If you’re a cannabis entrepreneur and founder, you may be familiar with the dichotomies of startup life — Feeling energized, and completely taxed; In control, yet fully engulfed in chaos; Rising up to drive a vision, while being dragged back down into the weeds.
You know you are not alone — but where and how do you plug into other founders feeling the same to get the support you critically need? It may feel like just another problem only YOU can solve.
But it is important and urgent. YOU are important — maybe the most important person in your company. And getting peer support is urgent — because that moment — the moment every founder has — where success and failure hangs in the balance could happen today.
So, what if your VC solved this problem for you? What if as part of the investment, you gained access to a powerful network of peers just like you? Same industry. Same stage. Small in numbers. Curated.
What if all conversations were 100% confidential and you could share your problems freely? What if these peers supported, guided and held you accountable? What if the group came together every month for a few hours, met up at industry events, and gathered together once a year for an annual retreat? And what if it was fun?
This is why we introduced the Poseidon Mastermind.
Our team has been investing and working with cannabis entrepreneurs since 2013. Patrick and Celia at CanopyBoulder. Emily, Morgan, Andres and Mike at Poseidon. Nearly 200 cannabis investments in, one thing is clear — founders with peer support are more successful.
Studies conducted by Endeavour Insights indicate that entrepreneurs who have mentorship — from other successful entrepreneurs are 3x more likely to hit major milestones, scale their business and achieve higher valuation exits.
When our team came together to launch Poseidon Garden Ventures, we knew the post-seed stage was a critical time in a cannabis company’s development. Adding structured support for these founders was critical. So we launched the Poseidon Mastermind founded on 5 principles.
Let’s dive in.
Poseidon invested early in Green Thumb Industries, Ascend Wellness, Flowhub, Headset and Bastcore. CanopyBoulder invested early in BDS Analytics, Wurk, Front Range Biosciences and Weller. We know cannabis entrepreneurship.
We also know how to be selective. We don’t chase deals that don’t fit our return profile. Our founders have traction and are thinking of how to scale. We will be with them all the way. So if our companies need more capital than they have access to, we can support them in fundraising .
We’ve seen how Poseidon and CanopyBoulder founders support one another, and we respect the authenticity of the network. Entree is exclusive and valuable. It helps companies get to scale faster.
“A huge thing for us was getting those partnership conversations going, particularly with other software providers who are going after the same customers and were synergistic to our offering. A lot of our growth is going to market with folks together, hand in hand.
[Collaborative programs] rapidly introduces you to a ton of people so it’s like — Oh you’re working on that thing, I’m working on this thing, that’s perfect, let’s work together — because its a fractured landscape and it’s really important to understand that we’re in collaboration here — the whole market, really, rising tides, all ships, that kind of thing.” — Andrew Watson, CEO of HappyCabbage
By design, founders in the Mastermind must adhere to strict confidentiality — period. Honest peer-to-peer engagement, feedback and guidance is invaluable. Too many communities become echo chambers for virtue signaling, and fail to provide actionable feedback, for fear of rustling feathers. The Poseidon Mastermind is not that. We prioritize confidential, candid, and constructive feedback
“Founders in early stage companies eat, sleep and breathe their businesses, which can make it hard to be objective. Feedback from outsiders is important but sharing sensitive information with just anyone can create real issues. Instead, this program establishes long-term relationships among top-performing companies. The confidentiality and trust that it creates is critical in helping founders get clarity and take action” — Celia Daly, Director of Operations, Poseidon Garden Ventures.
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey. Few know what you’re going through. Sometimes it’s unclear if you’re on the right track. The Mastermind creates a potent balance of camaraderie and competition. Founders feel supported and accountable. The results speak for themselves in company culture and performance.
“When we saw other businesses, even those who weren’t directly competitive, setting up goals and knocking them down consistently — well that really drove us to be more successful. We never wanted to be the ones lagging behind. Having that system of accountability and the ability to compare yourself to others was powerful in driving us forward. And it was all balanced out by the fact that we were all friends there and even when there were companies with a similar value proposition, we’re all looking to help each other out to be sure we all succeed.” — Andrew Duffy, CEO of SparkPlug.
It’s important that the Mastermind complements the busy life of an entrepreneur. When founders engage, these ecosystems work. Making ecosystems engaging and powerful is a mixture of art, science, content, and culture. After seven years building powerful founder communities at CanopyBoulder and Poseidon, we know when founders connect with their peers, THEY are more powerful.
“The reality is that there’s not many people overall in the startup space that are ever going to really fully understand what it means to be a founder. To be in a cohort with other companies that do understand what you’re going through is so important. I can’t even put a value on the support and that network we gained.” — Courtney Wu, CEO of Amnesia.
Each month, the Mastermind holds a group call, where members connect with one another and industry experts to get caught up on key trends and share strategies. Exclusive gatherings at industry events supplement these monthly touchpoints. And at the end of the year, all the members escape for an annual in-person retreat with the Poseidon team and a handful of invited experts. Here, the founders get to step back from the day to day, reflect with one another on the state of the industry, build insights for the year to come, and return to their businesses re-energized.
“We schedule fun and educational experiences for our teams, but not always for ourselves as leaders. Bringing CEOs together — away from their teams — to engage in a combination of strategic planning, leadership work and fun is one of my favorite things to do. There’s a powerful energy that radiates from these gatherings, that reminds us that they have immense value.” — Patrick Rea, Manager, Poseidon Garden Ventures
Leaders looking for an edge in the highly competitive cannabis market know that it takes more than capital. We created the Poseidon Mastermind to drive collaboration, offer founder-to-founder support, introduce proven growth/scaling strategies and provide warm industry introductions from the Poseidon team. Our team has a big network and was assembled to actively help founders.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Poseidon Mastermind, contact us directly at Poseidon.Partners/contact.