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StaffMay 16, 2022
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2min3500

Women’s Leadership Award

Marketing

Natalie Shaul

Co-Founder & VP of Marketing, Springbig 

 

In 2013 Natalie moved to South Florida and started working at springbig. At the time springbig was offering loyalty and text message marketing to small businesses. In the Fall of 2016, Nat made the push for springbig to pivot to cannabis. She identified the potential for the company to enter the cannabis space and took on the initiative to get them in the space in 2017.

Since then, Nat has been the co-founder/head of Marketing for springbig. As springbig’s co-founder, Natalie Shaul has influenced the cannabis sector by being a trendsetter, job creator and changemaker. Under her leadership, springbig has become the leading provider in customer loyalty and text message communications –transforming how thousands of cannabis brands and retailers do business. To date, Shaul has brought the platform to 50 million consumers and over 2,300 retailers. She also played a crucial role in raising nearly $20M total.

In addition to helping thousands of cannabis retailers, Shaul’s company has created more than 80 jobs across South Florida and provided discounted services to support veteran and minority-owned cannabis businesses. She has been able to achieve all of this while occupying a unique position within the cannabis sector. As reported by MarketWatch, the percentage of women in senior positions at cannabis-focused companies has dropped by nearly 15% over the last two years. Shaul strives to challenge this industry trend by creating opportunities and mentoring young women across springbig.


Debra BorchardtMay 3, 2022
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Cannabis marketing firm Springbig is dramatically reducing its valuation in its IPO deal with SPAC company Tuatara Capital Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: TCAC)to $275 million from the previously announced valuation of $500 million. In November, Tuatara Capital Acquisition Corp. said it reached a deal with Springbig to merge with an estimated equity value of $500 million of the combined company with a $300 million springbig enterprise valuation plus $200 million cash on the balance sheet from the SPAC.  On Tuesday, the sides agreed “that market conditions have changed since the proposed merger agreement was initially announced,” according to a statement. Although it is worth noting that Springbig’s annual revenue is just $24 million, making even the lowered valuation pretty frothy.

Paul Sykes, Chief Financial Officer of Springbig, said: “These latest developments represent further significant steps towards completing our business combination with TCAC. The amendments to the terms of the merger have enhanced the value of this transaction to our public shareholders. By reducing valuation and combining this with the innovative structure of offering up to one million bonus shares to be issued pro-rata to non-redeeming public shareholders, we believe we have created an attractive proposition that adequately reflects current market dynamics. Additionally, the commitments we have received from the global institutional investor with respect to the senior secured convertible note, the CEF Facility with Cantor, and the previously announced $13 million common equity PIPE will ensure that springbig starts life as a public company with access to adequate capital to continue to scale our existing business and pursue our expansion strategies as opportunities emerge.”

New Financing

The companies released a statement outlining additional financing changes. Springbig and TCAC said they have an agreement for the issuance of senior secured convertible notes with a 24-month maturity, up to $16 million principal amount that has been subscribed to by a global institutional investor. “An initial tranche of $11 million will close in connection with the closing of the merger agreement. The second tranche of $5 million, subject to certain conditions in the agreement, will close 60 days after the resale registration statement is declared effective by the SEC.”

Additionally, TCAC has also agreed to a $50 million equity financing facility with Cantor Fitzgerald LP. Jeffrey Harris, CEO of springbig, added: “We are delighted to have the support of Cantor and an institutional investor. The growth opportunity ahead of springbig is significant as we look to strengthen our core loyalty and marketing communication capabilities, execute our expansion strategies, and deploy the additional capital we receive from our transition into a public company.”

2021 Earnings

In March, Springbig reported that it had strong year-over-year revenue growth of 58% to $24 million in 2021 from $15 million in 2020. Gross margin improved by 4% YoY to 71% in 2021 from 67% in 2020 and the retail client base increased by 63% from 759 in 2020 to 1,240 in 2021.


StaffMarch 27, 2022
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Springbig

Nat Shaul, VP of Marketing and Co-Founder of springbig, a leading provider in cannabis loyalty marketing and communications technology. Nat has been an integral part of the springbig team since its founding over 8 years ago.

Her wealth of knowledge and insight into the tech space, cannabis industry, and effective marketing, has played a crucial role in turning springbig into the leading provider of cannabis CRM and marketing technology. The company currently has over 1,000 clients across 2,300 locations throughout North America, reaching over 65% of the estimated 38.4M cannabis users in the U.S. through its AI-powered SaaS platform.

  1. What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry? 

My proudest accomplishment is having over 15% of the US population using springbig.

  1. Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries? 

I think so. I think the cannabis industry as a whole is more open-minded and are proponents for equality than other industries.

  1. Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that? 

I think that generally, the cannabis industry is more progressive than most. With that being said, to get to the point where I am today I often had to hide the fact that I was a female so that my cold emails/calls would be answered quicker or taken more seriously.

  1. What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it? 

When springbig started out, we were the small guys. We had less money, less tech, and less staff than industry competitors. However, we had the most passion, drive, and determination for what we were doing. I think as we spoke to more people and showed them who springbig was at heart, they could really see that.

Getting in front of the right people was the biggest challenge. Going to conferences and meeting people face to face helped, but the biggest factor was actually changing my email name from ‘Natalie’ to ‘Nat’, a name that was unisex – which increased my open rates dramatically.

  1. What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?

I am proud to say that nearly 50% of our company is female, which is higher than the average of 30% for most tech/software companies.

  1. What are your personal goals for 2022? 

My goals for 2022 are to spend more time with family and friends. I’d also love to try to travel more.


Debra BorchardtJanuary 6, 2022
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Cannabis data providers have weighed in on the 2021 holiday sales for dispensaries with some surprising results. The data included the Thanksgiving holiday and then tracked sales through to the end of Christmas. Most agreed that sales increased in 2021 despite the resurgence of the new Covid fear with the variant Omicron. Consumers upped their cannabis shopping throughout the month of December causing Christmas week comparisons to be less strong than in the past. Still, sales remained elevated leading up to Christmas in both the Canadian and U.S. markets.

Increased Sales

Headset said that its data showed that Canada saw a rise in sales of more than 26% while the US saw an increase of 17% during the holiday month. Headset reported that in Canada, sales were up by 8.9% versus the previous four Fridays. In the US, sales increased by 6.0%. In Canada, Saskatchewan had the largest increase in sales, up 12% over the previous four Fridays. In the US, Michigan had the strongest showing with a 13.7% increase in total sales. 

LeafLink is a wholesale cannabis platform and as such has visibility into orders that licensed retailers place from the brands they carry. In December, sales through LeafLink increased by 6.8% when compared to the average growth rate over the prior three months – signaling that the holiday season positively impacted sales this year. 

Cannabis delivery company Lantern said it saw consumers start stocking up their holiday stashes earlier this season. Specifically the company noted that sales started to increase the second weekend of December with a +56% increase in daily order volume. “That trend continued through December, a +26% lift in order volume and +7% increase in AOV the week before Christmas, peaking the day before Christmas Eve with a +51% lift compared to our daily average. Lantern reported a +110% lift in order volume the three days before New Year’s Eve vs. three days prior, peaking three days before NYE with a +56% lift in daily order volume.

Springbig reported that starting from a week before Christmas and going into New Year’s Day, it saw (excluding Christmas day) $276 million in total sales with a daily average gross of $20.82mm. This was an 11% increase over the same period last year.In terms of how big the increase was, as compared to normal days of the year, we see that last year had a roughly 50% increase over normal while this year we only saw 21%. This could be due to the major Covid outbreak that has occurred recently. Another hint that this may be the cause is the fact that last year Jan 1st saw $15 million in sales while this year only saw $13 million.”

Flower Power

While some of the ingestible categories got big lifts, flower continues to command the market. Leaflink said that flower was the most popular category, making up around 32% of sales through LeafLink in the month prior to the holidays. Cartridges were the second most popular, at around 24% market share. Leaflink said that both were relatively consistent with the previous month, showing that buyers did not significantly change their purchase habits into different categories for the holiday season. The most popular Flower subcategory in the month leading up to the holidays in 2021 was Packaged Flower at 15% of sales, and the second most popular was Bulk Flower at 14.7%.

Jushi (OTC: JUSHF) also reported that Flower remains the number one category leader in demand and interest from patients and consumers. “However, we saw an aggressive uptick trend in disposable and edible sales in 2021,” said the company. 

Discreet products were also big winners. Perhaps consumers wanted to have their cannabis but not be obvious about it when visiting friends and relatives. Lantern said, “What’s interesting about our trending products in Boston for the holiday season, was that our most popular products were discreet and designed to share – predominantly edibles, drinkables, and pre-rolls (typically flower products are our best-sellers). Similarly in Detroit, pre-rolls were our most popular holiday product (party-ready for individual sharing and more discreet).” 

Headset’s data seemed to agree. Their data from Canada showed that the categories that saw the largest sales increase on New Year’s Eve were: Tincture & Sublingual (+30%), Concentrates (+23%), and Beverages (+21%). In the US, the categories with the largest sales response were: Beverages (+18%), Flower (+8.5%), and Concentrates (+7.8%).

Jane Technologies noted that edibles online sales were up over 10% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months and topicals online sales were up over 9% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months. They noted that Airo Black Mamba Specialty Pod online sales were up over 290% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months and Incredibles Cookies & Cream 100mg chocolate online sales were up over 200% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months

Christmas Coupons

With so many shoppers, it was a wonder why anyone would offer a discount, but then people love a bargain. Plus competition is heating up in some markets. Flowhub said that dispensaries were discounting for the holidays, but the discounts themselves weren’t huge.

Flowhub reported the following discount data:

  • Typical Day = 18% of transactions include a discount 
  • Christmas Eve = 39% of transactions included a discount 
  • Christmas Day = 40% of transactions included a discount 
  • New Years Eve = 39% of transactions included a discount 
  • New Years Day = 38% of transactions included a discount
  • Across the Christmas and New Years’ holidays, the average discount amount stayed consistent at $5.00 off their total amount. 

Headset’s discount data found a modest increase in discounting on New Year’s Eve in both Canadian and US cannabis markets. Noting that tThe average discount in Canada on New Year’s Eve was 4.0%, up by about 10% over an average of the previous four Fridays(3.6%). The average discount in the US on New Year’s Eve was 21.1%, up by about 13% over the previous four Fridays (18.6%).

Cali Sober

After all that holiday drinking, many people look at January as a month to sober up and give their bodies a break from all that alcohol. Lantern said, “As we head into the new year, we’re seeing consumers really embrace “Dry January” with our record-best Monday, +29% lift in daily order volume.”

 

 


Julie AitchesonDecember 2, 2021
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The numbers are in and it’s official—Green Wednesday 2021 was a big one for the cannabis industry, while Black Friday fizzled in comparison. Green Wednesday saw cannabis sales increase across the U.S. Black Friday did not have the sales growth seen in previous years, though some data (Flowhub) showed larger order values and bigger discounts than Green Wednesday. Data from market analytics and cannabis companies like Headset, LeafLink, Lantern, Glass House Brands, and others show common trends regarding most popular products and year-over-year sales numbers. Using this data, companies extrapolate some possible variables affecting this year’s numbers, including a decreased emphasis on Black Friday door-buster deals targeted towards packing stores with bargain-hungry shoppers, focusing instead on online sales spread out over the holiday season (Springbig).

Headset’s Green Wednesday 2021 data showed a 33% increase in total retail sales compared with the four previous Wednesdays, with a marked trend of customers taking advantage of promotions on offer to receive discounts on holiday shopping, with the average discount up 29 percent. This was in contrast to a slight decrease in sales (-4.6%) on Black Friday relative to the previous four Fridays, despite the fact that average Black Friday discounts increased by 56% from the previous four Fridays.

Flowhub’s data showed an average Green Wednesday discount of $9.57 (up from $8.94 in 2020) and an average Black Friday discount of $11.09. Notable in Flowhub’s findings was the conclusion that while Green Wednesday was a big sales day, Thanksgiving weekend as a whole had lower pre-tax sales than a typical Wednesday through Sunday. Jushi Holdings (OTC: JUSHF) didn’t seem to notice, however, experiencing its best online sales day in the company’s history on Green Wednesday 2021 with an 80% uptick in sales during Thanksgiving week and online ordering up 200% on Green Wednesday. Eaze saw a 135% increase in deliveries compared to a typical Wednesday in 2021, making it their second biggest day this year by both numbers of deliveries and sales after 04/20/21.

Edibles Most Popular For Green Wednesday

Headset’s data on category winners by sales numbers showed edibles leading the pack with 67% growth on Green Wednesday and 11% on Black Friday. Topicals and tinctures took second and third place while beverages saw a whopping 86% growth. Leaflink showed flower holding the top spot for most popular category in the month leading up to Green Wednesday making up 33% of sales with cartridges coming in second up 24.9% from the previous month. Jane Technologies saw its biggest category sales increases in edibles (94%), vapes (84%), and flower (73%) compared to the previous three Wednesdays, with chocolates and disposables leading subcategory sales by increases of 126% and 100% respectively. For Glass House Brands (OTC: GLASF), flower, carts, and edibles were the big winners.

LeafLink’s data measured the growth of sales (10.61%) during the month leading up to Green Wednesday compared to October, with the biggest sales increase (16%) coming during the week of November 14th over the previous week. The run-up to Green Wednesday broke records for cannabis company Lantern, with a 44% rise in average daily sales leading up to Green Wednesday, though there was no significant change to daily Average Order Value.  As the cannabis economy continues to transform to meet a shifting retail environment and shopping behaviors adaptive to these uncertain times, market analysts and retailers will continue to keep an eye on Green Wednesdays and Black Fridays to come as annual bellwethers for the market.

 


Debra BorchardtNovember 9, 2021
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Cannabis tech company Springbig is going to become a publicly-traded company through the SPAC Tuatara Capital Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: TCAC). The new symbol when the company begins trading on NASDAQ will be SBIG. It is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.

According to the company statement, the estimated post-transaction equity valuation will be approximately $500 million, with roughly $200 million cash on hand after closing. That’s a fairly frothy valuation considering Springbig is only on track to report $24 million in revenue for 2021.  It seems the argument for the estimated value is the belief that Springbig expects to capitalize on the steady growth in cannabis retailers as new recreational markets emerge across the U.S., in addition to capturing larger marketing spends from cannabis brands as they work to obtain direct access to consumers through high engagement, omnichannel solutions.

Jeffrey Harris, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of springbig, said, “The key to our success has been empowering our clients by connecting them with their customers and engaging directly as they scale their businesses. Clients can use our SaaS platform to drive increased customer spend, build brand loyalty, and increase their potential reach. We pride ourselves on providing marketing-leading technology solutions and an exceptional level of service to springbig clients. This leads to excellent client retention, providing a robust base for strong future growth. As the cannabis industry continues to grow, this strong foundation will enable us to leverage our data and technology to consolidate across multiple market verticals including data analytics, increased marketing automations, and advertising solutions.”

Harris will continue to lead the company following the closing of the transaction. Current Chief Financial Officer, Paul Sykes, who has significant experience in high-growth SaaS businesses in a public company environment, will also continue in his role. Springbig serves over 1,000 clients across the United States and Canada, compromising more than 2,300 retail locations, and has over 41 million consumers enrolled in its proven B2B2C platform, through which more than 90 million transactions have been processed in the past twelve months with attributable gross merchandise value (“GMV”) of over $7 billion.

“In the rapidly evolving cannabis industry, with numerous regulations and restrictions, springbig has emerged as a market leader in direct-to-consumer marketing and engagement. Springbig’s technology platform drives loyalty and customer engagement, and in this regulated environment, a high level of engagement is crucial for cannabis retailers and brands to reach their customers in an increasingly competitive market,” said Al Foreman, Chief Executive Officer of TCAC. “The extremely talented and experienced team at springbig has harnessed the technologies necessary to address this market opportunity, and they are well-positioned for long-term, sustainable growth as new states progress legalization frameworks and with the potential for Federal cannabis policy reform on the horizon.”

 


StaffOctober 8, 2021
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Green Market Report asked some of the top technology leaders in the cannabis industry for their thoughts on how tech is changing the cannabis world. Here’s what we learned:

Simplifya Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Marion Mariathasan

   “Technology in every industry has enabled advancement to happen faster, and the cannabis industry is no different. Due to the fragmented regulatory environment, we knew remaining compliant would be a real challenge for businesses, but one that could be addressed through the creation of advanced technologies. We set out to take what was previously an archaic way of approaching compliance and developed software that would help cannabis entrepreneurs save time and money, drive efficiencies and create new opportunities. Beyond owners and operators, we also see technologies playing a vital role in how governments, regulatory bodies, insurers, cannabis-related banking and financial institutions also remain compliant under FinCEN Cannabis Banking Guidance. 

Whether it’s POS, data, commerce, social networks or compliance, technology continues to allow the industry to solve some of its most challenging problems while accelerating growth at a rapid rate. As Simplifya enters the multi-million dollar banking, financial and payment-related services sector, we plan to debut new software and advanced technologies that automates and simplifies mandated complex processes necessary to keep the industry moving ahead in a compliant way.” 

Marion Mariathasan is the CEO of Simplifya, the cannabis industry’s leading regulatory and operational compliance software platform. The company’s suite of products takes the guesswork out of confusing and continually changing state and local regulations. Featuring SOPs, badge tracking, document storage, tailored reporting and employee accountability features, the company’s Custom Audit software reduces the time clients spend on compliance by up to 45 percent. 

Marion is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded or advised numerous startups. He is an investor in 22 domestic and international companies, four of which he serves as a board member: Ceylon Solutions, a cannabis and non-cannabis software development company; Leafwire, the largest cannabis social network; ilios, a relationship app that matches users based on characteristics derived from astrology and numerology algorithms; and Simplifya. Marion is a regular guest speaker at events such as Denver Start-Up Week, Colorado University’s program on social entrepreneurship, and the United Nations Global Accelerator Initiative. 

 


Jushi Holdings Inc. Chief Creative Director Andreas “Dre” Neumann

“In the cannabis sector, digital consumers are in the driver’s seat. We believe technologies will continue to play a critical role, and that by taking the time to implement research, data and digital technologies, we have a competitive advantage. By constantly studying trends data, we foresaw that the digital and physical retail convergence would accelerate with the rapid growth of home delivery and express channels. Early on we were focused on ways to remove friction, build trust, and fine tune the entire customer experience. We use research data and technology-based omnichannel strategies to seamlessly serve the needs of the widest range of customers, and that really goes to the core of our ethos of improving peoples’ lives.

At a higher level, we’ve also integrated our data sources and spent time building out a custom data warehouse. This has not only helped us break down information silos, but has also allowed us to understand the business and our customers much more holistically. We plan to keep evolving with new technologies and programs that drive efficiencies in our retail experiences and operations. I’ve always been a big advocate for technological solutions — none of this would be possible without it — so for us, tech will be a priority for the future of Jushi and instrumental in defining the entire cannabis sector.”

In his role at Jushi, Dre and his creative team are charged with leading Jushi’s creative, marketing and communications efforts as well as ensuring the company’s successful entrance into e-commerce, cutting-edge digital user experiences and his efforts have already brought a tremendous amount of added value to the company and its shareowners. 

Dre is a serial entrepreneur who has founded numerous successful creative and technology companies and is a disruptive thinker, who before joining Jushi, served as the creative director and head of content for Idean, a leading global design agency that creates powerful digital experiences and uses design as a strategic tool to transform companies. He founded a partnership with British multinational communications and advertising agency network with 114 offices in 76 countries and over 6,500 staff, Saatchi & Saatchi UK, where he implemented creative strategies such as launching a branded content unit called Gum in an effort to reach more young people, who are increasingly tuning out traditional advertising. 

In addition to being a known and respected leader in the creative and technology arenas, Dre is known for his photography and work with artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Iggy Pop, Foo Fighters, ZZ Top, Lenny Kravitz, and many others. He has also been cited as one of the world’s top rock photographers and will be featured in an upcoming documentary on Amazon scheduled to premiere in early 2021.

 

Navin Anand, Chief Technology Officer at springbig

“The cannabis industry is adopting native and cloud technologies at an ever increasing rate. Computing power has increased exponentially (at an affordable cost), so we all have supercomputers on hand, which helps development teams tackle AI/ML problems, predictive analysis, user segmentation, early fraud detection and more. Technology also has added tremendous value in the form of agri-tech, cloud evolution, and data science for improving this industry as a whole.

At springbig, we are leveraging technology to push the limits and capture trends that help our merchants achieve goals above and beyond 100%. The spingbig platform provides the ability for our partners to be in constant contact with end users. We have other offerings that provide numerous opportunities for improvement of user experience, instore, e-commerce and omni.”

Navin is the CTO of springbig, a leading provider in customer loyalty and text message communications solutions for cannabis retailers and cannabis brands. Founded in 2017, springbig offers a single source of truth CRM that becomes the database of record for in-store and online customers that captures key purchasing and behavioral data and seamlessly integrates with existing dispensary POS and eCommerce systems. Navin has over 15 years experience in software engineering including leading a team of 100 engineers at Verifone, one of the world’s largest multinational payment processing and POS solution providers. In his time at Verifone, Navin crafted solutions for blue-chip brands including McDonalds, YUM Brands, and Visa.

Navin is recognized as a data-driven leader and problem solver who is able to streamline the software engineering delivery and QA process through advanced systems automation and project management, reducing time to delivery and aligning various IT sub-departments into a common system that speak the same language.

 

 

 

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli, Co-Founder and Chief Payments Officer at KindTap

“As a fintech company in the cannabis space, we can wholeheartedly say that technology is shaping the future of the industry with the consumer at the forefront of the conversation. From convenience to compliance and now even our credit payment option with loyalty points, advances in technology are bringing the consumer the best experience possible while still keeping all the backend bells & whistles legally sound.”

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli is a payments executive with extensive experience in prepaid, debit, credit, and emerging payments and broad and deep knowledge of issuing and acquiring sides of the market. In 2019, Cathy joined KindTap, a fintech company with a team that was focused on the same cannabis payments problem she spotted a few years back. Together in September 2021, they formally launched KindTap and are the first company to bring a credit payment option to the cannabis industry. 

KindTap launched first to the Massachusetts market and will hit multiple US markets, including Florida, Maine, and New York by the end of 2021, bringing consumers immediate, revolving credit lines for upfront cannabis purchases and allowing merchants to seamlessly accept digital credit payments.  About 3 years ago while working for a client in Denver, Cathy became aware of how broken payments were in cannabis. Broken isn’t even the right word – payments simply didn’t exist in the cannabis market. Cathy’s pioneering spirit kicked-in and she refocused her consulting to the cannabis segment. 

 

 

 

Socrates Rosenfeld, Co-founder & CEO of Jane Technologies

“Our goal at Jane has always been to provide value for the entire ecosystem; we want customers to make informed purchasing decisions, and we want sellers to succeed. As the largest e-commerce platform in North American cannabis, the digitization of the industry has allowed us to keep the industry in line with the mainstream, allowing shopping for cannabis to be as accessible as shopping online for everything else in the world, all while ensuring an even playing field for brands and dispensaries.”

Socrates Rosenfeld is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jane Technologies. Socrates began using cannabis as a way to re-acclimate to civilian life upon return from active duty, but found himself questioning the origins of cannabis since it was illegal at the time. Fast forward to today and Socrates is now the founder and CEO of Jane Technologies- the e-commerce solution for legal cannabis retailers and brands. He holds a B.S. in Leadership & Management Studies from the United States Military Academy at West Point Academy and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a U.S. Army Veteran and previously served as a commander of an Apache helicopter company. 

 


StaffSeptember 2, 2021
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The presence of technology has changed the entire world. In the cannabis industry, it is the backbone of most operations whether discussing extraction, seed to sale tracking, customer management software, loyalty program apps or platforms to conduct delivery operations. Technology is everywhere in the cannabis space. Major investment seems to continue to pour into technology for this industry, for example Jane Technologies just announced a $100 million dollars raise. This is big money and it comes with big minds. Green Market Report decided to highlight some of the best and brightest in cannabis technology. Here are a few power players who we feel you should know.

David McCullough, Chief Technology Officer of Akerna

Prior to being appointed CTO of Akerna, David McCullough served as Akerna’s Executive Vice President of Product & Engineering for the last five years, overseeing all software development, development operations, quality assurance, automations, systems, and security operations. He has over 16 years of Software Engineering experience.

Before joining Akerna, he was the CTO of StudentPublishing.com, where he actively managed the technical aspects of Student Publishing’s sale to and systems integration with lulu.com.

David has extensive government systems experience and was also a professor at New Mexico State University where he taught courses in data communications and networking.

 

Navin Anand, Chief Technology Officer of springbig

Navin Graduated Northern Illinois University with a masters in electrical engineering and a masters in technology and management.

Navin has over 15 years experience in software engineering including leading a team of 100 engineers at Verifone, one of the world’s largest multinational payment processing and POS solution providers. In his time at Verifone, Navin crafted solutions for blue-chip brands including  McDonalds, YUM Brands, and Visa.

Navin is recognized as a data-driven leader and problem solver who is able to streamline the software engineering delivery and QA process through advanced systems automation and project management, reducing time to delivery and aligning various IT sub-departments into a common system that speak the same language.

Tiffany Burtt, Founder & Chief Technology Officer of Bulb Tech 

Burtt is the Founder and CEO of Bulb Tech. With 15 years of throttling early-stage startups to the market on a bootstrap budget, Tiffany Burtt, delivers performance focused products and technology solutions to aide in launch strategies, boosting sales and capturing new opportunities. Recognized for creating rich and flawless CX design, her product innovation and solutions consistently propel revenue growth and drive strategic business initiatives to elevate the company vision. Since 2014, two of Tiffany’s projects have been acquired by Fortune 500 companies. 

In 2016, Tiffany took the plunge and applied 20 years of experience as a woman in tech and her lifelong affair with cannabis to build a powerful set of business tools solving critical challenges in the industry. With unwavering passion, she believes in the combined power of cannabis and tech to improve our lives and create a sustainable impact. Tiffany’s company, BulbTech, is woman owned and operated.

Tiffany’s work doesn’t stop with technology. She is a fierce advocate for women, minorities, veterans, and the LGBT community as it relates to medical cannabis and overall business. She educates, mentors, and consults with new businesses facing the challenges of an emerging industry. 

Burtt built a global team with varying skills and diverse backgrounds. Her reach spans India, Pakistan, London, Russia, Belarus, Sweden, Netherlands, Indonesia and the US.

From digital idea/product concept into executable definition, both technically and operationally, to the market, on-budget. Tiffany is sassy, scrappy, original, and driven.

 

Marc Lopez, Chief Technology Officer of Drop Delivery

Marc Lopez is the CTO and co-founder of Drop Delivery, the cannabis industry’s only all-in-one delivery technology solution for retailers. A twenty-something serial entrepreneur, Marc previously co-founded Greenlight Technologies, a leading order-ahead and digital loyalty software in the cannabis industry, which was acquired in 2018 by publicly-traded Leafbuyer Technologies.

Before jumping into the cannabis industry, Marc co-founded two vape industry software companies, the e-commerce platform Vape Block, and the peer-to-peer marketplace Vape Mail in 2015, where he built the technology that both platforms ran on. The motivation to develop a peer-to-peer marketplace came from his previous startup, Uniform in 2015, a peer-to-peer marketplace for the fashion industry.

While in college, and with his current Drop Delivery co-founders Vanessa and Jade Gabriel,  Marc co-founded aSociete in 2011, a shopping platform for millennials to shop for their favorite fashion brands from all across the web in a simple, entertaining, and engaging way.

Marc Sherman, Chief Information Officer of HERBL

Marc Sherman is a highly-skilled Information Technology Executive with over 20 years’ experience designing, delivering, and supporting innovative Enterprise Supply Chain System solutions that drive business growth and profitability for all stakeholders.

Prior to joining HERBL, he was Vice President, Information Technology for FedEx Supply Chain, a $1.6B subsidiary of FedEx focused on Third-Party Logistics in multiple verticals including Technology, Retail, Consumer Products and Healthcare across over 130 sites in North America.

Before joining FedEx, Marc served on active duty in the United States Air Force for 20 years where he held multiple Operations and Logistics management positions in the United States, Europe, and Southwest Asia. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Information Systems and is a former Adjunct Professor with Northwood University.

Sherman currently lives in Keller, Texas with his wife Caroline.

 


StaffSeptember 27, 2019
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Jeffrey Harris is Founder and CEO of springbig, a customer loyalty platform for the cannabis industry. springbig uses SMS, loyalty marketing, and other tools to encourage repeat business for cannabis retailers. Prior to spingbig, Harris founded a loyalty marketing company (Inte Q) which focused on developing and managing data driven programs for large retail and financial services firms.

Title: Co-Founder and CEO

Company: springbig

Years at current company: 7 years

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Prior to spingbig, I founded a Loyalty Marketing Company (Inte Q) which focuses on developing and managing data driven loyalty and CRM programs for large retail and financial services firms.

Company Mission: Initially founded in 2012 and launched in the cannabis industry in 2017, springbig is the leading provider in customer-loyalty and digital communications solutions for dispensaries and cannabis retailers.  With customers across the United States, springbig is helping dispensaries & cannabis retailers keep their own customers connected and engaged while allowing the store owners to track their inevitable success and ROI of their loyalty program and marketing campaigns in real-time.

Company’s most successful achievement: In the emerging cannabis industry, springbig has reached a historic milestone. We have signed up over 8,000,000 consumers through our cannabis-focused customer loyalty program. Through partnerships with some of the leading POS providers in the cannabis space — including Flowhub, BioTrackTHC, MJ Freeway, Treez, Korona, LeafLogix, GreenBits, Blaze, and Cova — springbig has worked alongside retailers to send over 50,000 campaigns by way of over 225,000,000 text messages (130 million just in 2019) — and has seen close to over 740,000 rewards redeemed in return. Our dedication and expertise has allowed retailers to see immediate and significant ROIs on their marketing initiatives. 

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

if so, how much?: 9.7 million

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Still undetermined but seriously considering raising a B round.

Most important company 5 year goal: Create a unique marketing ecosystem where retailers and brands can effectively communicate with cannabis consumers to drive brand awareness, omnichannel store traffic and sales growth that benefit both the industries brands and retailers.


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An increasing number of North American cannabis companies are reaching out to college students, offering summer internships as an opportunity to get their foot in the door in the growing industry.

Students now are being given opportunities that students only 5 years ago could have only dreamed of!

A Full Resume Required

Upon graduating from college, students can no longer rely on their college credentials to land a job; experience and evidence of engagement are becoming increasingly important for recruiters as they seek to fill entry- and mid-level spots in their growing companies.

Internships within the cannabis industry provide new graduates a professional advantage because they have received a baseline of business acumen, have learned how to engage in professional environments, and have been able to focus their studies to meet their desired career path.

Students who have engaged in an internship, a form of experiential learning, enter industry job ready, resulting in a new crop of graduate ready to take to the cannabis industry.

An Industry Growing at Exponential Speeds

According to Vangst, the industry’s top recruiting platform, the cannabis industry showed a 690% growth in job listings from 2017 to 2018, forecasting an additional 220% growth this year.

Average salaries in the cannabis industry also increased over 16% from 2017 to 2018, and aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.  To anyone about to enter the professional job market, these statistics look promising.

Cannabis internships are going to be the new norm across college campuses as more states and countries legalize cannabis, and more educational institutions recognize and embrace the wealth of opportunity available to their students within the cannabis industry.

Summer Internships Offered in 2019

The following North American cannabis companies are offering summer internships to college students in 2019:

U.S. Opportunities

  • Springbig is located in Boca Raton, FL, and is a cannabis dispensary CRM and loyalty rewards software company. Growing like wildfire, Springbig is looking to hire interns in the following departments: marketing, client services, development, and sales.
  • CannaSafe is California’s #1 accredited cannabis testing laboratory. Located in Los Angeles, CannaSafe is looking to hire lab technicians and assistants for the summer. As an added enticement to future recruits, a few of their interns from last summer are returning this year with full-time positions!
  • LeafLink is the cannabis industry’s #1 wholesale e-commerce platform and is looking to hire both a Graphic Design intern and a Sales & Development intern for their New York, NY office.
  • Green Thumb Industries (CSE: GTII) is a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer located in Chicago. They are looking to hire a full-time Corporate Sales intern for what they call a “cannabis career immersion” experience, offering an in-depth look into the inner-workings of one of the largest multi-state cannabis companies in the world.
  • High There! is cannabis social network, directory, and community, that just relaunched their app in April. They are looking for undergraduate students that are eager to learn about marketing in the cannabis industry to join their Venice, CA team.

Canadian Opportunities

  • Canadian Cannabis Chamber, which is focused on promoting cannabis businesses and enabling policies, is hiring a summer student to act as a Marketing Analyst at their Calgary, Alberta office
  • Cronos Group, which sells cannabis at the federal level in Canada, is hiring an HR Intern to work within their Human Resources Offices in Toronto.
  • Tilray, a cannabis licensed producer located in Nanaimo, British Columbia, is offering a Health, Safety and Environment Assistant summer internship

Students who complete internships demonstrate a record of employability in their chosen field, planning and purpose for their chosen career field or industry, and oftentimes find themselves in full-time positions with the companies for which they interned.

Brush up your resume, students, and take advantage of these incredible opportunities to ensure you’re job-ready within the growing cannabis industry.

 


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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