Presenting Companies Investor Pitch Competition
1:00 - 1:01 - Jim Baudino, Partner, Fiorello introduction of Morgan Paxhia, Investor Pitch Competition Moderator
1:02 - 1:20 - Moderator, Managing Director & Chief Investor, Poseidon Asset Management introductions of Investor Pitch Competition Judges
Judges - Investor Pitch Competition - Judge Bio Page
Presenting Companies - Bios below on this page
1:21 PM – 1:31 PM - Alex Hutagalung, Chief Scientific Officer, Levadura Biotechnology
1:32 PM – 1:42 PM - Bob Craig, CEO, PayQwick
1:43 PM – 1:53 PM - Davina Kaonohi, CEO & Co-Founder, Element Apothec
1:54 PM – 2:04 PM - Josh Snyder, CEO, The Niva Labs
2:05 PM – 2:15 PM - Mike Simpson, CEO, Omura
2:16 PM – 2:26 PM - Nic Easley, CEO, 3C Consulting,
2:27 PM – 2:37 PM - Nicole Wicker, CEO & Founder, Altopa
2:38 PM – 2:48 PM - Zach Sekar, CEO, Polar Extracts
2:49 PM – 3:59 PM - Q & A
Format of Investor Pitch Competition
- Moderator will introduce Investor Pitch Competition Judges.
- Moderator will introduce each presenting company and CEO.
- The presentation is for 5 minutes with 4 minutes of Q & A from Judges and 1 minute transition break to allow time to set up next presentation.
- During Q & A companies may have one other team member join them when answering questions from Judges (e.g Co-founder, CTO or COO) and they will be on the webinar screen with Moderator, the CEO and investor judges.
- Judges and the audience will rank the presentations,
- Moderator will announce the winning presentations selected by the judges and the winning presentations selected by the audience.
Alex Hutagalung, Chief Scientific Officer, Levadura Biotechnology
Alex Hutagalung serves as CEO of Levadura Biotechnology and is one of its co-founders and original seed investors. Levadura is focused on genetically engineering yeast to make valuable natural compounds, the first targets being cannabinoids. Alex has over ten years of experience in the fields of industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology. He received his doctorate in Biochemistry from Baylor College of Medicine and began learning of the amazing abilities of yeast during his postdoctoral work at Yale University. Before working on Levadura’s technology to make cannabinoids using yeast, he worked on making renewable nylon and carotenoids, e.g. lycopene, the red pigment of tomatoes.
About Levadura Biotechnology
Levadura believes in improving the quality of life by providing a better source of natural and natural-derived ingredients for healthier and happier living. We do this by combining our knowledge of nature with biotechnology and using a production process that is as simple as making beer. In the end, we provide a product that is readily available, high in purity and reasonable in price.
Our first targets are the natural ingredients of the Cannabis plant, the cannabinoids. Although used for thousands of years, the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids is only beginning to be discovered while its recreational value has become more mainstream. For the growing cannabis market, Levadura Bio will be the preferred source of any pure cannabinoid, from the rare variants (e.g., CBDVA, THCVA) coveted by the pharmaceutical market, to CBDA and THCA as the perfect ingredients for any product in the recreational market.
Robert Craig, CEO, PayQwick
Bob Craig serves as CEO of PayQwick executing the Company’s strategy. Bob’s strong foundation in banking was developed across senior leadership roles at JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, First Data, ACIWorldwide and Fiserv. Bob has a proven track record in leveraging new regulation with financial technology to launch businesses in new markets, build strong teams and distribution partnerships. His career includes several successful exits.
Empowering Businesses by Enabling Financial Access and Control. PayQwick partners with cannabis businesses across the supply chain to deliver comprehensive financial solutions through our product suite, technological innovation and strategic partnerships. PayQwick’s clients manage the whole range of treasury functions: receivables, payables, liquidity management and cash forecasting in a modern, electronic and fully compliant platform. Combining Cash-in-Transit, ACH, and wire transfer capabilities with electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP), PayQwick’s clients are able to mobilize and digitize their treasury operations to speed cash flows and better serve their vendors and customers. Full reporting for state compliance, transaction monitoring and inter-company funds transfers are a core part of the PayQwick platform. PayQwick also provides ancillary treasury programs like HRIS/Payroll, image-lockbox and bill payment to serve our regional and national clients. FinCEN and state MTL licensed.
Davina Kaonohi, CEO & Co-Founder, Element Apothec
Davina is the CEO and Co-Founder of Element Apothec. She is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in B2C, tech, and recruiting sectors. Experienced with startup strategy development, leadership, people strategy, recruitment, and organizational development.
About Element Apothec
Element Apothec is a new, disruptive CBD brand redefining the body care and wellness industry.
Josh Snyder, CEO, The Niva Labs
Josh Snyder is a biochemist with over 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug development, analytical chemistry, and research. He was a group leader at Agensys where he played a key role in the development of the FDA-approved oncology drug Enfortumab Vedotin; worked on the blockbuster drug Enbrel at Amgen; and provided contract research services to pharmaceutical companies at XenoTech. In 2018, he founded The Niva Labs with the mission of providing industry-leading cannabis testing to the California market as well as badly needed product development and contract research services to the cannabis and CBD industries.
About The NIva Labs
Contract research and full service cannabis testing lab. BCC Testing Lab License C8-0000024-LIC.
Founded and managed by scientists. Fully female minority owned.
The Niva Labs was founded by a biochemist with over 20 years of experience in cancer drug development and research. The inspiration for starting the company was the vast potential for cannabis as medicine to treat many types of diseases and the need for further research. We are a unique company, dedicating half of our efforts to research to elevate the industry and the other half to testing at the highest level.
Mike Simpson, CEO, Omura
Seasoned entrepreneur specializing in transformational technologies. Co-Founded and exited an IP generation and licensing company. One of the world’s leading experts in the field of heat-not-burn technology. Spent much of the past 15 years in Tokyo developing next generation products for Big Tobacco.
Omura is a technology and design brand focused on the cannabis and wellness space, founded on the goal of perfecting the whole flower cannabis experience. The Omura system delivers a sustainable, sophisticated, and smoke-free experience for the purest method of cannabis consumption. Next-generation ‘heat not burn’ technology elevates the whole flower dosing experience, giving users a clean, safe, and convenient whole flower experience. With precision engineering, Omura is pioneering the evolution of cannabis through their proprietary vaporizer system that is now available in California and Arizona.
Morgan Paxhia, Managing Director & Chief Investor, Poseidon
Morgan Paxhia is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Poseidon, one of the longest running funds in the cannabis industry. With over ten years experience in investing and finance, Morgan has developed a deep understanding of individual company analysis, portfolio construction, and risk mitigation. Since 2012, he has dedicated his investment focus primarily to the cannabis industry. Given the limited amount of information in this emerging vertical, the lack of institutional research, and relative industry immaturity, Morgan embraces an active approach of working closely with companies. He utilizes a “boots on the ground” methodology to better understand individual companies and the industry. Through his extensive travel across the US and Canada, reviewing hundreds of business plans and overseeing several existing cannabis investments, Morgan has developed Poseidon’s investment methodology tailored specific to the business of cannabis. Poseidon’s proprietary process is driven by the time spent in the industry and the considerable data collected over the last several years. He has created frameworks for analysis depending on sub-sector, company stage, and participation across the capital spectrum through our database of contacts, valuations, metrics, and other relevant factors.
Morgan started his investment career at UBS Financial Services working in a Wealth Management/ Investment Banking hybrid training program. The training brought a wide range of first hand experience working through several facets of the organization, including advisory teams managing assets for high net worth individuals and municipal bonds trading. Following UBS, Morgan transitioned to a Providence-based Registered Investment Advisor as an Investment Consultant. During that time, he worked under the partners of the firm doing fundamental portfolio management. Morgan graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics in 2005.
About Poseidon Asset Management
Poseidon was founded by siblings Emily & Morgan Paxhia in 2013, making their first fund one of the longest running dedicated cannabis investment funds, with over $85 million in Assets Under Management and an IRR of 53% net of fees as of December 31, 2019. On March 31, 2020, the Poseidon team closed the fundraise for its Fund Two, a Venture Capital strategy, bringing total Assets Under Management to $145 million. The Poseidon team has focused on a diversified strategy covering a range of company stages and industry sub-sectors across the capital spectrum.
Nic Easley, Founder & CEO, 3C Consulting
Nic Easley is the CEO & Managing Director for Multiverse Capital™, a cannabis venture firm, and the founder and CEO of 3C Consulting, LLC™, the leading global strategic cannabis consulting firm. Nic 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 victories has established him as a trusted, proven resource for anyone entering the cannabis industry. Nic is a Board Member at Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. He has contributed to cannabis policy advances globally, including educating delegates on medical cannabis at the UN Intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting on International Challenges Posed by the Non-Medical use of Synthetic Opioids. His scientific background, combined with over 15 years of agricultural field and biological experience, provides the industry with new possibilities of productivity, profitability, and professionalism. Nic is a Veteran of the United States Air Force and fluent in numerous languages holding degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology.
About 3C Consulting
3C Consulting, LLC, is the leading strategic consulting firm in the global cannabis industry. Beginning as 3E (Easley Environmental Engineering) in 2007, 3C has grown from a cannabis-focus agricultural consultant to a full-service consulting firm that strategically guides any business in and related to the cannabis industry. We have conducted the efforts of over 500 cannabis companies across 34 U.S. states, two territories, and 17 countries. 3C leverages over three decades of cumulative experience in agriculture and farming, architecture and engineering, project management, facilities management, best practice development, education, strategy, marketing, legal compliance, and, of course, cannabis cultivation, processing, retail, and ancillary products and services. Regulations and opportunities change almost daily, and 3C is on the cutting edge of the best practices globally. As international markets focus primarily on medicinal cannabis and the U.S. and Canada work to expand their adult-use programs, operators need to strategize on how to address each specific market.
3C assists in the creation of business plans, securing compliant real estate, developing financial models, writing and implementing SOPs in adherence to local, national, and international standards, designing facilities, forming global partnerships, and applying for cannabis business licenses. Cannabis operators must remain diligent in this ever-changing regulatory landscape to maintain compliance. To meet these needs, we provide Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) planning, writing, and implementation services. In addition to local regulatory compliance, we have experience in navigating international standards, including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP), Good Distribution Practices (GDP), and more. Our consulting services extend to cultivation, extraction, manufacturing, retail, delivery, and distribution companies, as well as to ancillary service providers and product manufacturers worldwide.
Nicole Wicker, CEO & Founder, Altopa
Nicole is the CEO & co-founder of Altopa, maker of the Oblend. After discovering the medicinal powers of plant-based medicine, Nicole joined the cannabis industry to address the challenges that medicinal users face: lack of product consistency & personalization. Altopa’s device, the Oblend, solves these challenges.
Prior to Altopa, Nicole was CFO of TearScience, medical device company, where she raised a $45M Series C financing, followed by a $70M royalty financing. Under Nicole’s leadership, TearScience navigated through the FDA approval process and commercialized globally. Nicole was named NC’s CFO of the Year, and TearScience was awarded the fastest growing company during 2011, 2012 & 2013, followed by an acquisition by Johnson & Johnson.
Nicole spent over a decade with Ernst & Young. She was senior manager of the entrepreneurial services team and key player in multiple IPO and M&A transactions. She has raised over $150 million for start-up and emerging growth companies.
Altopa’s patented device, the Oblend, is the world’s 1st electronic apothecary that creates personalized cannabis products with pharma-grade precision on demand. Altopa has completed its beta launch, has multiple signed letters of intent with LPs & care providers and is commercializing during the 4th quarter of 2020. Altopa is raising a $3M Preferred Series A. Smaller investors have the opportunity to invest up to $300K in Altopa’s $1M convertible note. Proceeds will be used to support its commercial launch during Q4 2020.
Zach Sekar, CEO, Polar Extracts
Zach Sekar is the CEO and Co-founder of Polar Extracts, a B2B cannabinoid manufacturing technology startup based in Los Angeles.
Zach is an experienced community-builder and also founded Startup Coil, as well as several conference series including L.A. Joint Ventures, L.A. Tech Happy Hour, Beach Cities Cannabis Conference, Startups in the Sky, and The Art of Tech.
About Polar Extract