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Location: San Diego, California
Sector: Cannabis, Technology.
WGE INC is as software company whose primary business is Weedguide; a vertical search engine and content discovery platform for cannabis. Powered by machine learning and advanced proprietary crawler technology, Weedguide gives cannabis consumers and businesses a simpler and more intuitive way to find information.
Weedguide’s index currently includes millions of articles, videos, products, dispensary locations, recipes and strains across the web, making it the largest resource for finding cannabis content in the world.
- Market Size & Trajectory – The cannabis sector is booming with nearly 40 million cannabis consumers in North America today – a number that is expected to rise to 50 million in the US alone by 2020. There is tremendous growth currently happening in the industry with estimates predicting continued growth accelerating in the next few years as legalization expands. Interest in both the “plant-touching” (cultivation and distribution) and ancillary businesses (accessories and technology) show incredible growth potential.
- Opportunity for Innovation – Weedguide entered the market to fill a serious void. As the number of cannabis consumers continues to grow, the need for access to reliable information, secure online shopping and quality content is growing. Today’s savvy consumers demand professional, reliable multi-platform experiences. Weedguide is working to break down old stereotypes and build a product based on innovative technology and anticipating tomorrow’s consumer needs.
- Scalable Technology – Unlike traditional brick and mortar cannabis opportunities whose growth is limited by physical location and government regulations, Weedguide’s technology is built to scale. As consumer interest grows worldwide, we will be able to serve the growing number of cannabis users by facilitating education, entertainment and shopping in countries around the world. In addition, our crawler technology and business approach translate well into other vertical markets.
- Ancillary Cannabis Business – As a non-flower-touching business, we have fewer restrictions placed on us by federal and state laws. There is less risk and fluctuation in ancillary cannabis brands, with greater opportunity for growth into other areas as the market changes.
- Data Intelligence – By collecting and analyzing thousands of data points daily, we have a comprehensive understanding of cannabis consumer behaviour, interests and demographics. This data will continue to develop with our platform to create a valuable resource with unlimited potential for various applications. As the realm of big data grows, being the source of this information will lead to many opportunities both in and out of the cannabis industry.
- Comprehensive index of cannabis vertical – Weedguide’s proprietary cannabis crawling technology indexes millions of pieces of content from heterogeneous sources. This reduces the time necessary to find the appropriate content by eliminating false positives and superfluous results unrelated to the query.
- Content categorization –By focusing on a specific vertical, Weedguide has a deep understanding of the various cannabis personas and the attributes that are of particular interest. By identifying and tagging content appropriately a categorization and faceting model is created and presented in the UI that enables users to locate the content of interest through manual selection. In short, Weedguide will help the user find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
- Content Discovery – Content categorization and tagging enables a high level of fidelity for determining related content and providing a mechanism for content discovery. For example if one searches for a particular ailment, content may be surfaced related to treatment options, support groups, strain location, strain reviews and more. This enables a vistor to find exhaustive information, from multiple sources, without having to execute another search or query another website or application.
- Vistor behavior and preferences – Weedguide collects information about what content the vistor interacts with from a variety of sources. By pairing general sociodemographic information with online cannabis browsing preferences,Weedguide can understand cannabis preferences and connect online behavior to offline cannabis consumption and behavior.
- Economies of scale – Unlike traditional websites, search engines have little, if any, content creation costs. This makes for operational efficiency and scale. A larger staff to support content creation and diversity is not required.
Claudio Cañive, CEO
- Founded and funded multiple companies including a content management SAAS company that served the largest media brands in the US and a venture fund in the UK.
- Strong entrepreneurial drive and leadership skills with an ability to motivate teams to deliver excellent results.
- Over 19 years of experience in technology sectors worldwide.
- Advisor and co-inventor of numerous patents.
Gaston Gonzalez, CTO
- Senior Technical Architect specializing in web content management, enterprise search and full stack architecture.
- Expertise building search-driven solutions for the automotive, entertainment, technology and life sciences industries.
- Over 11 years of experience in the enterprise search and content management space.
Sarah Dailey, CMO
- Expertise in marketing strategy and execution through multiple channels including digital, print, event and social media.
- Over 7 years of experience starting and scaling technology companies.
- Experienced in iterative user experience and user interface design.
- Leadership experience with SMBs, non- profit foundations and enterprise companies.
- Strong focus on brand development, building brand awareness, growing audience and creating engagement.
Eric Petersen, CFO
- Experience in cannabusiness community with large cultivation facility for medicinal marijuana and numerous cannabis-driven commercial properties.
- Over 10 years of experience in the financial sector as a trusted advisor and securities expert.
- CEO of Atlas Marketing Partners; he has developed and executed successful media campaigns driving global expansion.
Todd DiRoberto, COO
- Previously COO of Atlas Marketing Partners; a nationally recognized advertising, public relations and tech solutions agency.
- Cannabusiness expertise with high yielding dispensaries, laboratories, cultivating facilities, and indoor/ outdoor farms.
- As CEO of American Satellite, his hands on approach and knowledge of strategic marketing alliances turned the company into the 2nd highest grossing authorized retailer of Dish Network Services worldwide.