Each week we highlight entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry for our viewers to learn more about the leading cannabis executives of our time. This week, we highlight Garrett Olano of Kannabi.
Meet Garrett Olano
Garrett Olano lived in Asia for over 10 years of life and graduated from Florida State University with both a degree in Political Science & International Affairs. In addition with a minor in Commercial Entrepreneurship.
In our interview with Garret, we asked a variety of questions to learn more about Kannabi, and what it takes to build a startup in the cannabis industry!
DCN: Garret, congratulations on being featured as this week’s entrepreneur of the week and for all that you do! Can you please share with our readers your elevator pitch for Kannabi?
Garrett Olano: We are here to build our brand as the one-stop-shop for everything cannabis & operate as a hub for credible information, marketing media, and selling products and services.
DCN: What ignited the spark in you to launch your business?
Garrett Olano: I’ve been interested in the cannabis industry and movement since I started college in 2012. While in school, I noticed firsthand the power of cannabis. I suffer from ADD, but found that I could focus better after using it. I even saw better results in the gym after using it. However, the results weren’t always consistent, I noticed different strains induced different highs. After doing research, I noticed I wasn’t alone in this feeling of enhanced productivity after using cannabis.
In my senior year of college, I was reviewing existing companies in our desired market space, I wholeheartedly believed I could create something better. To understand the cannabis space more, I started by creating a cannabis Facebook page called, WikiWeed. In a short time, it reached over 100k followers. Unfortunately, it was hacked and we lost the page. However, it gave birth to Kannabi. We started from scratch but applied the ideas and unique strategies from Wikiweed that worked well.
DCN: When you finally decided that you wanted to launch a business in the cannabis industry, what was your experience like when telling your family and friends? Were they supportive?
Garrett Olano: That was one of the hardest things to do. I was still in college when I had this idea and my parents wanted me to pursue a law degree. Right before graduating, I told my family I had started a cannabis company. For the most part, everyone was pretty supportive. They thought my passion for cannabis might take me further than pursuing a degree in something that did not interest me.
DCN: How is your organization/business helping the cannabis industry in a positive way?
Garrett Olano: By providing affordable services to new and existing cannabis companies.
DCN: As we near the end of 2018, what is one huge accomplishment that you or your team achieved last year that you would like to share with our readers?
Garrett Olano: One of our top videos hit 12 million views.
DCN: What are some challenges you faced early on and how’d you beat them? *
Garrett Olano: Doubt from all levels. Self-doubt and peer doubt were some of the hardest things to overcome. When I started this venture in college, many of my friends thought I was crazy. I had to keep to myself and it was a difficult period until I met other ganjapreneurs.
DCN: Did you raise capital to fund your business or what creative strategies did you use to execute on minimal cash flow?
Garrett Olano: I received a small angel investment of $5000 from a family member to start. We’ve bootstrapped since our conception and have used growth hacking strategies to build our brand.
DCN: What did you give up to get where you are today?
Garrett Olano: A lot. I’ve had to give up career opportunities, time with loved ones, romantic relationships, and peace of mind.
DCN: What is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to launch a company in the cannabis industry?
Garrett Olano: Never give up.
DCN: What’s the hardest part of founding and running a startup?
Garrett Olano: The doubt, the risks, and the sacrifices.
DCN: Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry?
Garrett Olano: How helpful other ganjapreneurs are in the industry.
DCN: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Garrett Olano: Being innovative, creative, and being quick to solve problems.
DCN: How do you stay balanced?
Garrett Olano: I love the outdoors and physical activities. The gym, basketball, and running are my main hobbies.
DCN: What book has inspired you the most?
Garrett Olano: Think and Grow Rich
DCN: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Garrett Olano: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
DCN: How can we as an industry continue to make a positive difference in society?
Garrett Olano: To keep doing what we’re doing.
DCN: Thank you, Garret, for sharing your story and offering such real and insightful advice to DCN readers!
For those looking to learn more about Kannabi, please check out Kannabi.com, social- instagram @kannabi_news