What Is It Like Being a Startup in the New Cannabis Industry?
What are challenges we have faced so far?
James Finder, Chief Training Officer, explained on the Cannabis Marketing Webinar with Philippa Burgess that educating our prospective customers on ‘what we do‘ exactly’ and there is a long sales cycle due to that so we’re always trying to explain what we do in easy to understand terms.
And if can be hard to explain the need for employee development and compliance support to cannabis businesses who haven’t been faced with fines or loss of license, it just is not a concern for them.
What are opportunities?
We’re providing an enterprise solution that you would expect to see Walmart, Shell or any other Fortune 500 companies.
At the moment, we have not seen any competitor provide both a) enterprise-ready content agnostic platform and b) entire library of high-quality content, so Cannabis Integration sees a lot of opportunities to capture the market.
We have only seen content providers, who are missing the critical pieces for a true enterprise learning platform.
Talk about the stages of startup life.
We’re still in the beginning stages as a start-up and so far Cannabis Integration has been completely bootstrapped the funding to pull together our offering.
We funded ourselves through ownership contributions, leveraging open-source software, and completing custom projects for clients who needed a white-labeled/personalized learning portal for their cannabis business.
How can someone determine if a cannabis start-up life is right for them?
In our experience, it is definitely best to keep your “real job” while you’re bootstrapping a startup and there’s opportunity to receive funding from investors, however, you need to take investment and the associated responsibilities very seriously.
When trying to find a niche, we’d recommend a professional service, since many times, it only requires “your time” and you can leverage your prior experience in other industries…but just do it for cannabis.
For us bootstrapping meant that we’re going to completely fund it out of pocket to pull together our Minimal Viable Product (MVP) while completing custom work to get out of the “pre-revenue” phase.
We were engaged in several government procurements and compliance projects ranging from consulting on Pennsylvania’s Request for Proposal (RFP) that was issued earlier this year to creating an Alaska Marijuana Handler Certification, which we’re expecting accreditation this coming September.
How the approaches to marketing differ in each of the various stages?
At the moment our marketing has been mainly to educate the cannabis industry via white-papers and marketing copy.
We’re about to actually start preparing a Case Study with an accredited university and California-based dispensary using our platform, that should help the market to “understand” what we do. So it’s been mainly about education and doing webinars to explain how everything works.
What benefits do clients, partners and investors get from their engagement with you?
We are educational technology consultants providing strategic advisement from conceptualization of content development to the deployment of custom learning platforms.
We’ve got a lot of experience creating new solutions for Ed-Tech (educational technology) for the creation and implementation of a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model that allows our clients to develop, run, and manage their employees’ training and development without the complexity or hassle of maintaining the infrastructure.
We’re really excited about the next couple of months and it was a great time on Cannabis Marketing Webinar with Philippa Burgess and would highly recommend you check out our podcast (click here).
Let us know what you think.[Editorial Note: Cannabis Integration acts as an “extension of your team“. We provide solutions for all things eLearning for the cannabis industry – from Instructional Design for Government Compliance training, to creating custom Learning Plans from our Course Catalog (regularly updated from our Training Roadmap) and end-user helpdesk as a fully-managed Platform-as-a-Services (PaaS).]