Accelerators targeting cannabis companies

Steven Loeb · May 16, 2018 · Short URL:

They include The Sira Accelerator, CanopyBoulder, Greenhouse Ventures and Gateway Incubator

For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.

Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours!

There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces. 

For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.

Here are some of the accelerators that are focused specifically on mentoring companies in the cannabis space:



"We are dedicated to building outstanding, professional companies to help move the cannabis industry forward. We work with both adult-use and medicinally focused companies. Types of companies we love to see include tech plays, data analytics, market research, sales, advertising, consumption devices, etc."

Investment amount: Canopy invests up to $80,000 per team, providing up to $30,000 in initial seed investment and a competitive $50,000 follow-on investment to the top three companies midway through the program. Canopy takes a 6-9.5 percent equity stake.

Program benefits:  

  • Initial seed-stage funding
  • Mentorship from our network of industry pros and investors for life
  • Access to a community of entrepreneurs (Read about why this is critical to growing a company rapidly)
  • Brand recognition that sets you apart from the competition
  • Help with rapid company growth

Mentor makeup: Steve Deangelo, Jessica Billingsley, Troy Dayton, Dooma Wendschuh

Portfolio companies: Virtugro, My THC Guide, Cannabis Quality Group, Serene, Dispenserly, DeepGreen


"Gateway is a full immersion business accelerator and seed investment program born out of Silicon Valley and located in the capital of cannabis advocacy and innovation."

Investment amount: You get an upfront investment of $50,000 for 5% equity. That's a $1,000,000 valuation.

Program benefits:  A program specifically designed for you to help you become a world-class entrepreneur that can compete in the mainstream markets. We accomplish this through a wide breadth of expertise, high-touch mentorship through a proven model, and infusing you into a vast network of mentors, partners, and alumni companies. 

Portfolio companies: Sensus, Phenobis, Trellis, Givv


"The first innovation accelerator for ancillary and medical focused startups in the cannabis and industrial hemp industries"

Investment amount: Greenhouse Ventures accepts qualified cannabis and industrial hemp businesses seeking up to $5,000,000 in seed or growth capital

Program benefits:  

  • Startups receive general legal advice ranging from new market scaling to crisis aversion, as well as, industry specific legal advice to ensure that your business is on legal safe grounds and in cooperation with the regulations in the cannabis industry.
  • Our accounting team specializes in capital formation, taxation, and regulation.
  • We assist each entrepreneur in creating the best go-to-market strategy to enter their business, or brand, into the market.

Mentor makeup: Lindy Snider, Scott Greiper, Cynthia Salarizadeh, Avis Bulbulyanr

Portfolio companies: Not specified

Marijuana Accelerator Logo

"Marijuana Accelerator is an ecosystem for the marijuana industry designed to connect entrepreneurs and investors to our network and develop partnerships."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  

  • Collaborative office space with day to day support from the team
  • Significantly discounted (sometimes free) products and services 
  • Membership to our alumni network of startups

Portfolio companies: Not specified

"The Hood Incubator hosts an annual business accelerator to support Black and Brown cannabis startup entrepreneurs. The program provides startups with technical assistance, business education, access to cannabis industry resources, and mentorship." 

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  

  • A minimum of 3 months of hands-on accelerator training, in collaboration with Uptima Business Bootcamp Oakland & Magnolia Wellness Oakland, and other partners
  • Opportunity to present at The Hood Incubator’s Annual Business Pitch Day, where entrepreneurs pitch their business to friends, family, and community in search of investments, loans, or donations toward business startup costs
  • Ongoing follow up coaching, training and networking events, in which fellows are supported in implementing their business model

Portfolio companies: Not specified


"Leaf Forward is Canada’s first and leading cannabis business accelerator. Leaf Forward helps early stage cannabis companies grow by providing industry leading mentorship, access to licensed space and connection to capital. Start growing your cannabis startup by joining your local Leaf meetup, attending a CannaStartup Bootcamp in your city or applying to our mentor driven accelerator program"

Investment amount: Not specifid

Program benefits:  Three times per year we welcome a selection of early-stage cannabis companies into the Leaf Forward accelerator. These companies participate in an intensive 3-month intensive program, during which our support team and industry mentors work with the companies to help them grow and pitch investors.

Each cohort concludes with a Demo Day at which accelerator companies pitch a carefully curated audience of investors.

The Leaf ecosystem of education, meetups, and bootcamps helps companies continue to thrive throughout their lifecycle.

Mentor makeup: Alan Gertner, Alison McMahon, Eric Foster, Maxim Zavet, Rebecca Kacaba

Portfolio companies: BRNT Designs, Ovandi, Flow Filters


"MacaVerde is a business accelerator developed by CBi2 Capital Corp. (CBi2) that invests in start-up companies developing products and services for the legal cannabis industry. The MacaVerde investment model prioritizes connecting its portfolio companies with experienced mentors, industry professionals, MacaVerde alumni, and a broader cannabis investor network, including investor members of CBi2, other institutional funds, and industry-specific cannabis-focused funds."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  Companies will be handpicked to receive capital and participate in an intensive 16-week accelerator program. CBi2’s advisors and mentors will work closely with each company to define business models, refine unique selling propositions, and focus marketing and fundraising activities.

Accepted applicants into the program will participate in an exclusive “Demo-Day” whereby MacaVerde will showcase their companies to accredited investors highlighting their accomplishments during the 16-week period with the intent of assisting them to identify additional growth capital.

Portfolio companies: Not specified

 420 Invest

"The Invest420 Cannabis Start-Up Accelerator Program is dedicated to providing tech startups with the resources and connections they need to get to the next level."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  We provide mentorship from a seasoned pool of knowledgeable experts, stellar perks, educational and social events, and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalist firms at the end of the program.

Portfolio companies: Not specified


"Cann10XL is a medical cannabis accelerator that offers selected entrepreneurs high quality infrastructure, facilities, networking, and tailored support."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  Thanks to our extensive global network, we offer unparalleled access to industry leading mentors involved in device design, IP, manufacturing, regulatory issues, marketing, branding, finance and more. We offer access to government approved farms, R&D materials and clinical studies.

Portfolio companies: ColdGrow, Belvit10 Pharma, BraiNose


"Announcing the 1st business accelerator built for Massachusett's cannabis microbusinesses"

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  

  • 12-week curriculum focused on business development
  • Access to world-class lab technology, kitchen, and office space
  • Executive mentorship and speed to market
  • Free cannabinoid oil for product development 

Portfolio companies: Not yet

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Startup Competition Guide" series

More episodes