Investor Judges Investor Pitch Competition
David Hess, President and Co-Founder, Tress Capital, LLC.
A two time cancer survivor, David was introduced to the vast benefits of medical cannabis while undergoing cancer treatments in 2001 and again in 2003. David has since dedicated himself to furthering research, awareness, and business opportunities in the expanding cannabis industry.
David’s proven successes over the past 20 years establishing and working closely with niche businesses stretches across a variety of sectors including marketing and advertising, real-estate, telecom, personal protective apparel and cannabis.
In 2013, David partnered with Asher Troppe, an experienced fiduciary and independent trader on Wall Street with over a decade's experience managing equity and equity portfolios to establish Tress, the cannabis industry’s go to source for private capital, solutions and strategic support.
Tress Capital is a strategic private investment firm embedded at the core of the global cannabis sector originating and managing investments for HNW, family office, and institutional investors. Tress has a track record of successful industry investment and works closely with its companies and the industry providing active value-add support.
The Tress portfolio includes industry leaders such as SC Labs, Headset, Baker Technologies (TILT), Cannabis Now, Grownetics, North Bud Farms, Infusion Biosciences, WasteTrakr and iCAN.
With a unique industry network, unparalleled deal flow pipeline and experienced team with in house niche expertise, Tress Capital is the go to for sophisticated investors seeking competence.
Tress Solutions provides M&A advisory, strategy, business development, and operational support to sector companies.
David Cunic, CEO, UCS Advisors
David M. Cunic is an entrepreneur who specializes in Investor Relations Advisory services. "Dr. David", as most people know him as, has raised capital, expanded several companies, and has employed over 300+ people. He has been in the medical field for 18+ years, has been a business owner for 19+ years, and has been in the cannabis industry for 10+ years. Some people have called him the "triple headed dragon" due to his diversity and experience. Over the past 16 years, Dr. David has started over 10+ companies, in both the public and private sector, and has successfully sold many of them. His efforts in business operations and human resources won him the prestigious Alfred Sloan Award for Workplace Programs and Flexibility. David has assisted many companies in securing millions of dollars for his clients ranging from the cannabis, hemp, energy, medical, water, and the beverage industry. He has served on numerous boards as an advisor and trusted source of information. Dr. David also performs presentations and speaks at conferences on a variety of topics in both the medical sector and cannabis industry.
Jay Caauwe. Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Supercritical LLC
Jay combined decades of experience in the capital markets, and accomplishments in expanding operations and developing and launching products that include VIX options and futures, SPX options, corporate bond index futures, and bitcoin futures, with his expert-level knowledge of opportunities in the cannabis industry to co-found
Supercritical, an independent Cannabis Advisory Firm, to advance investors’ participation in the cannabis, hemp, and ancillary marketplaces and provide consulting services to address client's critical issues and extract maximum value for their business as they navigate the rapidly changing marketplace. Jay is a well-known sought out speaker at events across the US and Europe, and author or contributor to numerous articles. Jay has an impressive track record of providing leadership that maximizes revenue and growth by developing, expanding and sustaining multi-million-dollar global markets for existing products; identifying customer needs and creating new products for existing markets; and, building a world-class global business development and marketing organization that is innovative, customer-focused, and results driven in the highly regulated capital market/exchange industry in his 30+ years at Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Away from Supercritical, Jay serves as advisory board member of the Wall Street Dead a Head networking group and is grateful to be a board member of the San Francisco based Rex Foundation, the non profit charitable arm of the Grateful Dead.
John Nemanic, Partner, Green Coast Capital International S.A
John is a partner in Green Coast Capital International S.A. Green Coast is an international investor providing flexible and innovative financing to the small-cap and micro-cap marketplace in a variety of sectors. Our team consists of experts in capital markets making quick decisions to provide growth capital to issuers.
John is a serial entrepreneur and investor. As co-founder, Chairman and CEO, he exited 3 very successful Internet start ups. In 2006, Hostopia raised 29.2 million (TSX:H), then sold to Deluxe Communications for $124 Million USD. Tucows was sold to the Steinmetz Group for $45 Million April 1999. Tucows current market cap. is over $600 Million. Internet Direct was merged with Look Communications in 1999 with a deemed value of $560 Million
John's current interests are medical cannabis, cultivation, hemp and CBD start ups, with a focus on Colombia. He is married to Sandra Carrillo MD a leading expert in Cannabis for clinical applications, and was appointed as "Clinical professor in charge of the scientific program for cannabis research and education", Faculty of Medicine, University of Panama.
John manages Panamanian and Colombian based businesses. He is a former member of EO Panama and has extensive contacts within Panama. He also is a former member of EO Toronto (1995) and YPO Toronto (1999).
He is actively seeking high-return opportunities to invest in and serve as a director for high-quality cannabis oriented firms. If you are seeking a highly experienced operator, a dynamic leader who understands the growth cycles of start-ups, and how to develop exit strategies please contact John Nemanic.
Julie Lerner , Founder & CEO, PanXchange
Julie Lerner is the Founder and CEO of PanXchange, Inc. the leading benchmark price provider and institutions-grade trading platform for physical hemp and other commodities. Lerner has deep experience in regional and international agricultural and energy markets. Lerner began her career with Cargill, International in Geneva, Switzerland, and later moved on to be Cargill, Inc's Sr Latin American sugar trader. She has also worked in electricity markets for Sempra Energy Trading and in agricultural weather derivatives with XL Financial. Geographically, her area of expertise covers the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and East Africa. As Managing Director of Golden Seeds, an angel group focused on early-stage investments in women-owned ventures, Lerner provided entrepreneurs with strategic business advice and access to funding. She advises several early-stage companies from the perspective of an entrepreneur to an angel investor, having worked with smallholder farmers to Fortune 100 executives.
Michael Boniello, Managing Director, Poseidon Investment Management
Michael is responsible for early stage diligence on companies, managing the policy and regulatory landscape for the firm, as well as co-managing investor relations for Poseidon’s funds. He has spent the past year raising capital for Poseidon’s second fund which was closed to new investors in March 2020 after a successful raise. Prior to Poseidon, Michael spent seven years between Merrill Lynch's Private Bank and Investment Group and Barclays Bank, co-managing over a billion in assets at each firm for high net worth individuals, families, and foundations. He entered into the cannabis industry in 2013 doing pro-bono business and regulatory consulting work for early stage companies trying to navigate the highly fragmented and regulated industry.
Matthew J. Nordgren, Founder & CEO, Arcadian Fund
Matthew Nordgren is an ambitious executive, dedicated philanthropist, and accomplished athlete who brings a unique passion to creating strategic alliances. He brings breadth and depth of experience in finance, corporate development, and capital sourcing, as well as in building highly motivated teams of skilled professionals.
Mr. Nordgren is currently CEO and Founder of ARCADIAN Fund and ARCADIAN Capital management, a venture fund focused that invests in ancillary businesses in and around the cannabis and hemp industries. More specifically, on Series A type opportunities where proven businesses are looking for growth equity to attack and win new markets. He was recently named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the Cannabis Industry” by High Times Magazine. Additionally, he is the founder of NORDCO Consulting LLC, a private equity firm dedicated to buying and selling middle market companies with forward-thinking vision. To date, Mr. Nordgren has personally managed over $7 billion in transactions and maintains a portfolio of approximately 25 companies.
Inspired by his belief that education and athletics can open doors for at-risk youth, Mr. Nordgren founded The Leadership Foundation—an organization committed to giving back to non-profits whose purpose is to empower youth through sports and education. He feels strongly that young people, regardless of their personal circumstances, should have the opportunity for a bright future and the chance to make a positive impact. Furthermore, he is involved with and contributes to numerous philanthropic causes and remains dedicated to giving back and making a difference.
Nic Easley, CEO & Managing Director, Multiverse Capital
Nic is the CEO & Managing Director for Multiverse Capital™ and a globally recognized Cannabis Industry Expert. He is also the founder and CEO of 3C Consulting, LLC™, the nation’s leading strategic cannabis consulting firm. Nic and his team have worked in 16 countries, 34 U.S. States, and two territories assisting nearly 500 cannabis companies across all sectors of the industry.
He is known for his passionate commitment to introducing demonstrated best practices from other industries into the cannabis space. His industry-leading track record of building strong cannabis businesses and guiding others towards their own victories has established him as a trusted and proven resource for anyone considering investing in the cannabis industry.
Nic serves on numerous state regulatory boards ranging from agriculture, public health and human safety, pesticides, and compliant business practices. He is also a committee or board member for multiple cannabis industry organizations, including as a Board Member for Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Nic recently educated delegates on medical cannabis at the UN Intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting on International Challenges Posed by the Non-Medical use of Synthetic Opioids.
Nic received a High Times Trail Blazer award in 2015 and was named one of the rising stars in cannabis investment by Business Insider in 2018. Nic is a Veteran of the United States Air Force and fluent in numerous languages holding degrees in both Environmental Studies and Biology. Nic’s scientific background combined with over 15 years of agricultural field and biological experience provides Multiverse Capital™ portfolio companies with new possibilities of productivity, profitability, and professionalism.
Seth R. Freeman, CIRA, CTP, Senior Managing Director, GlassRatner
Advisory & Capital Group, LLC, a B. Riley Financial Company
Seth R. Freeman, CIRA, CTP is a co-leader of GlassRatner’s Cannabis & Hemp Business Advisory and Restructuring Practice. His team is one of the most experienced CBD/hemp restructuring groups in the U.S. Seth is a Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Restructuring Consultant, Crisis and Turnaround Manager and Asset Manager with over 30 years of diverse consulting experience including: financial advisory, operational and financial restructuring, controlled wind-downs, transaction management, arranging new financing, fiduciary, litigation support; and cross-border due diligence, insolvency and debt resolution, market-entry strategies, compliance, fraud investigation and recovery and complex dispute negotiation. His practice also includes serving as independent advisor to significant investors and directors of companies undergoing change. In addition to a broad range of industry experience, Seth possesses significant real estate expertise in all aspects of investment real estate, including valuation, financing, structuring acquisitions and dispositions, asset management, development and construction management.
He is an expert in chapter 11 restructuring; and the alternative restructuring procedures available to cannabis companies including consensual workouts, receiverships, Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC) and serves as Receiver or Assignee.
Seth is a frequent speaker at leading business schools, law schools and professional conferences. He has appeared over 200 times on Bloomberg, CNBC and other business channels commenting on business and economic trends. He is a mentor of a Silicon Valley cross-border US-India startup incubator and has served as a judge in competitions in the US and India.
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