Posts in Dooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update February 8, 2019
 
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This week we’ve got a very important tour scheduled with some potentially high volume investors. Planning and preparations have taken up much of the company’s time, especially for the Business and Development Team and the Productivity Team. The tour will take place over two days and we are working to show off the amazing progress that we have made in the last few months. We should also be able to sample some product.

I spent some time this week at the Arcview conference in Los Angeles. I presented and made a lot of great contacts. We will be following up with them in the coming days.

The legal department has done an excellent job getting some very important licensing applications filed this week, and I’m very proud of how quickly and efficiently they have handled this task.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update February 1, 2019
 
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This week was a good week for Province Brands. We made substantial progress on our fundraising efforts. Lauren went to London and spoke at the Future Cannabis Strategies Europe Conference and received a warm reception. We received favorable indicators that a major co-packing deal we have been working on with one of the world's leading sports nutrition companies may go through. We also met with one of the big beverage companies pursuing Province Brands for a possible large investment and that meeting was very positive. We attracted the interest of a major U.S. investment bank in supporting our fundraising efforts, and we were approached by a TSXV company about a merger and held an exploratory meeting with our C-Level staff and theirs which seems promising. If this merger comes together it will happen very quickly.

On a different front, our facility is starting to fill up with tanks and other equipment we have ordered. Check out our Instagram or our flickr for some of the photos. That's the good news and this week there's really a lot of good news. It's been one of the best weeks we've had in a long time.

The bad news is that our latest shipment of hemp to the United States has been held up in customs. It finally cleared on Friday of this week, but we are now two weeks behind schedule on our trial. This will further delay the launch of our Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner - which is already delayed due to issues with the last batch we produced. The product team is working to see how we can make up the time and get our Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner out to market.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update January 25, 2019
 
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As many of you know we’re putting together a coalition to lobby for change in proposed regulations and generally advocate for the cannabis beverage industry on an ongoing basis. I was recently elected co-chair of the board of directors of the organization so I will be instrumental in making sure we focus our efforts and the organization’s resources in the right place. I wanted to share the speech I gave at the first meeting of the organization’s members which took place earlier this week by telephone. Here is the transcript:

We’re on this phone call because maybe for some of us it’s subconscious – maybe for some of us it’s very conscious. But We’re all on this phone call because we’ve read these proposed rules something inside us is nagging at us, telling us that there’s something just not right about these proposed regulations for cannabis beverages. Don’t get me wrong – they could be worse – but you’re on this phone call – you’re considering getting yourself and your company involved in a lobbying effort because something tells you that these proposed regs are not right are not just and they need to change.

And there’s likely a good reason you feel this way. I don’t know how much experience you have with lobbying. I don’t have a ton but I know enough to know that policy isn’t ALWAYS made to benefit and protect the people – at least not entirely. And I also I know enough to know that policy doesn’t always change to suit those with the deepest pockets – although quite often it does. I know enough to know that the number one thing that changes policy – the thing that those with those deep, deep pockets are always trying to buy with their money – is relationships. Relationships with those who make policy. And in this case that’s where most of us are at a disadvantage. You see we’re on this phone to talk about a list of proposed regulations which were made by Health Canada. And while some do, most of us on this phone call don’t have very deep or long standing relationships with Health Canada. But there are some companies out there that do have those relationships – the specific licensed producers who were the first in Canada to get their licenses. Those who have been working with Health Canada for a long time. And these proposed regulations have the fingerprints of these incumbent LP’s all over them.

Do the entrenched licensed producers want alcohol companies competing with them – of course they don’t. So they’re trying to craft regulations that prevent alcohol companies from entering the industry. Do the entrenched cannabis companies want beverage companies to be able to produce cannabis beverages in their existing highly efficient facilities? Of course they don’t. That could drive these licensed producers out of business. So they’ve been working with Health Canada to craft regulations to make sure that cannabis beverages can only be made in THEIR facilities.

What we’re up against is a classic David and Goliath scenario. I mean these certain incumbent LPs have every advantage. They have the relationships with the regulators. They have a lot of money to lobby and push. And most importantly they have fear on their side. Regulators are afraid of what’s going to happen when they legalize cannabis beverages so they’re easily nudged towards more restrictive policies. So the end of the day we’re sitting here on the phone contemplating getting into a fight we shouldn’t win. But David did beat Goliath and we can win this.

I’m so sure we can win this. We won’t get everything we want. But I’m so sure we can get some of the big changes pushed through. Why? Because some of these proposed regulations look like industry getting greedy. There are proposed regulations on this list which are designed to clearly benefit select industry incumbents so much so that they do so at the expense of public health. And the agency promulgating these rules? It’s called Health Canada. Its mandate is to protect public health. So where we can highlight that these regulations stand in the way of pubic health, we have a chance of winning.

Let’s take an example. There’s a proposed regulation which says that cannabis beverages may not have similarities to alcohol or have brands associated with alcohol. Think about this for a moment. For generations children have been conditioned not to drink things that look smell and taste like beer and wine and spirits. They know the brands associated with beer and wine and spirits are for adults. You can leave a six pack of beer in your fridge go out for the day and your kids won’t drink it. But what if you left a six pack of grape soda in your fridge? Even if you tell the kids not to drink it there’s a good chance a can will be missing when you get back home. And by forcing cannabis companies not to make beverages which have elements in common with alcohol – let me tell you there aren’t that many other choices. These regulations effectively force companies to make sweet sugary beverages like infused sodas and juices the exact type of beverage that will appeal to children. Try telling your kid that the grape soda in this packaging is OK for him to drink, and the grape soda in this other packaging is NOT ok for him to drink. If Health Canada really wanted to keep marijuana out of the hands of children if they want to avoid accidental ingestion by minors – which is their mandate – they should encourage cannabis products to look and smell and feel like alcohol products – which kids know not to drink. But instead they’re pushing manufacturers away from such products and towards sugary beverages which are both appealing to children on the one hand – and full of sugar which is a carcinogen, causes obesity, and everyone knows it’s terrible for you. And you and I understand what’s going on here. The government is trying to protect its incumbent players in this industry from getting crushed by big alcohol rolling in. And that’s an admirable thing to do. But you can’t do that at the expense of public health. You can’t do that at the expense of Canadian families. This is a point we can win on.

I’ll give you another example. There’s a proposed regulation that Cannabis products can’t be made in facilities that also make alcohol or food products. Who has those kind of facilities? Do any of the incumbent cannabis companies? No but big alcohol does, big beverage companies do. So this is another attempt to protect our homegrown industry. Which again I think is a nice thing to do. But when you really think about it, making beverages in a safe reliable and consistent manner. Making beverages which don’t give everyone e-coli or some other food born illness – that’s really hard. There are companies out there who have mastered this really hard thing – who have a perfect record of food pr beverage safety and here’s health Canada saying those companies – those companies are disqualified from making marijuana product s. When you see instances like that where you can just go to Health Canada and tell them they’re not doing their job if they pass these regulations. If you can show them that their proposed regulations are not in the interest of public health. But if we do this right. If we all push together we can change policy, we can change Canada, we can set a precedent and change the world. I’m American – so by nature I’m a fighter. I’ve got that revolutionary blood in me. And let me tell you it’s boiling right now.

Listen maybe I’m naive. Maybe It’s just the way my mother raised me but I have always believed that when you are fighting for what’s right and what is just you will win in the end. And in my experience – sometimes it takes a long, long time, and there’s a lot of ups and downs and sometimes you want to give up but in my experience, if you see it through, if you stick with it… if you fight for what’s right and what is just you will always win. That’s why I’m here. I’ve been through that dark valley enough times to know there’s light on the other end. I’m here to fight for what’s right and just.

This moment in time reminds me of a quote from one of the first settlers to reach the shores of America – his name was John Winthrop but John F. Kennedy made the quote famous many years later. He said “we are as a city upon a hill. The eyes of the world are watching.” We are about to be the first country in the world to federally legalize cannabis beverages. Everyone is watching us. The choices we make, the decisions we make will shape lives far beyond Canada. We have the chance to do this right. And if we do the world will follow our lead. And we will all make a lot of money.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update January 18, 2019
 
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I'm excited to welcome Fran Sanda to our Executive Leadership Team. For those of you who don't know, Fran was a Province Brands investor who read about our hiring needs in one of these weekly updates and reached out to express interest. We're very glad he did. Fran is joining Province Brands as our Chief Business Development Officer and will help me run the Business Development, Fundraising Team. Fran has many years of experience running sales organizations and was recently involved in the sale of his previous company Aruba Networks to HP. We're very fortunate to have him.

I also want to congratulate one of our all-time MVP's at Province, Caitlin Krapf, whom we recently promoted to Chief Productivity Officer. Our Executive team now consists of: Jennifer Dianne Thomas (Chief Legal Officer); Oscar J-T Holm (Head of Marketing); John Mogk (Chief Business Development Officer); Lauren Maillian (Chief Strategy Officer); Caitlin Krapf (Chief Productivity Officer) and me, Dooma Wendschuh (Chief Executive Officer). We're now 45 people strong at team Province if you include our part-time contractors and interns (but excluding our advisors and non-employee board members). We're becoming an army and a very powerful and capable army.

This week so many things have happened which have made me insanely proud to be part of team Province. You can familiarize yourself with the company and how its run by checking out our organizational chart.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update January 11, 2019
 
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This week Oscar and I met with a multinational beverage company which could be a great strategic partner for us. The meetings went well. The next step is for them to come visit our facility which should be happening soon.

We're also meeting with another beverage company next week. Interest in what we're doing is growing. We're also starting a lobbying coalition (called the Canadian Cannabis Beverage Producer's Alliance) to improve the proposed regulations - which could certainly be better for Province Brands. If you know any Canadian cannabis or alcohol businesses interested in joining our coalition please let me know by sending me an email or calling my cell.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update January 4, 2019
 
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I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday break. 2019 is here. I remember where I was in 2018 when it was announced that cannabis beverages would be allowed in Canada just one year after legalization. I remember thinking that October 2019 seemed like forever. Well now it’s just over 9 months away. This is the year we will sell our first products (our alcohol beer) and this is the year we will sell our first marijuana products. It will be one of the most exciting years of our lives – and I’m quite sure It will also be one of the most challenging.

We built this company on a dream – a dream that one day there could be a safer and healthier alternative to alcohol and that we could bring that product to market. This dream continues to drive everything we do at Province Brands. But 2019 is the year when the dream will begin to be tested in the real world. This will be the year in which consumers weigh in, where the market weighs in.

I can tell you right now that this year will not be smooth sailing. It will be full of challenges. There will be lots of crises. Nearly everything will go wrong. We will likely slip on some delivery dates. We will likely have product issues. Nothing will work exactly as planned. The team will lose sleep. There will be heated debates, maybe even fights. Passions and tempers will be high. There will be days when members of our team think to themselves “is all of this really worth it?” But by the end of the year both our cannabis and alcohol products will be in the hands of consumers and then everyone will realize that yes, of course it was worth it.

Province Brands has been through a lot since we founded this company in late 2016. But through it all we’ve become a globally known and respected brand without even bringing a product to market. When we bring our first product to market in 2019 we will become much more than that. All of those “firsts” we’ve been talking about since we started the company will begin to materialize. It will be a really hard year. But when we make it through this year, we will be a much, much different company. We will be unstoppable.

I want to thank everyone on our team and all of our investors for supporting us through everything that’s happened over the past 2-plus years. I look forward to having a beer with each of you in 2019.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update December 14, 2018
 
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It’s the end of the year and a great time to reflect on what we've accomplished. Here's a short summary of where Province stands today:

Province Brands is patent-pending on the formulation and process for the world’s first beers BREWED from cannabis in place of barley.

  • Province is currently using this process to brew Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner, a premium pilsner (which contains alcohol) by fermenting food-grade hemp (a fully legal type of cannabis). Province Brands has a supply agreement with the Canadian Hemp Farmers’ Alliance to supply hemp at CAD $55/ton (compare to Barley which commonly sells for CAD $600/ton).  

  • On October 17, 2019 Canada will allow the sale of marijuana infused beverages. Province will use it’s patent pending process to brew alcohol-free beers from the marijuana plant which intoxicate using marijuana or its phytocannabinoids.

    • Province Brands’ marijuana beers will have a rapid onset thanks to an “accelerant technology”.  

    • Province Brands is currently developing a “decellerant” technology to shorten the duration of effect of edible cannabis. This is technology Province intends to license to other companies making edibles or other beverages. 

    • Province is developing an ultra-premium line of beers designed to give a sensation which is less like the high of marijuana and more like the pleasant sensation of drinking alcohol. 

Province Brands is under construction on a 123,000 SF Building which will be the world’s first cannabis brewery.  

  • Funded capacity:  20,000 HL per year.

  • Currently raising CAD $30,000,000 to increase funded capacity to 175,500 HL per year. At this capacity the facility could generate CAD $130,000,000 per year. 

Province Brands has a world class team of 10 scientists & engineers.

  • 3 Ph.D. Scientists

  • Collectively they have been published 55 times in peer reviewed journals

  • Collectively they have been named as inventor in 99 granted patent applications 

Province Brands has signed LOI’s to provide co-packing services for several other licensed producers and beer breweries to make nonalcoholic marijuana beers for them when it becomes legal in October 2019.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update December 7, 2018
 
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This week we made substantial progress on licensure. I am really proud of Jennifer Thomas and the entire legal department for obtaining the requisite licenses needed for our business.

We have been continuing discussions with some perspective licensed producer partners and strategic investor partners. We are also making some new hires. We received a positive response from a gentleman to become our COO. Look for more information on him in the coming weeks. We are still looking for someone to fill the role as president, so please let us know if you have any suggestions. 

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 30, 2018
 
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This week we had a massive scare when DME, the brewing equipment manufacturer we ordered our brewing equipment from, went into receivership. DME is the largest manufacturer of brewing equipment in Canada and one of the largest in the world. It looked for a while like we would lose our deposit as many others have who had deposits on equipment with the firm. It was a six figure deposit. Thanks to Greg's quick thinking and Jennifer's hard work, we were able to make a deal to still get our equipment - and to get it for a small fraction of what we would have paid had they not gone into receivership. It will be a challenge to maintain the equipment if DME does not get purchased out of receivership and stay in business, but we will find a way. I was really proud of the way our team handled this. Hopefully nothing like this happens again but I'm confident that we'll know how to react if it does.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 23, 2018
 
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This week we have been hard at work on a proposal for the sports beer project. This was submitted and we're awaiting a response. Fundraising efforts continue and we have been approached about a merger with a Nasdaq listed company. We are looking forward to receiving more details about the merger opportunity. We have made an offer to a new senior team member and we're awaiting response.

The Product Team continues to make great strides, and Rob will be completing the process and flavour iterations we've been working on in a few weeks. This means we'll have lots of beers to give away as samples again. It's been a really long time since we've been able to give out samples. These should be a substantial improvement over our previous sample batches. We're very excited about that.

I wanted to share an interesting report I was sent on the beverage sector from Berenberg. Please view it here: Berenberg Beverage Sector Report

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 16, 2018
 
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This week we have been following up with numerous prospective investors as we've been marching forward on closing our $30 Million round. It is unfortunately taking longer than we had anticipated to close, but we are making good progress and expect to have it in the bag soon.

On another interesting note, we were approached by a major global health and wellness brand about making a "sports beer" - basically a nonalcoholic beer with non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids and other compounds which could be used pre-workout or after a workout. We are preparing our proposal for them and should have something for them soon to continue the discussions.

We completed our floor plans for the building in Grimsby, and we have submitted them to David Hyde to complete the security plan so that we can obtain our licensure.

We also are honoured to welcome two new team members to our team. Jessa Fitzpatrick is our new development coordinator and Steven Brencur will act as our new project manager.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 9, 2018
 
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A major focus over the past several months has been hiring. Now that we have Marija Desnoyers on our team as our head of HR, we have made some great progress and really rounded out our team. However, we are still struggling to close some of our most important roles. We've been looking for a president for quite a long time. Someone who has experience and expertise in entrepreneurial ventures and who knows how to start and run companies. Someone who has successfully raised substantial funding for past businesses and who understands capital markets, investor relations, and knows how to manage and run a team. We're also looking for support in our Business Development and Fundraising Team. If you know anyone who might be suitable for either of these positions, please let me know.

In other news, this week the company made some great progress on our production trials, and our new engineer, Colin, made substantial headway in planning the production systems we need for the brewery. We also received some of the equipment we have ordered for our facility.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 2, 2018
 
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We’re still working on raising our Series B funds. This week we participated in the Hong Kong Cannabis Investor Symposium as well as the DC Finance even in Toronto. In addition, part of our team met with some promising prospects in Kuwait.  

Another prime focus for this past week has been preparation for a major institutional investor who will be visiting Canada to tour our facilities, lab, and office. All of our departments have been working diligently to make sure that everything runs smoothly and successfully. 

Lastly, we were very excited to send out our press release regarding our alcohol product, Cambridge Bay. You can read it here

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update October 26, 2018
 
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I've been on the roadshow this week. Since we started this roadshow three weeks ago, Elad has been in Japan, Phnom Penh, and Geneva (with Oscar as well), and, I've been in London, New York Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Singapore, Phnom Penh, Dubai, Hamburg, Istanbul, London (again) and Hong Kong. We've met with some interesting institutions, high net worth individuals and family offices. We've also met with several major alcohol companies. One in particular seems very interested in working with us.

Leaving that meeting I was so proud of what our team at Province has accomplished and could not believe that after just two years we've come to the place where we can attract serious interest and elicit serious discussions from one of the world's top global adult beverage brands. That is something we can be proud of.

The round may be coming together a bit slower than we had hoped, but at least it's coming together and in a market like we've seen lately (cannabis stocks are plummeting following Canada's legalization - you know what they say buy on rumor and sell on news) that's also something to be proud of.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update October 19, 2018
 
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We’re continuing our efforts to raise money for Series B. There is a lot of interest from around the world - I’ll be traveling to Dubai, Germany, and Japan in the next few weeks - but it is likely that we will be extending the round a bit in order to meet our goal.

We’ve got exiting news regarding our future brewing facility in Grimsby: We’ve moved in! The offices are up and running and Toronto team has begun working there. We’re also approved for demolition, so the construction of our lab and brewery can get started soon.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update October 12, 2018
 
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This week is week two of of what has turned into a three week roadshow for our current round. The response seems to have been very strong, and we are excited to hopefully wrap the round up soon. Next week Elad and I will be in Singapore (Tuesday); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Wednesday); and Tokyo, Japan (Thursday and Friday). If there are any prospective investors in any of those cities you think we should meet please send their information our way.

Also, we have some new team members starting this week. Marija Desnoyers is our new human resources manager. We’re so happy to have her on board and know that her expertise will help us to make more great hires. We also welcome Masa Song, who will be our new marketing intern. Look for her Team Spotlight next week.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update October 5, 2018
 
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Our roadshow continued this week as I spent time in both New York and Vancouver. I have had many promising meetings and found that there is a lot of interest in our Series B round. We will continue on the road for the next two weeks, visiting Singapore, Japan, and Cambodia. If you have any suggestions for people that we should meet with, please let us know.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update September 21, 2018
 
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This week Oscar, Elad, and I attended the Kahner Global Private investment summit in New York, as well as the Arcview Group Investor Forum in Chicago, and then the Extraordinary Future event in Vancouver. While we are not officially raising capital at this time we collected a lot of names for when we kick off our round later this week.

The response was truly phenomenal. I have heard the expression "right place at the right time" before. I have even used that expression myself in the past, but I have never felt it in my soul the way I feel this now. By creating our own process to brew a beer from cannabis we have not just created an entirely new brewing tradition we have also created something the world deeply wants and the industry needs. The world is changing and we are out in front of that change. I could not be more excited to launch our next finding round and to build the world's first cannabis brewery.

News like this is going to keep coming out and fueling the fire which is paving the way for Province's future.

Dooma Wendschuh, AllDooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update September 14, 2018
 
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This week has been a whirlwind. We’re preparing for our $30 million Series B round and also preparing for our public listing. We will send around our new business plan and other information for this round shortly. We can't wait to hear your thoughts. We have finalized the syndicate of banks who will be helping us with this raise. It will be Paradigm Capital, Clarus Securities and PI Financial. Off to the races.

Dooma Wendschuh, AllDooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update September 7, 2018
 
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This week we’ve been working hard to prepare all of the materials and logistics needed for our “roadshow.” We’ll be hitting several cannabis conferences over the next few weeks. We’ll be presenting at the Cannabis Private Investment Summit in New York on September 13th. We will also be presenting at the Arcview International Investor Forum in Chicago taking place September 16th-18th. Finally, we’ll be at the Extraordinary Future conference in Vancouver September 19th & 20th. We hope to see some of you at these events. We’ve done some great work updating our business plan and marketing materials and are looking forward to sharing them with you.

We’re also very happy to welcome Erin Shand to our team. Erin is my new executive assistant. She has a wealth of experience from various fields and is going to be a great asset to our team.

Dooma Wendschuh, AllDooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update August 31, 2018
 
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This week we received comments to lease from the landlord at 270 Hunter Road in Grimsby. We hope to complete negotiations and have this signed very quickly. We've already submitted the deposit to the landlord. We've received an estimate from the engineers to commence the plans. They're ready to go. We're locked and loaded and should have a building soon. 

Also this week we received an accepted offer from Natalia Murataeva, a Ph.D. neurobiologist with more than 10 publications in well known peer reviewed journals. She will start with us in October and will steward the development of our Ultra Premium Products. Welcome aboard!

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update August 24, 2018
 
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The big news this week is that we have a building. We'll be moving into 270 Hunter Road in Grimsby, Ontario, soon. The building is 123,000 SF and in a great location in Canada's equivalent of Napa Valley. It's also very close to the USA which should have some benefits when it comes to shipping. We'll be moving in the next few weeks. Greg from our Product Team is taking the lead on the construction, demolition, etc. It's time to rock and roll and start making some beer. In other news, I've spent most of my time this week preparing our business plan for our going public offering. It should be done soon. Can't wait to hear your thoughts

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update August 17, 2018
 
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The Business Development and Fundraising Team is starting to feel the pressure as we prepare for our Series B raise where we will raise around $30 Million. We already have some very firm commitments for this raise from a few key institutions. All we need now is to put together the business plan and term sheet, wrap up the syndicate, and finish the financial model. It's a lot of work to do, and not enough time in which to do it.

Also this week, we made a few offers to some potentially amazing new team members. We will let you know if they accept.

Perhaps most importantly, this week we had a phenomenal meeting with one of the world's largest spirits brand. They seem extremely interested in working with us, and we are already working on follow-up. Oscar is taking the lead on following up with them and will provide updates. I want to especially thank Province Brands Co-Founder Tarek Tabsh and Province Brands Advisor Gavin Sathianathan who helped set up the meeting and were phenomenal in the room. Fingers crossed.