Entrepreneurs with pot-related businesses compete for investors

by: Alison Grande Updated:

SEATTLE - Entrepreneurs with pot-related companies competed for top dollars from international investors in Seattle Monday.

They met at the top of the Bank of America Building.

Small business owners took turns pitching their ideas hoping it would pay off.

Fifteen companies competed for the financial backing from angel investors, with more than $1 million given away.

Some of the companies hoping to cash in were UpToke, Rodawg and WeCanna. The businesses don't plan to sell pot, but to profit from the side businesses sprouting up now that marijuana is legal in Washington. None of the businesses were from Washington, and many of the investors were from out of  state, too.

They are all hoping to shape the marijuana industry.

"This is not your mother's cannabis industry. This is the real deal," Claire Kaufmann told KIRO 7.

Kaufmann came to get funding for her company, WeCanna. WeCanna is a website that helps support other cannabis businesses.

Kaufmann explained how it works.

"If I have an idea and it's good enough, I can use a crowd-funding portal, like WeCanna, post that idea and I can get interest and donations from all over the world," she said.

Kaufmann's company did get funded, but no one would reveal how much. They kicked out the cameras during the negotiations, a Securities and Exchange Commission requirement.

The angel investment forum was set up by The ArcView Group of San Francisco. In Seattle Monday, co-founder Steve DeAngelo announced, "Today marks a new day of possibility for cannabis businesses everywhere."