Kevin Hart (Green Check Verified)

Company: Green Check Verified, Inc.

Location: North Haven

Entrepreneur

Company/organization description

Since 2017, our Connecticut-based team of former regulators, banking and cannabis compliance officers, and technologists has focused on empowering the banking and cannabis industries to work together safely and effectively.We believe banks and credit unions deserve the ability to confidently build relationships and offer services to legally operating cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) — and equally important — CRBs should have the same access to quality banking services.

Tell us about the entrepreneurial milestones you accomplished?

The company has three patents pending in the US, all filed in 2018, and coverage filed in 4 international markets. After our successful MVP launch right here in the CT market with a credit union and medical dispensary, we expanded our client base to 24 other states where cannabis sales are legal. We now have over 550+ unique CRB's on the platform and our annualized GMV run-rate of sales verified via our platform will exceed $500m, this was up from $3m in 2019. That is exceptional growth!

What type of entrepreneur are you?

Scalable Venture - regional, national, or global business focus

What CT entrepreneur ecosystem resources have helped you succeed?

We were so grateful to be able to launch our business in the thriving environment of 5 Science Park in New Haven. That community of entrepreneurs and founders was a perfect ecosystem for us. We were also fortunate to have such a strong advisory board member from Dr. Lisa Lancor, Chair of the Computer Science Dept at SCSU. Lisa's sharing of ideas, student interns, some which became FTE's, was critical. Lastly our meetings with state agencies to collaborate on requirements had a big impact.

Nominator Justification

Green Check Verified was founded with the belief that state licensed cannabis businesses need the same level of access to financial services as other businesses, on a national scale. We solved the problem of getting two independent, highly regulated industries to work together, understand the needs and challenges of the other side. Founded in CT in 2017 by technology, banking, and regulatory experts, we focus on the intersection between community banking & the emerging legal cannabis industry.

Venture

Company/organization description

Since 2017, our Connecticut-based team of former regulators, banking and cannabis compliance officers, and technologists has focused on empowering the banking and cannabis industries to work together safely and effectively.We believe banks and credit unions deserve the ability to confidently build relationships and offer services to legally operating cannabis-related businesses (CRBs) — and equally important — CRBs should have the same access to quality banking services.

Tell us about the milestones your venture accomplished in 2020

We completed a round of funding with a $2.4m convertible note raise, 20% over-subscribed. Use of proceeds are to grow our sales, marketing and engineering team. Our increased brand presence enabled us to secure contracts with new credit unions and banks, including two publicly-traded banks. We worked with national agencies & groups, OCC, CSBS, state banking commissions, where we presented our solution for banking the cannabis industry. This is the foundation for our 100%+ growth in 2021.

Does your venture generate revenue or are you pre-revenue?

We HAVE generated revenue

What CT entrepreneur ecosystem resources have helped you succeed?

We were so grateful to be able to launch our business in the thriving environment of 5 Science Park in New Haven. That community of entrepreneurs and founders was a perfect ecosystem for us. We were also fortunate to have such a strong advisory board member from Dr. Lisa Lancor, Chair of the Computer Science Dept at SCSU. Lisa's sharing of ideas, student interns, some which became FTE's, was critical. Lastly our meetings with state agencies to collaborate on requirements had a big impact.

Nominator Justification

Backed by private and institutional investors, we launched our national sales in Q4 2019. Despite the challenges of 2020, we now have partner FI’s in 22 states with over 450+ unique cannabis businesses on the platform, including clients here in CT. Our revenue increased to over $600K in one year, and we closed another $2.4m in funding this January as we continue to scale the company, our team and the platform in the combined markets. We are targeting a Series A raise in late 2021.

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