TechforCannEU announced on Thursday that it has secured funding of up to €2.5 million from Malta Enterprise to establish the first European tech accelerator for the medical cannabis industry.
The funding will go towards supporting start-up companies that are selected to participate in the TechforCannEU accelerator program, the company said.
Allocated funds are subject to eligibility criteria and an evaluation processes which will be managed by Malta Enterprise in collaboration with TechforCannEU.
Established by co-founders Lilac Mandeles and Yona Cymerma, the TechforCannEU accelerator program aims to allow entrepreneurs to reach milestones faster, with less error and expense, ultimately increasing their probability of commercial success.
Participants in the program receive funding and pilot their technology within an EU-Good Manufacturing Practice licensed facility in Malta.
Participants and alumni also join an invitation-only community, including in-person pitch events with a global network of partners, customers and investors.
The accelerator currently focuses on four categories, including healthcare/biotech, agricultural tech, digital operations, and product technology.
“Our vision is to further develop an innovative medical cannabis ecosystem in Europe. The cannabis industry is stepping up into biotech, pharma and high-tech sectors and our goal is to identify and lead top-performing startups to success”, said Lilac Mandeles, CEO of TechforCannEU.
“By investing in and supporting cannabis entrepreneurs, TechforCann EU presents an attractive value proposition for eligible startups – with a beneficiary package that includes pre-seed investment of €100,000, potential for investment of up €200,000, plus the opportunity to pilot their technology at an EU-GMP licensed facility.
"The valuation of startups increases upon completion of the accelerator program – providing investors with immediate value. We welcome private investors who want to invest in the next generation of industry leading companies”, she added.
Kurt Farrugia, CEO at Malta Enterprise, said he supported the initiative from its inception.
“By all estimates, Europe will be the world’s largest market for medical cannabis within a few short years, and the Maltese Government has declared its intention for Malta to be a center of excellence of Europe”.
“Hosting the accelerator in Malta will allow us to position ourselves at the head of the R&D sector in the industry, complementing our incentives for start-ups such as Startup Finance and the various Research and Development Support measures, thus helping to bring new solutions and products to the global market”, he commented.