Sami Majadla is the CEO of CertiCraft in Nelson, BC. CertiCraft makes the tedious reporting requirements for craft cannabis producers easy.
After a challenging climb, six companies, including CertiCraft, are now moving onward and upward to the 2022 OKGN Angel Summit Finale on March 16th. We connected with each of the finalists to learn what they would do with the investment, why they think they are the right choice for the investors and hear their insights on the Summit program.
What problem were you trying to solve when you started CertiCraft?
Craft cannabis producers are passionate, hard-working people, creating amazing products. But they’re drowning under piles of regulatory requirements. Unlike large enterprises, they cannot afford a full-time compliance team. That’s where CertiCraft comes in. We make the ridiculously tedious regulatory requirements ridiculously simple.
What makes you and your team the best ones to solve this problem?
We built our product specifically for the needs of small-to-medium businesses. All of our competitors target giant enterprises and the requirements for such companies are drastically different. We prioritize user experience—a necessity for non-technical farmers—which sets us apart from our competition. Many of our customers actually transitioned from other systems because of how much simpler CertiCraft is to use.
Why should the investors be interested in CertiCraft?
We have worked hard at de-risking everything that can be de-risked with our business. We’ve proven a product-market fit, we’ve hit profitability, demonstrated our sustainable business model and built a capable and resilient team. Above all else, we were able to get to where we are today on under $100k from investors over the past three years; we know how to make money go a long way.
Has your approach to raising capital changed over the course of the Summit?
We’ve turned down investments because their values didn’t line up with ours, so this Summit has been a breath of fresh air. For what feels like the first time, we are connecting with investors who value sustainability, profitability, impact, and ethics as much as we do. At the OKGN Angel Summit, we’ve found investors who are comfortable with not compromising our values for the sake of growth.
What advice would you give to the participants of next year’s Summit?
Make sure to connect with investors that align with you. Ultimately, investors are looking at and evaluating the startup’s founders. If you feel a spark with a particular investor, get to know them! If you don’t get to know each other, how can they evaluate who you are as a founder? And, similarly, how can you evaluate them?
If you are just learning about our OKGN Angel Summit, it is a 10-week program where accredited investors and startup founders are introduced to the world of angel investing through a guided, hands-on process with multiple pitch events and training activities. This process provides participating companies with a chance to learn how businesses are vetted, complete due diligence, and make improvements to their pitch. At the end of the program, during a live public pitch event on March 16th, the investors will decide which company receives the $150K investment from the fund.
Who will take home the big investment? Find out at the 2022 OKGN Angel Summit Finale on March 16! You can register for the Finale now on Eventbrite. Tickets are free for students and members of Accelerate Okanagan.