Meet the Finalists of the 6th Annual Cannabis Competition!
On November 8, four BU-led startup teams will pitch their startup ideas to a panel of judges and a room full of friends and family, industry experts, and community members for $10,000 and export mentorship to help grow their ancillary cannabis business idea. A reception will follow.
Current BU students and alumni with cannabis startup ideas that support the industry – but do not come directly in contact with the plant (software, services, agricultural products, etc.) – and incorporate social impact into their mission were eligible to apply.
For the sixth year in a row, the competition is sponsored by Green Lion Partners, a business strategy firm focused on early-stage development in the regulated cannabis industry, led by Jeff Zucker (Questrom’10) and Mike Bologna (Questrom’10).
Problem: Cannabis dispensaries suffer losses due to a lack of highly detailed information on their sales performance and the state of the cannabis industry in their locale. Without this information, they choose suboptimal plans for what to put on the shelf and what quantity to choose. This information spans both the dispensary’s sales strategies and those of other dispensaries.
Solution: Cannalytica provides marijuana dispensary metadata analysis on all dispensaries which gives buyers an advantage to outperform their competition. This includes charts on popular products, average restock times, and more complex analyses like how inflation might affect spending on marijuana products this quarter. Purchasing a Cannalytica data subscription yields unparalleled information for maximizing dispensary profits.
How are you planning to incorporate social equity into your business? Our service democratizes the data landscape in the cannabis industry by providing untapped data for all dispensaries and empowering smaller shops with critical business information. We provide both raw data and complex analysis of that data in the form of charts, graphs, and other data figures. This information helps dispensaries formulate more efficient business strategies to maximize profits in a highly competitive industry.
Team: Ross Mikulskis (CAS’25) Andrew Shulov (QST’25), Paul Mikulskis, Greg North, Cedric Hata
Problem: The problem is threefold. 1. Current online cannabis communities are fragmented, disorganized, and unattractive. 2. Most social media apps utilize photo and video as their main sharing method, which not only has a negative impact on mental health, but is cliché at this point. There’s more sophisticated ways to share information. 3. No user-friendly platform exists for cannabis users to share and/or collaborate. And that’s the biggest problem.
Solution: A survey about cannabis & creativity shows that 83% of cannabis users want to feel inspired when they’re high. Over 60% say they get “highdeas”, or silly, creative, even intelligent ideas when high. Yet, no easily accessible or enticing platform exists for the cannabis community to access/provide such material. Insphigher is home for high people to share their ideas and experiences while “above the influence”, connect with like-minded users to bring ideas to life, & maybe even get rewarded for it.
How are you planning to incorporate social equity into your business? In the midst of a global pandemic, upcoming elections, and increasing racial tensions, there’s been a shift in the way people interact online. More than ever, communities are turning to social media to raise awareness for the racial, civic, and social causes they care about. That said, Insphigher will aim to create a dedicated product group that will focus on creating fair and equitable products. Moreover, we will work to create educational programs to all community members when it comes to cannabis safety and knowledge, regardless of race, gender, income, ability or zip code.
Team: Belle Bryan (COM, QST’22)
Problem: Manufacturers of cannabis products operate in an uncertain and rapidly changing industry; their product is subject to several restrictions and constraints. Marketing is limited and taxation is aggressive. As with all CPGs, competition is high and consumer switching costs are low. MPS offers its clients the ability to be agile in their product development and roll out processes, giving them a competitive advantage in the markets.
Solution: How many things happen behind the scenes for you to open a can of coke you bought at 7-eleven for $2? How many things happen for that coke to taste the same every single time. We know the magic behind this, at least the difficult part. Our team has years of experience in Product R&D for the FMCG industry, specializing in highly regulated Consumer Packaged Goods(CPG). We offer both off-the-shelf products and tailor-made solutions. We help companies manufacture the best version of their products.
How are you planning to incorporate social equity into your business? Our company plans on supporting organizations like “National Cannabis Industry Association”. We want to champion initiatives related to legal industrial hemp, the use of medical marijuana, and the improvement of the plant’s public perception.
Team: Esteban de la Vega (MET’23)
Problem: Colombia has been experiencing a boom in license and cannabis enterprise creation since 2017 when the commercial legalization efforts started. Still, farmers struggle to capture the market: a lack of competence in technology and logistics leads to low product quality and supply chain errors. Large competitors that cultivate and harvest limit our ability to gain a market presence. Producers have an overproduction of cannabis flowers and derivatives with no cash flow to keep sustained growth.
Solution: Tukano links investors, service providers, customers, and cannabis producers in a single ecosystem to simplify operations in the industry, creating synergic relationships powered by AI. The convergence of IIoT, sensor/data fusion, cloud computing, XR, and machine learning breaks geographical barriers and puts the fourth industrial revolution in the hands of local farmers. Investors, customers, and ancillaries will access all the ancestral knowledge collected by our farmers on the field in a snap.
How are you planning to incorporate social equity into your business? We want to bring technological capital to the table to enhance a competitive sector and promote employment for Colombian farmers. Our team will help local growers with their integrations, and we will offer a free tier to help domestic growers and SMBs. Also, Colombian women are especially vulnerable, and we aim for a 50/50 ratio of men vs. women hiring. To guarantee their success, we will provide work benefits and perks adjusted to their conditions (e.g., training, child caring, extra PTO)
Team: Andrea Rosales (QST’22) and Juan David Bolaños