With legalization in Illinois around the corner, the alumni community wants to kick off the conversation around the business of cannabis.
This event will showcase incredibly successful alumni entrepreneurs and operators in the space – Ben Kovler, '11, of GTI, Oleg Movchan, '01, of Revolution Enterprises, and Coco Meers, '14, of Equilibria. We will hear stories about how the panelists got started in this dynamic industry. We will tackle industry basics and discuss business opportunities. We will answer all of your questions. We seek to take the pulse of the Booth community on the business of cannabis as we develop future programming on this topic.
$25 - Includes appetizers and a drink ticket
Ben Kovler (Speaker) '11
Founder, CEO and Chairman, Green Thumb Industries
Ben founded GTI in 2014 and has successfully grown it into a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer that manufactures and distributes a portfolio of branded cannabis products including Rythm, Dogwalkers, The Feel Collection, and Beboe, among others. The company also owns and operates a rapidly growing national chain of retail cannabis stores called Rise™.
He is frequently featured as an industry thought leader in media outlets such as Bloomberg, Barron's, Business Insider, CNBC and Forbes. He is also co-founder and CEO of Invest For Kids (IFK), an annual forum bringing together portfolio managers, family offices and analysts to share investment ideas to benefit children in lllinois. In its first ten years, IFK has raised approximately $14 million and supported over 60 organizations to benefit more than 80,000 children.
Ben earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, politics and economics from Pomona College and an M.B.A. in accounting and finance from The University of Chicago. Ben and his wife, Amy, enjoy living in Chicago with their two children.
Oleg Movchan (Speaker) '01
Chief Strategy Officer, Depute CEO, and Board Member, Revolution Enterprises
Oleg has 18 years of experience in asset management and investment banking industries across both public and private capital markets, having served as a Chief Risk Officer and Head of Risk Management for global multi-billion dollar multi-strategy and global macro hedge funds, a fund of hedge funds and a global asset management firm. He is also a CEO of Kameosa Capital, LLC, an asset management advisory firm which provides integrated advisory on business and product strategy, innovative portfolio construction and implementation solutions, enterprise-wide risk management, operations and technology solutions.
His experience in evaluating potential investment opportunities, deal structuring and negotiations, managing risk of large complex portfolios, and creating appropriate investment and operating structures adds value throughout the entire Revolution organization by allowing the firm to create shareholder value by effectively raising capital and managing the Company's capital structure.
Oleg holds a MS degree in Financial Mathematics and a MBA in Analytic Finance, both from the University of Chicago, as well as a MS degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics from Kharkov State University, Ukraine. He also holds CFA designation.
Coco Meers (Speaker) '14
CEO and Co-Founder, Equilibria
Coco is a serial tech entrepreneur and active angel investor. As CEO and Co-Founder of Equilibria - a premium female-focused CBD membership - she proudly offers personalized dosage support led by veteran cannabis educators and unparalleled quality from their exclusive bioscience partner - all to advance the mission of balance for women. Coco sold her first tech company, a beauty-booking app called PrettyQuick, to Groupon in 2015 and led Innovation teams within their Health, Beauty, and Wellness division post-acquisition. Alongside her operator roles, she is Principal of Rebelle Collective, a seed-stage investment vehicle focused on digitally enabled consumer models. Prior to entrepreneurial life, Coco was based in Paris where she helped market and manage global brands under the L'Oreal SA portfolio. Coco serves as a Director of the Joffrey Ballet and the American Writers Museum. She has an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago, and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton with a BA in English and French.