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
Meet the San Francisco Business Times’ 40 Under 40 Class of 2018. In a dynamic region rife with innovation we have the pleasure of highlighting some of the young business leaders making their mark on both the Bay Area and the world.Read More
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
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
Two years ago, Ben Larson and Carter Laren co-founded Gateway, an accelerator in Oakland that has helped expand 19 cannabis-related start-ups specializing in a wide variety of business activities, including payment solutions, cannabis products aimed at seniors, agricultural technology and hemp-based plastics.Read More
Establish your design guidelines so that every post is a consistent embodiment of your brand foundation. Fonts, colors, line weights, logo use, subject and so forth all play into your brand recognition. Before long, a particular look will remind people of your brand instead of being stashed away in the memory bank as a random internet meme.Read More
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
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
Dave speaks with Ben Larson the founder of Gateway, a Cannabis accelerator that invests in cannabis and canna-tech startups. He is also been coined the godfather of cannabis tech.Read More
“We feel that there is room for a competitor that builds their company around a strong brand, and a vision that resonates with the millennial market, and finding the brand that people will shop at,” Larson said. “But people drive toward convenience in cannabis. I’ve done Eaze orders here and there, and it still kind of feels like a drug deal."Read More
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
Ben Larson, co-founder of Gateway, an Oakland-based cannabis incubator, said digitizing the business is a no-brainer.
"We're all used to a digital experience these days," Larson said. "For businesses, the key to success these days, especially in tech, is removing the barriers to entry for customers."Read More
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
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
Ben Larson, the co-founder of Oakland's Gateway Incubator, talks to the Hash's Max Savage Levenson about why he started a cannabis incubator, where Gateway is investing and what they're cooking up next.Read More
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
It’s exciting to witness our founders mature as this industry gallops toward innovation. We’ve had an impressive group of founders addressing the market needs by garnering the attention of investors and winning top honors in startup pitch competitions.Read More
Ben Larson is a cannabis advocate who put his money where his mouth is when he founded the wryly-named Gateway Incubator — a business accelerator which funds start-ups that use cannabis in innovative ways.
At TOA 2016, Ben aimed to change the...Read More
Scott McGrew, along with Pando's Sarah Lacy and Central China Television's Mark Niu, interview Gateway Incubator's Ben Larson. Pot will soon be totally legal in California. Gateway Incubator founder Ben Larson on the business opportunities that it presents, and some of the challenges under a Trump administration.Read More