Hello Mary
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Hello Mary

HelloMary: On the Road to the International Cannabis Business Conference

The team behind the German IT start-up is gearing up for its premier at Europe’s top B2B cannabis conference

The scene is familiar to any start-up staring down the gun at its first professional conference. However here are the particulars. Ziya Gaziyev and Tarlan Hasanbayli are the cofounders of a first ever Cannabis Voice Assistant (a.k.a. Mary). The Hello Mary platform in which she operates, helps cannabis users find the right products.

In the last four months, the team has brought on sales, marketing, and financing experts to get the product into the market and get it financed for full market rollout in the US — starting in America’s largest cannabis market — California.

I joined in April this year, followed closely by Elena Ropaeva, a San Francisco based tech expert and entrepreneur.

As of late July, after a summer spent lining up VC financing, talking to dispensaries up and down the West Coast of the US, and discussing how to proceed, the team is now focussed on blitzing the ICBC — the premiere cannabis conference in Europe.

“We are really excited to be at this critical juncture” said Ziya. “Marguerite introduced us to the conference, which is the perfect place to premiere our start-up, if not look for additional financing and distribution partners.”

“In my opinion,” said Tarlan, “the market is absolutely perfect for this kind of product. Our plan to roll this out in the US is also timed to gain us interest in Europe as recreational cannabis continues to roll forward and medical use is at least being examined in all of Europe’s largest economies.”

“We think that attracting attention to our AI solution at this premier market is the right strategy to position our solution in front of financiers who will see how well the team is positioned to deliver in key markets,” said Elena. “We are looking forward to being part of a conference that has established itself in just the last four years as the best in Europe.”

The Strategy from Here

As a German IT company looking to enter the US market, the ICBC is the perfect “local” conference to attend, as it creates an international melting point for the industry unseen in any other market at this point. The German cannabis market is one of the most important and valuable in the world simply because of the market size domestically and further, the influence it has had in seeding other markets in Europe to at least source it. The ongoing issues with the bid and further the slow route to market for German produced cannabis has also created, in the meantime, valuable feeder markets in places like Portugal, and soon, Greece. This in turn is flipping cannabis reform in such countries. Indeed, Portugal is likely to be the third “recreational market” in Europe after Luxembourg and Switzerland.

In such a Colorado tipping point moment, gaining attention in Europe before jumping the shark to the U.S. is a good strategy to get the attention of the American funds now clearly headed to Europe.

The work the team has already done in contacting other European family office funds may also pay off with a co-investment that occurs either at the ICBC or shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, the goal is to get everything in ship shape for the conference. Watch this space. More fun stuff coming soon.

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Marguerite Arnold

Marguerite Arnold

Marguerite has covered the legal cannabis industry internationally from Germany for over six years and is the author of several books plus a Cannatech geek