• Wed. Nov 25th, 2020

Dimancherouge

Technology

5 Questions With Trent Overholt CEO Cannabis Design/Tech Company 14th Round

Cannabis companies always need design help bringing products to market. Not everyone has a design school graduate on their start-up’s staff, ready to assist at all times. Unique applications require unique companies to bring their often out of the box dreams into reality. That is what interested me in the cannabis design and tech company named 14th Round. I am always interested in companies that stretch the boundaries of knowledge and bring the purely imaginative into scope. Now, without further delay, may I please introduce you to Trent Overholt, the CEO of 14th Round. Cheers, WB.

Warren Bobrow=WB: Please tell me about yourself? What brought you to the cannabis/botany world? Healing? What was your inspiration to do what you do?

Trent Overholt=TO: Prior to joining 14th Round, I was consulting in the food & beverage industry as an exploratory tool that I’d use to prospect for Turnaround/Operating roles in emerging segments and industries that I believed would outperform. A good friend of mine reached out to me as I was wrapping up a strategy project for a coffee & tea brand; he’d heard about this cannabis brand called hmbldt that was looking to hire a CRO, and connected me to their Chairman of the Board. 

I immediately liked the product, the positioning and the brand they were trying to build. Other than the dynamic regulatory environment in the industry, I was mostly struck by how similar their business objectives and challenges were to other branded consumer product start-ups and turnaround projects that I had previously led. My main interest in the company was its commitment to great product design, safe and natural products for the treatment of common ailments, and the execution of a high-growth strategy. In December 2016, I became certain of the legitimacy of the cannabis legalization movement which, combined with great efficacy and a large addressable market in California, could be an interesting and dynamic ride for an innovative brand-builder in an industry with a bright future. It’s been all of that and more.

WB: Please tell me about your company? What do you do that’s different, therefore better than your competition? What stigmas do you face? 

TO: 14th Round is the design and technology company that’s building the best brands in cannabis. Literally. We custom design, engineer and manufacture the device form factor, packaging, and the ancillary brand-building assets that are necessary to build a strong brand in this regulated industry. We serve all categories with extensive work in concentrates, edibles and pre-rolls (ready-to-consume products).  

Brands choose 14th Round because of our top of the line design and technology that’s bundled with pragmatic industry experience. Some of our customers include the brand owners of dosist, Heavy Hitters, Pacific Stone, 710 Labs, Kiva, and Select, just to name a few that we have in the US. In Canada, a few of our leading brands are Kolab Project, Ace Valley and Back 40.  

What separates our business is that we make the investment of time and resources to build each of these emerging brands a visually distinctive, performance and ergonomically optimized product that is tailor made for their flower, oil or edible products. We believe the form factor (vaporizer, edibles dispenser, etc) is the most durable part of the consumer experience, and that a real cannabis brand must tether the efficacy and experience of a great consumable to a distinctive aesthetic and great functionality.

WB: What is your six and twelve month plan? What obstacles exist in your professional world? How do you anticipate removing them? 

TO: In the near term 14th Round will continue building on our current strategy around aligning with companies that want to build powerful brands, executing everything from the brand book to design, engineering, manufacturing, and supporting the supply chain management of the custom products for those brand owner customers.  

Federal legalization in the US is still a ways off, and even in the growing number of Rec legal states that provide for adult access, there are numerous regulatory and operational hurdles that cannabis brands face when trying to grow their businesses geographically. In my view, the main obstacles and opportunities for us and the industry at large, are in serving the existing demand from US customers through well branded products and improved distribution in the legal Adult Access and Medical channels; this is the best strategy to navigate the challenges and high taxes in this state-by-state patchwork of different regulations to capture much more of the existing demand that is still primarily going to the illicit market.

In the next few years I think you’ll continue to see consolidation driving improved brand building and distribution of cannabis products, which will lead to wider consumer adoption and growth. North America commands 80+ percent of the global growth over the next 4 years, and with several states putting cannabis on the ballot, there are vast opportunities for emerging brands to test the waters and enter new marketplaces. 

I truly believe the US federal legalization is imminent, and the next inflection point of the legal channel being able to properly serve the majority of US consumer demand. Federal legalization is likely ushered in as a presidential election issue, and at the earliest it’s going to be 2024. We’re certainly making progress as an industry, and will continue to see the emergence of brands with scalable long-term growth potential.

4. What is your favorite food memory from childhood? What does your favorite (birthday) meal look like now? Favorite food? 

TO: Music and physical fitness have always been a part of my life, and have endured as my favorite ways to sustain good energy and outlook while keeping up with my business and travel schedule. And now with three young kids that already share those interests -my passion is enjoying outdoors, sports, the beach, live music concerts and even playing live music with family and friends as often as I can. I also have an 1941 Cadillac fastback coupe that I love like only a true gear-head could ever understand.

WB: What is your passion

TO: Music and physical fitness have always been a part of my life, and have endured as my favorite ways to sustain good energy and outlook while keeping up with my business and travel schedule. And now with three young kids that already share those interests -my passion is enjoying outdoors, sports, the beach, live music concerts and even playing live music with family and friends as often as I can. I also have an 1941 Cadillac fastback coupe that I love like only a true gear-head could ever understand.

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