(CannMenus CEO Vib Gupta and former Nugget Data CEO / CannMenus CRO Darcy McQuaid)

Entrepreneurship in isolation is a challenge, believes CannMenus co-founder Vib Gupta.

“The journey of being a founder is super lonely,” said Gupta, who’s company found some canna-camaraderie as a participant of the first business accelerator cohort of Cannabis Innovation Lab earlier this year.   

Chicago-based CannMenus – which provides menus and analytics for cannabis retailers and brands – earlier this month announced the acquisition of industry insights provider Nuggets Data.

“Finding a company who’s culture aligns with ours is great,” said Gupta, adding that the bootstrapped company took in some outside funding around the time of the transaction. “We came up on the technical side while they were more versed on the commercialization side. The goal right now is full speed ahead on the SaaS focus on our business.” 

CannMenus, which covers 90 percent of all licensed dispensaries in the U.S. and Canada, is the first company from Cannabis Innovation Lab to make an acquisition or become acquired since participating in the four-month business accelerator last year.  

“Last year was a dark time in terms of the economic outlook and downturn of fundraising,” Gupta said. “That program just helped us mentally and spiritually weather that storm.”

Speaking of 1871…

Applications Now Open for the 2024 Cannabis Innovation Lab, Produced by 1871 and Grown In

Building on the success of its inaugural year, Grown In is partnering once again on the execution of the 2024 Cannabis Innovation Lab, with Grown In’s own CEO, Brad Spirrison, as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

This lab connects growth-stage startups with late-stage lab partners, corporate innovators, investors, and experts in the cannabis industry to explore the rapidly evolving field of cannatech. This year, the program includes innovation within CBD, THC, and Hemp.

Learn more about the program curriculum, 2024 focus areas, and the significance of Cannabis in Chicago at our public information session on 12.19 or apply now for consideration!

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.