapologetically shed everything else.

Read More
ForbesBen LarsonYEC