For Rick Batenburg III, a venture capitalist’s primary purpose is being a centralized ignition point to connect ideas, people and resources. Creating something tangible and meaningful out of nothing is the best way he knows how to contribute to society.
Through his venture fund, Cliintel Capital Management Group, Batenburg has acquired, built and grown cannabis companies across the supply chain, preparing for ubiquitous legalization across the globe starting in the epicenter of the cannabis universe, Colorado. Batenburg’s path to VC started with the early influence of his father, Richard Batenburg Jr., a cable industry executive and angel investor.
After Rick finished high school, he spent nearly four years playing Junior Hockey in Canada, followed by Business School at Nichols College in Massachusetts. He cut his teeth at Merrill Lynch in its Private Wealth division. His early work with his father in private deals, then again with Merrill Lynch, is where he developed a taste for venture capital and began looking for an entry point outside of the constraints of a large firm.
The list of companies that Batenburg has funded, founded, or bought include: 5156 Systems; Bonsai Cultivation; Breckenridge Vipers Hockey; Clear Cannabis Inc.; The Clear; The Clear CBD; Cannabis Industry Institute; Hinton Promotions; Infinity Star Ventures; Infinity Closet; IMM Media; Intigo3D; Subtle Escape; Subtle Relief; and Vita-Meds.
Executive Spotlight: Richard Michael Batenburg III
Title: Chief Investment Officer and Founding Partner
Years at current company: 5
Education profile: Graduated from Nichols College (Massachusetts) with a degree in Business Finance and Management
Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: I went to Merrill Lynch directly out of college. There I raised and managed $170 million in assets and took care of the syndicate “buys” for IPOs and secondary issues. In this role, I developed a specialty in bringing private equity alternatives to my portfolio.
Company Mission: Cliintel Capital Management Group (CCMG) is a venture firm focused on emerging markets, specifically cannabis. Our mission is broad: Acquire and build brands that will become the market leaders of the emerging international cannabis market. We will accomplish this by targeting acquisitions and partnerships with purpose; we are emotionally and financially invested in the success of our partners.
Company’s most successful achievement: CCMG became the first Qualified Institutional Investment capital firm in Colorado to own THC licensed facilities through a unique cannabis, blind pool venture fund. This led us to successfully acquire one of the most prolific brands in cannabis, The Clear line of concentrate products.
Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes.
Any plans on raising capital in the future?: Yes, we are always raising money to put into projects. Cannabis is a recession-proof investment, which means we can never stop looking for opportunities.
Most important company 5-year goal: Building household cannabis brands that consumers can create strong emotional connections with. We are set up to accomplish this by tirelessly searching for innovative new brands and products that have the potential to become widely recognized in North America and beyond. At the Infused Products Conference in Denver, Colorado, we will be holding an innovative pitch competition where entrepreneurs will be pitching us their most inspired cannabis product ideas. We will invest in the winner’s company and also provide them with the resources to bring their product to a national level.