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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 Jeremy Jacobs of Enlighten. 

Meet Jeremy Jacobs

Jeremy JacobsJeremy Jacobs is the Chairman of Enlighten, the cannabis space’s first enterprise-level technology solution. Jeremy is a pioneer in retail technology with 10+ years of experience in the digital signage, digital menu and interactive kiosk space. Jeremy is best described as a marketer, technologist, entrepreneur, investor, former Managing Directory of KY NORML and proud official member of the young entrepreneur council (YEC.)

In our interview with Jeremy, we asked a variety of questions to learn more about Enlighten, and what it takes to build a startup in the cannabis industry!

DCN: Jeremy, 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 Enlighten?

Jeremy Jacobs: Enlighten is the first full-scale enterprise solution in the cannabis space and is already working with over 650 cannabis businesses, including dispensaries, cultivators and producers, head shops, cannabis lounges, and medical facilities.

DCN: What ignited the spark in you to launch your business?

Jeremy Jacobs: I’ve had a passion for entrepreneurship since I was a kid and I became a cannabis advocate in my teens. Roughly 4 and half years ago when cannabis first started to become recreationally legal in Colorado I got a call from an employee. He typically sold our digital menu systems through one of our distributors, Sysco Foods, but this day the call was different. He asked how I felt about out company making digital menus for cannabis dispensaries.

Within 6 months we had built roughly 100 menu systems, developed the touchscreen technology seen at Euflora in Colorado, implemented text loyalty systems, and many other things. Enlighten has been expanding on that work since.

DCN: How is your organization/business positively helping the cannabis industry? 

Jeremy Jacobs: As the first full-scale enterprise technology solution in the cannabis space, Enlighten offers dispensaries and cannabis venues with an array of technologies to keep up with the tech-forward movement revolutionizing retail as a whole. Enlighten is already working with over 650 cannabis businesses, including dispensaries, cultivators and producers, head shops, cannabis lounges and medical facilities.

Enlighten’s education forward approach helps our partners grow their brand and build relationships with their customers through a variety of solutions. These technology solutions are able to to provide cannabis venues with a full technological ecosystem to easily train staff, advertise brands and drive sales. Simply put, there is nobody else in the cannabis space that is currently doing or is even capable of doing what we do.

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?

Jeremy Jacobs: We currently have several exciting irons in the fire. First, we have a growing network of screens appearing in break-rooms of dispensaries. We have taken what we know from other industries and employee communication and are seeing massive struggles these locations have practically disappearing when our tools are used. Second, we have a lot of promising projects that we are working on with several different governments. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal too much about that just yet, but we promise it will be a gamechanger.

DCN: What are some challenges you faced early on and how’d you beat them? 

Jeremy Jacobs: What makes cannabis different than other industries is that there are no industry standards or legislative conformity in how things are done. Each scenario we walk into is completely different than the last – the legal limitations, the structure of the organization, how decisions are made and expectations. Having to adjust our delivery each time can be challenging. In other industries, we are able to work with a client that has 1,000+ locations. Here the average chain is around 5.

DCN: What is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to launch a company in the cannabis industry? 

Jeremy Jacobs: Business is growing like a weed. There is no doubt there is an opportunity. With the right product mix, it’s not hard to find some traction in a space with double-digit compounded annual growth. The negatives are that the space requires a flexible approach. Each state’s laws are completely different. It will likely have an impact on your business.

DCN: What’s the hardest part of founding and running a startup? 

Jeremy Jacobs: To be honest, It’s difficult for me to narrow down any one specific part that I can confidently identify as the hardest aspect of founding and running a startup. I will say this though — founding and running a startup is no small task. Be prepared for any possible outcome.

DCN: Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry? 

Jeremy Jacobs: It’s always shocking when somebody turns away our FREE Enlighten TV system, a point of sale marketing and educational tool that is currently in over 600 retail locations across the nation. Enlighten TV is the largest and fastest growing in-store network in cannabis history.

This industry-leading technology will allow you to inform and educate your customers with professionally curated entertainment and educational content. Not only will it reduce perceived wait times, but freshly informed customers will purchase higher ticket items, generating a significant sales lift, and you never have to lift a finger.

DCN: What would you say are the top five skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? 

Jeremy Jacobs: Focus on the following: communication, goals, tools, support, and training. These five should be the foundation. Never lose sight of these!

DCN: How do you stay balanced?

Jeremy Jacobs: I’m a very family-oriented person and spend as much time as I can with them. Concerts and music are a large part of my life. I find music to have a power found nowhere else. It can transform a mood with the push of a play button. Most importantly though I use cannabis.

DCN: What book has inspired you the most?

Jeremy Jacobs: Thomas Friedman authored the book “The World is Flat.” To really understand that technology has made it possible for nearly anyone to do nearly anything you need to take a read. That was what I first took from it that fundamentally changed me.

The second wave of change came when I realized that people have the power to create flatteners that empower other people. In fact, all flatteners were built by people just like you and me. Now I look for ways to help level the playing field for everyone allowing all businesses access to tool that used to only be available to the largest businesses.

DCN: How can we as an industry continue to make a positive difference in society? 

Jeremy Jacobs: That is what we do each and every day with Enlighten TV and our education network. We try to spread knowledge to empower the industry as a whole and we take pride in being a part of this revolution.

Our entire staff dedicates tireless amounts of time to advocacy in seeing the war against cannabis is won by our side. I don’t know of too many things that help bring goodness to the world more than cannabis as an alternative and addition to the current medicines available in the world.

DCN: Thank you, Jeremy, for sharing your story and offering such real and insightful advice to DCN readers! 

For those looking to learn more about Enlighten, please check out, www.getenlightened.io, social-Instagram @getenlightentv

Want to be featured? Click here to tell us why you should be an Entrepreneur of the week on DCN.

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