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First CT Social Equity Entrepreneurs Graduate with Pitch Day & Mixer

Media Partners, Oaksterdam University

This post is presented by our media partner Oaksterdam University
View the original article here.

Hartford, CT and Oakland, CA (Aug. 21, 2023) – Connecticut celebrates a huge milestone for cannabis social equity with Connecticut Social Equity Council’s (SEC) inaugural Equity Business Pitch Day, Graduation Luncheon, Business Showcase & Cannabis Industry Mixer on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center. The event features the graduation luncheon celebration for the first cohort of the state’s SEC-sponsored Oaksterdam CT Social Equity Cannabis Business Accelerator Program. 

After a morning of pitches to cannabis industry investors, the networking will continue with the graduation celebration luncheon and the afternoon business showcase, both open to ticketed guests and featuring key members of the growing Connecticut cannabis industry, including social equity licensed cannabis businesses. Investors, interested companies, sponsors, and members of the public may learn more and get tickets for the Graduation Luncheon or the Mixer here

The day brings together many groups who have been foundational in helping social equity license entrepreneurs in Connecticut, spearheaded by the Connecticut Social Equity Council, including Oaksterdam University (OU), reSET, Arcview Capital, Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), and the International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA). Nearly twenty social equity licensed cannabis entrepreneurs will graduate at the event.  

“Connecticut’s free business accelerator program offered to qualified social equity cannabis licensees is a first-of-its-kind among states with Social Equity programs,” said Ginne-Rae Clay, Social Equity Council Executive Director. “Connecticut’s program is designed for individuals who won a Social Equity License to provide them the tools to take advantage of their license and open their businesses,” Clay said. “We’re pleased with the technical business assistance and cannabis industry-specific expertise that our providers Oaksterdam University and reSET were able to share with accelerator businesses.”

“Any time a new, limited-license adult use market comes online, it creates the potential for outsized investment returns. This event will offer investors a rare opportunity to connect with multiple licensed cannabis businesses in one place,” said  David Abernathy, Principal at Arcview Management Consulting. “Any investor thinking about participating in the growth of Connecticut’s cannabis market won’t want to miss it.”

“We’re excited to work with our partners to bring visibility and investment opportunities to this hard-working cohort of entrepreneurs,” said Sarah Bodley, reSET Executive Director. “These innovative business leaders have worked hard throughout the past year, and this pitch opportunity gets them in front of key industry investors who can offer capital to help their businesses grow.” 

“This trailblazing ten-month Accelerator Program has solidified the expertise of our Equity Entrepreneurs in Connecticut’s emerging cannabis industry, helping operators mitigate risks and positioning for long-term sustainability and success,” said OU Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones. “The one-on-one business pitch-building time with our deeply experienced coaches has made all the difference for our phenomenal cohort of entrepreneurs.”

Connecticut’s groundbreaking social equity program, launched in the fall of 2022, was designed to address the disparate impacts of the War on Drugs, help legacy cannabis operators with regulatory compliance and industry best practices, and help verified social equity applicants planning to start licensed cannabis businesses.

About Oaksterdam University

Oaksterdam University is America’s first cannabis college and academic institution to promote equity in the cannabis space, to lower barriers to cannabis licensing, entrepreneurship, and employment. With roots growing 27 years deep, OU is a dynamic, diverse, responsive academic institute dedicated to working locally to educate the global cannabis community, industry, regulators, and government. Visit Oaksterdam University – The World’s First Cannabis College.

About reSET

reSET is a nonprofit organization in Hartford, CT, whose mission is advancing the social enterprise sector. reSET specializes in social enterprise ― impact-driven business with a double or triple bottom line. In addition to providing coworking space, accelerator, and mentoring programs, reSET aims to inspire innovation and community collaboration and to support entrepreneurs in creating market-based solutions to community challenges. reSET’s goal is to meet entrepreneurs wherever they are in their trajectory and to help them take their businesses to the next level. Visit reSET | Where Great Companies Grow (resetco.org).

About the CT Social Equity Council (SEC) 

The Social Equity Council was created to ensure the adult use cannabis program is grown equitably and that funds from the adult use cannabis program are brought back to the communities hit hardest by the “War on Drugs.” The SEC oversees the verification of equity applicants, creates new programs to support cannabis businesses and businesses in other industries, and manages the more general community investments derived from the cannabis tax revenue. To learn more about Social Equity Council announcements, upcoming meetings, and adult use cannabis information, visit Social Equity Council (ct.gov).

Media Contact: Chase Roberts, [email protected]

This post was originally published by our media partner here.

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