The cannabis industry is seen by professionals as one of the most exciting fields to participate in, with many companies attracting some of the brightest industry experts to join them. Agraflora Organics International (CSE:AGRA) (OTC:PUFXF), National Access Cannabis Corp (CSE:META) (OTC:NACNF), CBD Unlimited, Inc (CSE:EDXC) (OTC:EDXC), FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTC:FSDDF) and Chemistree Technology Inc(OTC:CHMJF) (CSE:CHM) have all been working hard to sign on cannabis experts in an effort to gain a competitive advantage over their competition.
As the relatively young cannabis industry continues to mature, one of the best predictors of whether a company will survive in the years to come is the strength of its management team. With becoming increasingly fierce, companies led by management teams with plenty of experience – drawn from both within and outside the cannabis industry – have historically had the best likelihood of success. While every company strives to enlist top cannabis industry veterans – the truth of the matter is, these individuals are a rare find. The addition of experts to any cannabis company not only is a big deal in terms of publicity, but also a strong indicator of future success.
The Importance of Experienced Management Teams
The sheer growth potential of the cannabis industry has attracted some of the best executive talents across the world. According to Grand View Research, marijuana is predicted to become a $146.4 billion market globally by 2025, representing a 34.6 percent increase every year. With such growth opportunities available, it’s not surprising why many executives from Fortune 500 companies chose to leave their safe and conventional career paths to take a risk in the cannabis sector.
Recent Expert Partnerships
Cannabis companies are bringing in experts from diverse backgrounds. Depending on the type of cannabis company, the list of experts includes professionals ranging from cannabis market veterans to retail and healthcare professionals, and even law enforcement. The board of Agraflora Organics International Inc (CSE:AGRA) (OTCMKTS:PUFXF) boasts twolongtime Toronto Police officers on their management team. While, FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTCMKTS:FSDDF) is headed by physician turned entrepreneur, Dr. Dr Raza Bokhari, Executive Co-Chairman & Interim CEO.
As such, it’s not surprising that cannabis companies go out of their way to partner with high profile figures. Last month, Aurora Cannabis Inc announced it was partnering with billionaire Nelson Peltz. The relationship would help the cannabis giant better position itself for potential retail partnerships.
A much smaller company, Chemistree Technology Inc (OTCQB:CHMJF) (CSE:CHM), recently made news as well when it signed on legendary cannabis industry veteran Nicholas J. Zitelli – known within the industry by his pen name “Nico Escondido”. As one of the most knowledgeable experts in the cannabis space, Nico Escondido has written hundreds of articles about the cannabis industry and best practices. He also founded the Cannabis Genetics Institute (CGI) in Amsterdam, Holland, helping create custom cannabis strains to treat various medical conditions. Besides all of this, Nico Escondido is best known for being a principal at the High Times brand.
With a monthly magazine in publication since 1974, High Times is one of the best-known groups promoting and developing the cannabis culture. Publishing numerous books and documentaries, High Times also hosts the most prestigious marijuana-related competition in the world. The “Cannabis Cup” brings together industry experts, cannabis enthusiasts, and marijuana companies together across the world and holds contests in various product categories.
“I am very excited to join the Chemistree team” said Nico Zitelli in a press release. “Having known and worked with many of the team members in the past, I am confident we will be able build significant value in the Company and help define the future of the cannabis industry.”
For a company like Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM), getting Zitelli on board is a big deal. As an early investor in the international cannabis sector that’s expanding their vertically integrated operations, the addition of Nico Zitelli to Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM) will give the company the industry clout it needs to stand out in the market.
“As Chemistree continues its focus on building one of the world’s leading cannabis companies, it is critical to have an experienced board to put us in the best possible position to achieve success. These are exciting times for Chemistree and Nico represents another outstanding addition to our board of directors on our path of rapid growth,” added Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM) President Karl Kottmeier. “The High Times Cannabis Cup is the most prestigious and extensive cannabis-related competition in the world and having his broad knowledge/specialized expertise, impressive network and reputation will be invaluable assets to the Company’s strategic direction.”
It’s common for massive, multi-billion-dollar cannabis companies to boast impressive hires within the industry. Chemistree Technology Inc (CHMJF) (CHM), on the other hand, is a company with less than $20 million in market capitalization. The fact that this small cannabis company has signed on one of the top industry experts in cannabis is a major accomplishment for the firm. In comparison, few other companies of a similar size can expect such a major name to come on board – something that will propel Chemistree Technology Inc (OTCQB:CHMJF) (CSE:CHM) to a class well above its peers.
Further Cannabis Developments
Back in late March, Agraflora Organics International Inc (CSE:AGRA) (OTCPK:PUFXF) announced they had fully invested a $40 million equity participation agreement with Delta Organic Cannabis Corp. The agreement would see Agra own a 50 percent stake in the second largest cannabis greenhouse in Canada.
In a recent press release, National Access Cannabis Corp (CSE:META) (OTCPK:NACNF) announced their financial figures for their operations since federal legalization. The company achieved over $20 million in retail sales since October 17, 2018. National Access Cannabis has 23 stores across Alberta and Manitoba and is the largest private cannabis retailer in the country. The company is headed by a team with years of experience in retail and healthcare.
Todd A. Davis, Co-Founder and CEO of CBD Unlimited, Inc (CSE:EDXC) (OTCPK:EDXC), formerly known as Endexx Corporation, brings to the team years of experience in investment banking and entrepreneurship. The company has recently employed a private sales group to help expand the company’s product reach both in Canada as well as internationally. Initially launching as a 25-person sales team, CBD Unlimited is expected to grow this salesforce to up to 500 in the next two years.
Another cannabis company that made a major management team announcement was FSD Pharma Inc (CSE:HUGE) (OTCQB:FSDDF). In a recent press release, the company announced that Dr. Charles Pollack would be joining FSD as the Chairman of their Scientific Board. He brings a long history of clinical research in the areas of pain treatment, thrombosis, and reversing anticoagulation.
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Hyperledger-based token Metacoin to list on its first global cryptocurrency exchange, Liquid
Global cryptocurrency platform Liquid.com (“Liquid”) will be listing Metacoin (MTC), the world’s first Hyperledger-based token, for secondary trading.
Metacoin is a project focused on expanding the blockchain ecosystem by solving fundamental issues that the traditional cryptocurrency has yet to overcome such as scalability and security. Released as a mainnet platform in 2018 as the first commercialised mainnet based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric, Metacoin currently boasts several key projects such as:
- Issue token (https://issuetoken.io/) a service where businesses can create their own token
- A wallet service (https://wallet.metacoin.network/)
- A block explorer (https://metascan.io/)
Several notable Dapps are also currently being built on the Metacoin platform such as:
- Play bits (https://playbits.io/), a powerful blockchain gaming platform,
- Coldbank (https://www.coldbank.io), a custodian service that aims to provide a high level of security on IBM’s LinuxONE
- Autosdaq (https://autosdaq.com/) an exchange that seeks to create an ecosystem where mobility-related products and services can be used with cryptocurrency.
Jay Baek, V.P. of INBLOCK said, “We’re excited about the listing of Metacoin on Liquid. As one of the largest, most secure and reputable exchanges globally, Liquid will offer best-in-class security to anyone looking to trade and hold MTC. More importantly, being listed on a major exchange is aligned with our mission of creating new value through collaborations with other companies and business support.”
Metacoin aims to solve two fundamental issues in blockchain technology — scalability and security — by implementing its node into LinuxONE. By doing so, Metacoin is not only able to further secure and protect users’ data but handle millions of transactions per second in a safe and secure manner.
“We are delighted to be the first global cryptocurrency exchange to add Metacoin to our offering of digital assets on Liquid, and also be the first exchange to be able to support projects built on Hyperledger,” said Mike Kayamori, CEO and co-founder of Liquid. “The ability to support Hyperledger-based projects is certainly an important step towards our mission of providing liquidity to the crypto economy.”
Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. Hosted by the Linux Foundation, it is a global collaboration that includes leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing and Technology. Hyperledger Fabric currently supports distributed ledger solutions for a wide range of industries and maximises the confidentiality, resilience and flexibility of blockchain solutions through its modular architecture.
To celebrate the listing of Metacoin on Liquid, the Liquid and Metacoin teams have decided to provide a 1% bonus for anyone who deposits more than 1,000 MTC and a 3% bonus for anyone who deposits more than 30,000 MTC on Liquid. Liquid and Metacoin will also host a Trading Competition that rewards 1,000 MTC to the top 100 users in trading volume at the end of the campaign. More details will be shared soon. For the latest updates, follow Liquid on Twitter at @liquid_global
Inaugural SFF x SWITCH sees over 60,000 participants from 140 countries; event to return on 9-13 November 2020
The Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) concluded its combined week-long event on 15 November 2019, which attracted more than 60,000 participants from 140 countries. The event also saw a record 569 speakers, close to 1,000 exhibitors and 41 international pavilions.
SFF x SWITCH will return next year from 9 to 13 November 2020. It will build on the energy, ideas and partnerships established this year, to further strengthen the ecosystem for FinTech and deep tech in Singapore and the region.
In line with the theme of Sustainability and Climate Change, Minister Ong Ye Kung unveiled the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s green finance action plan to strengthen green financing capabilities in Singapore and announced the launch of a US$2 billion Green Investments Programme, among other initiatives under the action plan.
DPM Heng Swee Keat unveiled Singapore’s National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy in his keynote speech, and highlighted a new framework, Veritas, introduced by MAS to promote the responsible adoption of AI in the financial sector. He also announced the expansion of the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network to include London, and the launch of the Open Innovation Network (OIN) by Enterprise Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to promote open innovation across sectors.
Under the GIA, Enterprise Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UK-based accelerator IoT Tribe, to facilitate two-way innovation and business partnerships.
It also inked MOUs with three new partners — DayDayUp (Beijing), Plug and Play Asia Pacific (Jakarta) and Leave a Nest (Tokyo) — to run GIA programmes in their respective markets.
MAS and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) jointly launched the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore, to foster innovation and greater collaboration among the central banking community globally. The opening of the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore marks BIS’ first expansion of its global footprint in 17 years.
MAS also established partnerships with financial authorities in Canada and France, to strengthen cooperation in FinTech and cybersecurity respectively, and welcomed Banque de France (BDF)’s opening of an overseas office in Singapore in early 2020.
SFF x SWITCH 2019 saw new partnerships as well as progress in ongoing initiatives with the industry.
- Project Ubin Phase 5, a collaboration among MAS, the financial industry, and the blockchain ecosystem, saw the successful development of a blockchain-based prototype that enables payments to be carried out in different currencies on the same network.
- Business sans Borders (BSB), which was launched by MAS and IMDA in 2018, has successfully completed its Phase One Proof of Concept and will proceed with the Phase Two Pilot in 1H 2020.
- MAS, Deloitte and S&P Global Market Intelligence have jointly developed a prototype for an industry-wide FinTech Research Platform to help investors and financial institutions connect with FinTech start-ups that they can partner with or invest in.
- Enterprise Singapore launched the inaugural Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge in partnership with corporates and government agencies to tackle problem statements spanning sustainability themes in resource efficiency, zero waste, green transport and sustainable built environment.
- As part of efforts towards sustainable growth, the National Research Foundation launched the Singapore Battery Consortium to support industry-academia collaboration in cutting-edge battery technologies, bringing companies and researchers together to develop better battery products that serve market needs.
2019 Event Highlights
SFF x SWITCH celebrated the winning solutions of the Global FinTech Hackcelerator, FinTech Awards and SLINGSHOT 2019 respectively. Following vibrant demo and pitching sessions where FinTech and tech startups presented their solutions to industry panels of judges, three winners emerged from the Global FinTech Hackcelerator, while there were 12 winners each from the FinTech Awards and SLINGSHOT 2019.
SFF x SWITCH concluded the week with the Innovation Lab Crawl and Industry Events (14-15 November), which saw over 20,000 visitors across over 50 innovation labs and more than 30 workshops and networking events held around Singapore. The SFF x SWITCH organising team thanks all our partners and attendees for making this year’s event a big success. We look forward to continued collaboration with the industry to bring about an even more exciting and impactful event next year.
SOURCE Monetary Authority of Singapore
Experian brings world-class technology conference to Singapore with inaugural VISION2020 Asia Pacific
Experian, the world leader in information services, announced today that the inaugural Asia Pacific edition of its signature Vision Conference will be coming to Singapore next year. VISION2020 Asia Pacific (APAC) will be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Singapore on 5th and 6th February 2020.
For the past 38 years, Experian’s Vision conference in North America has been connecting business leaders to innovative ideas and solutions to help them target new markets, grow their customer bases, and reduce fraud. The event has also hosted world-renowned keynote speakers including Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, former US president, Bill Clinton, and five-time NBA champion, Kobe Bryant.
Next year, under the theme “Future favours the BOLD – Innovating for tomorrow”, VISION2020 APAC is where leading minds from the banking and fintech industries will converge to examine how companies can navigate the next phase of digital finance and build a BOLD future powered by data, technology, and analytics.
A thought leadership platform dedicated to the most salient business developments, VISION2020 APAC will shine a spotlight on major shifts that are reshaping the region and the significant growth opportunity that lies with the application of data assets today, to enable the provision of better services. Curated sessions on topics such as Fraud and Open Banking — two of the six conference themes — will help business executives gain a better understanding of the new banking paradigm that is ushering in the next phase of consumer finance in Asia Pacific.
The conference will also feature a dedicated space for technology showcase, where attendees can discover the latest solutions from Experian’s X Labs innovation hub. Built to address customer pain points, X Labs is home to some of Experian’s most cutting-edge technologies for Open Banking, Agriculture, Alternative Data Scoring, Predictive Analytics, and more.
Ben Elliott, Chief Executive Officer, Experian Asia Pacific, said: “We are delighted to bring our flagship conference to Asia Pacific, a fast-growing market with access to an amount of data unrivalled in size. VISION2020 APAC will catalyse important conversations around the unprecedented business opportunities offered by the data economy through sessions on Open Data, Autonomous Analytics, and Alternative Data. We look forward to inspiring our customers, partners, and industry luminaries to take on a bold approach as we navigate through these exciting times together as a region.”
Attendees can expect unparalleled networking potential and learning opportunities with a two-day programme featuring expert presentations, technical workshops, innovation showcases, and panel discussions led by the top minds of the industry.
The speaker line-up features some 50 industry experts and leaders including senior representatives from ANZ Bank, Boston Consulting Group, IDC Financial Insights, Open Bank, WeLab and many more. Notable thought leaders such as Alex Manson, Global Head, SC Ventures; Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore; Steve Leonard, Founding CEO of SG Innovate; and Malcolm Rodrigues, CEO & co-founder, MyRepublic, will also be speaking at the event.
Sharing the stage with the distinguished guest speakers is Experian’s team of senior global executives including Brian Cassin, Group CEO; Ben Elliott, CEO, Asia Pacific; Alex Lintner, Group President, Consumer Information Services; and David Britton, Vice President, Industry Solutions, Global Fraud and Identity.
In addition, attendees will also hear from guest speakers including Lewis Hamilton, five-time Formula One world champion, and Sachin Tendulkar, former international cricketer considered as one of the greatest batsmen in sport’s history.
Visit the official VISION2020 APAC website for the latest updates on the conference and use the hashtag #ExperianVision2020APAC to join the conversation on LinkedIn. Register by 30 November to enjoy early-bird rates at USD1,295. This conference is also supported by the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau, a part of Singapore Tourism Board.
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