Outside-In with DCN: Meet the Founders of Greentank
SOURCE: Direct Cannabis Network
Greentank, a Toronto-based vape manufacturer, was founded in 2015 by Corey Koffler and Dustin Koffler with a mission to design, develop and manufacture innovative high performing vaporization hardware exclusively for the cannabis industry.
Meet the Founders
Initially, they both had two different career path’s, Corey was a serial entrepreneur, prior to the cannabis industry, his most recent title was CEO of SafetyIQ. Dustin’s career was the electronic cigarette industry as the Director of Operations at London Mist, where his knowledge of manufacturing electronic cigarette products evolved. By chance and with Dustin’s insight into the electronic cigarette industry, they began to realize that with their knowledge and expertise they would be able to help serve the cannabis industry.
Greentank announced in March that the corporation had raised a CDN $4.3 million seed round investment, led by Green Acre Capital and Casa Verde Capital, along with Alan and Lorne Gertner, founders of Canadian lifestyle brand Tokyo Smoke (now HIKU Brands).
How did this relationship evolve?
When Corey and Dustin decided to make the leap into the cannabis industry about two years ago, one of the first individuals they met was Matt Shalhoub, the managing director of Green Acre Capital, through a mutual friend. This introduction was going to be just the beginning for Corey and Dustin and Green Acre Capital. As Greentank began to grow, they quickly realized they were going to need to raise capital to meet the demand and to scale their business. During this time, they approached Lorne Gertner who sat on the board of Green Acre Capital, and this conversation led to the interest of Green Acre Capital investing into Greentank, getting them close to closing their round.
Before officially closing their seed round, they gained even more interest, this time from their manufacturing partners in China, this interest allowed for Greentank to extend the round. With their round still open, they ended up meeting with Casa Verde Capital at MJBIZCON and in turn, Casa Verde decided they too wanted to be apart of this Round.
Funds and Weekend Holdings
The funds raised are allocated towards both Greentank and WeCannect. Now, although both Greentank and WeCannect are two different companies they are both under a holding company called Weekend Holdings, ran by both Corey and Dustin.
When looking at Greentank, these funds are to help propel the growth of the company, putting a focus on product development & innovation, expanding the team in Toronto, their new offices in Oakland, California and growing their team in China. Currently, they are exploring new innovative hardware concepts they can bring to market before the end of 2018.
For WeCannect, the additional funds will also be utilized to focus on the growth of WeCannect’s platform. WeCannect’s platform will be a business-to-business discovery and networking platform for the cannabis industry.
On this Outside-In, with DCN I spoke with Dustin and Corey to gain a bit more insight into the due diligence process, fundraising and what we can expect to see from Greentank and WeCannect.
DCN: What is one thing you learned when going through the due diligence process?
“It’s a lengthy process, don’t rush the process.”
The process itself is long and tedious but a great tool to really understand their own business model, to build out a proper business plan and roadmap. In the due diligence process, you will get asked a lot of questions you potentially haven’t thought of and in turn really allows you to understand the needs your business is going to need to grow towards the future.
DCN: Any tips or advice to offer to other entrepreneurs who are going or will begin the fundraising process?
Stay focused on your business during the process. Raising capital is a full-time job in itself and can become a distraction for what you have to do to keep running your company. You can’t afford to sacrifice your company while you raise capital, so you need to find a balance between the two.
DCN: Corey, you are a serial entrepreneur, so raising capital is not new to you, how is raising capital in the cannabis industry different than raising capital from other sectors?
This industry is very different. The excitement and buzz around the cannabis industry have opened a lot more doors and investor meetings than some of the other traditional spaces. It is a lot easier to get in front of potential investors, however, although it is easier to get in front of investors it doesn’t necessarily mean its easier to raise capital. Cannabis or Crypto related has gathered all sorts of excitement, and in the cannabis space, you are seeing the investor community have a real interest in the ancillary companies in this space.
DCN: What is in store for WeCannect this year?
We are currently in the process of redesigning our platform and anticipating we will be relaunching the platform with a new look and feel within the next 4-6 weeks as well as with some new features and functionalities.
Let’s discuss Greentank
What is the elevator pitch for Greentank?
Greentank is a manufacturer of innovative, high-performance vaporization hardware purpose-built for the cannabis industry.
DCN: Dustin, I noticed you previously were in the electronic cigarette industry, when looking at both sectors, do you see some similarities and is there an opportunity or the cannabis industry to learn from the electronic cigarette industry?
I definitely see similarities, and it allows for a good starting point when I initially saw cannabis vaporizers being used so naturally at an event. I was actually in Colorado at one of my best friend’s wedding and noticed the baby boomers using vaporizers while on the dance floor. I started speaking with the guests and saw that all the hardware was designed specifically for e-cigarettes.
See E-Juice is a very thin liquid substance whereas cannabis oil is very thick, which gave me that aha moment on the need for better technology when it came to vaporization products to help provide a better user experience. The e-cigarette industry provided a decent foundation for the cannabis industry however their products are not necessarily able to provide the consumer with the best user experience as possible.
DCN: When looking at the product line of Greentank, you can tell that the design aesthetics and technology were vital in the development, any interesting facts you can share with our viewers regarding the technology and innovation?
The technology is our secret sauce and what differentiates our product from what we see out there. For us, it is about staying ahead of the curve and focusing on what the consumer wants while also working closely with each producer to understand their oils. There is no such thing as a turnkey vapor solution, everyone’s oils are different, and we pride ourselves by working with our producers to match our product accordingly and if it doesn’t fit we re-engineer our hardware to adjust accordingly.
Thank you, Corey and Dustin, for sharing with us more about Weekend Holdings, your journey and what is in store for both Greentank and WeCannect.
To learn more about Corey and Dustin of WeCannect and Greentank, visit www.greentanktech.com and www.wecannect.com
SOURCE: Direct Cannabis Network