Kimberly Sanchez Rael is President and CEO of Azuca, an investor-backed culinary technology company focused on commercializing innovative technology to enable fast-acting, highly bioavailable culinary cannabis products for the legal cannabis market. Prior to Azuca, Kim spent over 10 years as a venture capitalist investing in early stage technology companies. Previously, Kim co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of advanced energy company Qynergy. Earlier in her career, Kim held numerous senior level positions at Intel, where she managed a $200 million capital budget and $1 billion program plan. Her former experience as an aide in the U.S. Senate under Senator Jeff Bingaman, allowed for a deep understanding of the public sector, specifically in foreign affairs, and science and technology policy.
Kim currently sits on the Board of Regents for The University of New Mexico and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Forum. Her previous board experience includes a five-year tenure as Officer on the New Mexico State Board of Finance. In 2002 and 2003, Kim was named one of New Mexico’s top 40 Power Brokers and recognized as one of the Top 10 Women of Influence in 2006 by the New Mexico Business Weekly. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford.
Title: President & Chief Executive Officer
Years at current company: 2
Education profile: Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford.
GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:
Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: As an early stage Venture Capitalist, I worked with dozens of start-up teams to invest in and accelerate highly innovative and disruptive technology companies. This work has directly influenced how I operate in the cannabis space as cannabis is, in a sense, a start-up industry.
Company Mission: Azuca has set out to solve the biggest problem in one of the fastest growing segments of the legal cannabis market: creating a fast-acting, easy to dose and highly bioavailable edible. By way of the patent-pending TiMETM Technology, Azuca edibles take effect in 2-15 minutes, versus traditional edibles which take up to 90 minutes.
In addition to the brand’s CBD and THC product suite, Azuca licenses its proprietary technology to other edible manufacturers via its Azuca Inside initiative. Azuca was founded by Ron Silver (Chief Creative Officer), a renowned New York City Chef and owner of Bubby’s Restaurants with two Manhattan locations and six in Japan, and the creator of the Azuca’s TiMETM Technology.
Company’s most successful achievement: Developing and licensing a four-patent-pending technology which is setting the standard for what it means to be fast-acting. Another, more recent achievement is that we’ve just partnered with the UK-based sugar and sweeteners supplier Abercore to begin distributing our Azuca sugar in Europe.
Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes.
if so, how much?: $2 + million
Any plans on raising capital in the future? We have ambitious plans for both domestic and international growth and plan to continue raising capital in order to support that expansion.
Most important company 5 year goal: Our top priority at the moment is further establishing our Azuca Inside initiative. Analogous to a hybrid of the “Intel Inside” and “Coca-Cola” strategies, Azuca Inside involves partnerships with other edibles manufacturers who have established operations, distribution and compliance infrastructure in their respective jurisdictions. These partners will be able to license TiMETM Technology for use in their own goods to make them more bioavailable and fast-acting. We see great opportunity for growth in the edibles sector and are fiercely confident that TiMETM Technology will help the industry forge ahead and provide consumers with an unmatched experience.