Article by High! Canada
The buzz across Canada right now is all about the Invest TO event called The HotBox – a Shark Tank Style Cannabis Event held in Toronto on May 22, 2018 and Ben Feferman and Noam Hazan are the co-organizers.How did you guys get your start with Invest TO?
We noticed there were lots of events geared towards financial services industry but there really wasn’t a community for retail investors to get together, network and be empowered to make their own investment decisions. To solve that problem, we created InvestTO.
How did you guys come up with The HotBox?
We try to make sure our bi-monthly meet-ups are geared around a relevant invest theme and with the upcoming legalizing of cannabis in Canada, we felt it was a sector worth diving deeper into. So many events are speaker based or have a panel and we thought it was getting really old so we wanted to amp up the energy and make it a ‘Shark-Tank’ style event. We’ve been reviewing some of the most exciting cannabis startups and will be picking the top 5 or 6 to present in the Hot Box.
What are the rules?
Each company will have 5 minutes to pitch their company. The judges and audience will then be able to ask questions and discuss the opportunity and then the host will try to bring people together to help get a deal done. We all know about the concept of a ‘TV’ deal where there’s a deal on TV but falls through after. The Hot Box, on the other hand, will put the reality back into reality TV as we hope to get a real deal that evening.
Can you tell me about your line up for judges?
Our judges experience ranges from successful licensed producers to some of the top investment bankers in the cannabis industry. Our hope is that between our esteemed judges and audience, we can help all of the companies pitching find the right capital or strategic partner.
How did you select the contestants? Who are they? Can you tell us a little bit about them?
In selecting the companies, we wanted to find a diverse cross-section of the cannabis industry. The most important factor was the management team and we wanted to ensure that they were dedicated and able to execute on their plan. The second criteria was determining whether or not their product or service was solving a real problem and based on those criteria, we selected five companies that we feel are going to turn heads in the industry.