What Being an Angel Investor in the Cannabis Industry Looks like – Brian Holmes



In this episode we interview Brian Holmes of First Ascent Associates. Brian is an angel investor who invests a significant portion of their $3 million fund in cannabis startups. He is one of the few investors actually putting his money where his mouth is in the cannabis industry. He has taken 3 cannabis companies public, and he continues to support and evaluate cannabis startups everyday. Brandon and Brian also dive into his father’s first cannabis investment with an ex-con, his recent investment into GrowCondos, and the exciting world of angel investing.

Show Notes:

1.14 – First Ascent started from being a startup founder

2.06 – the dreaded vice clause

2.20 – the line between vc and angel

2.54 – writing checks for $100K+

3.02 – we are seed and pre-seed investors

5.45 – pogoseat investment

6.16 – 7 investments so far

6.25 – goal is to 30-60 investments in fund 1

6.38 – initial fund is 3 million$

8.05 – my father’s partner is an excon

8.33 – my dad asked for his mom to meet the excon

9.05 – CBDS ticker symbol

9.15 – CBD medical company

9.35 – strains were proprietary in some way

9.53 – stock started at $.25, peaked at $20

10.48 – Taken 3 companies public, 1 through the fund

11.05 – Tech focused fund

11.10 – Growcondos investment thesis

12.35 – first Growcondo warehouse in medford, OR

13.00 – grey market people trying to go legal

13.30 – is medical cannabis going to persist?

14.10 – cannasys investment thesis

15.05 – The founders started as growers, had a dispensary, then started software company

16.30 – Hemp market is bigger than cannabis

17.10 – companies are going to pivot and shift

18.40 – whats your fail estimation for cannabis startups?

19.00 – in this busineess all about the outliers

20.00 – CBDS, Growcondos, Cannasys – all 3 have gone public

20.50 – Public cannabis is not like a tech ipo

21.32 – Startup Pitch decks

21.43 – review 10 decks, 2-3 in person meetings

22.00 – 1/50 they invest in

22.15 – what should founders send to investors?

23.13 – Funding Bottleneck is series A financing

23.45 – Numbers that Investors Like: 50-100k in revenue with strong MoM growth

24.35 – The best deals don’t always have the best #’s

25.14 – Average a $5 mill cap for seed stage investments

25.40 – Bridge Rounds

26.35 – Due Diligence – What matters to you?

27.55 – how do bigger investors start writing checks?

First Ascent Associates: http://www.firstascentassociates.com/
Cannasys: http://www.cannasys.com/
GrowCondos: http://www.growcondos.com/

Learn more about and subscribe to the Investing in Cannabis podcast: http://investingincannabis.tv/

Contact us with any questions, thoughts, ideas for our show here: investingincannabis@gmail.com

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