Category Archives: Public Entrepreneur

Dr. Ahmad Doroudian on the Potential of a COVID-19 Treatment | #HashtagFinance

Dr. Ahmad Doroudian on the Potential of a COVID-19 Treatment, Not a Cure | #HashtagFinance

The CSE’s Barrington Miller chats with Dr. Ahmad Doroudian, CEO of BetterLife Pharma Inc. (CSE:BETR), about BetterLife’s ambitions to advance on the AP-003 clinical trial programs of Altum Pharmaceuticals Inc., which includes a therapeutic pipeline consisting of three products, including AP-003, a patent-pending interferon a2b (IFNa2b) inhalation formulation. Recent studies in China and the UK have provided data that suggest the therapeutic efficacy of interferon-based treatments for COVID-19.

Here’s an overview of what’s covered in this edition of the #HashtagFinance podcast:

3:47 – What BetterLife is doing about COVID-19.

7:01 – How early their product can be used, and if it can be used for prevention.

9:32 – What BetterLife was working on before the COVID-19 pandemic.

11:32 – The differentiators between BetterLife and other companies developing COVID-19 treatments.

15:38 – Taking the treatment approach, instead of the cure approach, to COVID-19, similar to HIV.

19:58 – Phase II clinical trials, and what that means for an investor.

BetterLife Pharma Inc. is an emerging biotechnology company engaged in the development and commercialization of therapeutic pharmaceuticals as well as drug delivery platform technologies. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, BLife Therapeutics Inc., BetterLife is refining and developing drug candidates from a broad set of complementary interferon-based technologies that have the potential to engage the immune system to fight virus infections, such as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and human papillomavirus (HPV), and/or to directly inhibit tumours to treat specific types of cancer.

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VSBLTY Groupe Technologies: Helping brick-and-mortar retail fight back with superior consumer insight

In the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report, a perplexed Tom Cruise enters a futuristic Gap store and is immediately greeted by a friendly face on a digital screen welcoming him and asking about his recent purchase. Twenty years ago it seemed like a far-flung idea, but today Cruise’s interaction is well within the realm of possibility for the modern shopper.

In a sense, the futuristic shopping experience is an early example of the use of proactive digital display, a technology that Philadelphia-based VSBLTY Groupe Technologies (CSE:VSBY) is pioneering for the retail and security sectors. Artificial intelligence and machine learning comprise much of the horsepower behind this transformative product.

“Everything in that movie is absolutely what we can do right now without any stretch,” says VSBLTY Chief Executive Officer Jay Hutton. “Right now, we are gathering metadata, or non-identifiable information, to aggregate and collate at scale.”

The idea for VSBLTY came together in the minds of Hutton and business partner Tim Huckaby, a developer at Microsoft and now VSBLTY’s Chief Technical Officer. The two believed the big players in digital display had failed to innovate over the last decade and that the industry was poised to undergo significant disruption.

Was there a way to create digital signage that contained computer vision software to measure quantitative and qualitative engagements and interactions? Hutton and Huckaby knew that previously uncaptured metrics such as the characteristics of individual shoppers could provide valuable insight to retailers.

Enter VSBLTY’s software. The key lies in marrying digital displays with real-time measurement, allowing retailers new revenue opportunities by delivering the right message at the right time to a specific audience.

For today’s retailer, traditional point-of-sale and out-of-home advertising provides limited engagement with the consumer and does not generate data to analyze. The VSBLTY platform integrates signage, security and analytics to optimize opportunities throughout a store.

“The physical store supplants the internet as a premium place for brands to deliver impressions because the shopper is in a place where they can buy the product being promoted – it’s instant gratification,” Hutton explains. “Brands will re-vector internet spend to stores because the store is more measurable, more instantaneous and more connected to upselling, or sales lift.”

Results from successful activations have challenged long-held assumptions about shopper behaviour. One example, centred around the March Madness basketball tournament, started with the idea that men aged 25 to 40 would rather not cook a meal when they are watching games. VSBLTY’s software was deployed in the frozen foods aisle of a grocery store using five different products and measured on multiple engagement types such as traffic, coupon redemption and sales. The outcome? An approximately 500% increase in engagement compared to conventional signage in the frozen foods section, and three times the coupon redemptions. In an unintended result, the entire frozen foods aisle saw a sales boost.

The shift from wanting more impressions to more qualitative engagements is a seismic trend in the marketing world. Companies are using phrases like “customer intimacy” and “brand engagement” more than ever, Hutton says. “The companies know the only way to get to this ‘promised land’ is through digital means. It’s enormously disruptive.”

For companies, it’s not so much a question of if they can use it, but if they will. There are very real privacy – and legal – concerns associated with this type of technology, which Hutton acknowledges. He shares that one large brand eager to adopt the software believes customers are ready for it, but the company wants to navigate the legal complexities before it commits to installation.

But there’s a “clear runway” to adoption, Hutton says, as a new generation raised with the internet comes to the fore. Shoppers can opt in to the experience much the same way as they do by using a points card or a brand’s mobile application. It’s exchanging privacy for value, Hutton says. “I’m willing to give up some things that are germane and intimate to me in exchange for some value. That’s an open, ongoing dialogue in retail.”

The probability of the younger generation accepting this trade-off is much higher than with older consumers, which is partly why retailers haven’t adopted the technology en masse. “The brands know it’s a waiting game,” Hutton says. “If they do it now, they may only see, at best, 30% opt-ins, but years from now, it’s 75%.”

Retailers are expected to fully understand the model over time, and the same goes for using the displays to enhance security. Deployed in the public sphere, the technology could be used to help identify people with warrants out for their arrest or to pinpoint anomalous behaviour. “Our hypothesis is that we are overwhelming our operators with too much to look at,” Hutton says. “By letting the software analyze the information, we’re giving the operator some context.”

One of VSBLTY’s biggest deals was signed in 2019 with Energetika, an international provider of lighting solutions, to install thousands of security kits powered by VSBLTY software in Mexico City.

Energetika deployed cameras and VSBLTY ran the analytics, looking for altercations, fires, car accidents, persons of interest and gathering crowds. Around six months into the project, the crime rate has fallen by a significant amount in several of the city’s 16 boroughs. One of these, Cuajimalpa de Morelos, went from 11th safest to safest in about seven months. “It’s like a cyber neighbourhood watch leading to an outcome that you could argue is valid and reasonable,” Hutton explains.

The technology is also being deployed to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Hutton. VSBLTY recently teamed up with a cyber security product and building services company to provide advanced camera technology that enhances security and enables temperature screening before people enter office buildings.

“Computer vision has the ability to identify who you are, whether you’re supposed to be where you are and determine if you’re showing any fever symptoms,” Hutton says. “That’s a really interesting connection point between what we currently do and what COVID-19 is requiring us as a society to do.”

The company is looking ahead to a busy 2020 as its pandemic involvement adds more to an already full plate. In 2019, VSBLTY received more orders in the fourth quarter than it had in the first three quarters combined, and it saw its first seven-figure order in the first quarter of 2020.

The challenge now is to keep momentum going throughout the coronavirus pandemic. But Hutton still anticipates that 2020 will be the company’s first profitable year, offering revenue guidance of between $10 million and $15 million.

If VSBLTY’s success is any indication, that Gap store in Minority Report may become reality before we know it. “Brands are dominated by people who grew up on the internet and understand that impressions are best maximized where there’s measurement,” says Hutton. “What’s happening in that movie is not too far away.”

This story was featured in the Public Entrepreneur magazine.

Learn more about VSBLTY Groupe Technologies
at https://vsblty.net/.

Public Entrepreneur Magazine: The Technology Issue – Now Live!

Welcome to the latest issue of Public Entrepreneur magazine, your source for in-depth stories of entrepreneurs from a wealth of different industries.

While social distancing measures in recent months have forced individuals to stay apart, one constant has kept everyone connected: technology. In this issue of Public Entrepreneur, we examine how technology has become more important than ever in the healthcare industry and how it has proven to be vital in fighting COVID-19.

We take a closer look at how visionary leaders and entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of innovation to change the world from enhancing video conferencing with augmented reality, to monitoring community health, to using rapid-detection technology to quickly test for the virus.

CSE-listed companies featured in this issue include:

Check out the most recent edition of Public Entrepreneur here:

Brad Moore on Leveraging Blockchain to Improve Outcomes for Medical Cannabis Patients | #HashtagFinance

CSE’s Barrington Miller chats with Brad Moore, CEO of Global Cannabis Applications Corp. (CSE:APP) about his company’s ambitions as a technology company that strives to improve medical cannabis patients’ outcomes through the gathering and analysis of deep data.

Here’s an overview of what Barrington and Brad cover in this edition of the #HashtagFinance podcast:

1.10 – Virtual work is nothing new for Brad and his international team.
3:35 – GCAC’s Israeli technology connection.
6:01 – How Brad has applied his military mindset into the cannabis/tech industries.
9:53 – The impact of the early 2018 cannabis “craze” on the company.
13:54 – Defining 2020 as the year of the (delayed) balance sheet.
15:46 – The application of blockchain on their business model.
18:20 – Building data points during COVID.
19:35 – The differentiator.
23:53 – The power of data to improve patient incomes.
28:47 – What a potential exit path looks like for the company.

Current approval processes for medical treatments generally start with a formulation of elements. The objective of any clinical study is to ensure efficacy, and safety, within a fixed sampling size. However as cannabis is a plant, and each plant is unique, the challenges have been in ensuring that each gram tested would provide a consistent result. In response to these challenges, GCAC has developed a patent-pending data model called, Seed to Seed.

GCAC’s approach is to measure an individual’s unique treatment experience on a per dosage basis. By digitally measuring both the biometric & anecdotal feedback and comparing that to others using the same or similar products on a large scale, GCAC can provide an averaged efficacy rating for the treatment used. This is accomplished through a proprietary system of mobile applications, heart monitoring biometrics, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. When integrated with blockchain seed to sale solutions, GCAC technology will be able to recommend “how to treat ailment X with product Y at a given point in time under a set of circumstances”. By securing this information on an EU GDPR complaint blockchain, their data outputs are comparable to results generated by a regulatory approval process.

Related links:
https://thecse.com/en/listings/technology/global-cannabis-applications-corp

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Paul Rosen on the One Non-Negotiable for Success in Cannabis | #HashtagFinance

CSE’s Barrington Miller chats with Paul Rosen, CEO of 1933 Industries Inc. (CSE:TGIF) about his recent appointment as Interim CEO of the company and his operating philosophy moving forward in the face of COVID-19. Paul also shares his personal journey as an early leader in the cannabis industry and makes note of the many changes he’s observed in the C-suite among his cannabis sector peer group.

Here’s an overview of what Barrington and Paul cover in this edition of the #HashtagFinance podcast:

2:00 – Paul’s early beginnings in the Cannabis industry in the late 80’s as a constitutional lawyer.
3:58 – Hortican Inc.’s pre-MMPR history and evolution with PharmaCan Capital Corp./The Chronos Group.
6:57 – His transition into a management role at 1933 Industries.
7:55 – How Cannabis 2.0 has impacted C-suites in the industry.
11:58 – Highlighting traits of the early-stage Cannabis entrepreneurs.
13:28 – The unique challenges of running a public cannabis company.
17:16 – The imperative of running a clean balance sheet in today’s COVID-19 environment.
20:14 – Las Vegas’ cannabis prospects in light of the severe downturn in tourism.
25:25 – Paul’s view on how the global pandemic will hasten tax generation from cannabis and social justice.
29:35 – Why preparing for domestic (US) demand is still the biggest opportunity in cannabis.
31:57 – The shift to prioritizing profitability first.

1933 Industries is a vertically-integrated, growth-orientated company, focusing on the cultivation and manufacturing of cannabis consumer branded goods in a wide range of product formats.

Related Links
https://1933industries.com/
https://thecse.com/en/listings/diversified-industries/1933-industries-inc

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Daniel Safayeni on the OCC’s Fight to Save Curbside Cannabis | #HashtagFinance Special Edition

CSE’s Barrington Miller is joined by Daniel Safayeni, Director of Policy at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to discuss the Provincial Government’s decision to end curbside pick-up and delivery of legally purchased cannabis products. Brought-in as a temporary pandemic measure, the decision to not extend (or make permanent) this policy poses risks to public safety, economic growth and employment opportunities. At this current time there is no other industry that has this measure being rescinded. Daniel also act’s as the co-chair Ontario Cannabis Policy Council (OCPC).

Learn more and connect with the OCC to show your support here: https://occ.ca/mediareleases/ontario-…

and/or contact your local MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament)

AND share this video to support the cause!

🔴 Subscribe for more great CSE insights and interviews here: https://bit.ly/CSETVSubscribe

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Derek Wood on Creating Wealth for All in Mineral Exploration | #HashtagFinance

CSE’s Anil Mall chats with Derek Wood, CEO of Tocvan Ventures Corp. (CSE:TOC), about his experience in mineral exploration finance and the many do’s and don’ts of building a public mining stock. The conversation also touches on Tocvan’s ambitions as an early-stage natural resource company engaged primarily in the acquisition, exploration and, if warranted, development of mineral properties. The company’s objective is to conduct exploration programs on the Pilar Gold project in the Sonora state of Mexico and the Rogers Creek project in Southern British Columbia.

Here’s an overview of what Anil and Derek cover in this edition of the #HashtagFinance podcast:

1:41 – How life after lockdown has never been busier.
3:40 – An overview of Tocvan Ventures.
6:43 – The difference between porphyry and epithermal deposits.
10:02 – The industry comps to Tocvan.
12:50 – Derek’s deep experience in the Canadian capital markets.
15:03 – How to create value for junior mining investors.
17:53 – The team at Tocvan.
21:50 – The benefits of mineral exploration in Canada.
28:29 – Canada’s global role in junior capital financing.
30:52 – The 5 Ps of the mining industry.
34:35 – Derek’s issue with the 43-101 standard.
38:12 – Tocvan’s Pilar gold-silver project in Sonora, Mexico.
41:35 – His advice for a young investor in the mining sector.
44:35 – The advantages of utilizing a broker for private placements.

Related links
https://thecse.com/en/listings/mining/tocvan-ventures-corp

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Charlie In on Building Bridges through International Banking | #HashtagFinance

CSE’s Phillip Shum chats with Charlie In, Chairman of Raffles Group Financial (CSE:RICH) about their recent listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange and their focus on providing customized public listing advisory services by working with audit, legal, tax and banking professionals.

Here’s an overview of what they cover in this episode of the #HashtagFinance podcast:

:49 – Serving public market prospects in China and Southeast Asia.
2:50 – Plans for growing the business through licensing to serve the massive Asia-Pacific region.
7:57 – The reasoning behind Raffles listing in Canada.
11:59 – Raffles’ strategic relationship with BMO.
15:22 – The ownership structure of Raffles.
17:31 – Charlie’s 20+ years of experience in finance.
19:44 – What to expect from the company in the coming months.

Raffles Financial is an exempt corporate finance advisory firm, registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which provides public listing advisory and arrangement services. Raffles Financial serves as an advisor for family trusts, family offices and investment funds. Raffles is expanding their representation in 30 regions in Asia-Pacific and believes that working with BMO PBA, it will give clients a complete suite of investment and private banking solutions starting from public listing services to family trusts and portfolio management.

Related links
https://thecse.com/en/listings/diversified-industries/raffles-financial-group-limited
https://www.rafflesfinancial.co/

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Alejandro Ochoa on the 5G Opportunity in Latin America | #HashtagFinance

CSE’s Anil Mall chats with Tower One Wireless (CSE:TO) CEO and President, Alejandro Ochoa, about their focus on owning and operating wireless telecom infrastructure sites in Latin American markets that are experiencing strong growth.

Here’s an overview of what they cover in this podcast:

1:55 – Tower One – a specialty real estate play first.

4:00 – Why they went public and how they are different than their competition (Build. Own. Operate.)

5:05 – A focus on building new infrastructure with anchor tenants in place.

5:55 – Why Alejandro is focused on Latin America.

6:50 – The challenge of building a qualified team in this industry.

10:15 – The potential of the Latin American telecom market.

12:40 – How COVID-19 is impacting network design.

15:05 – Other business impacts of COVID-19.

17:07 – Meeting demand in Mexico and Colombia, and divesting assets from Argentina.

18:10 – Working through COVID-19 with creativity.

19:49 – Addressing the 5G “controversy”.

21:46 – Working with remote communities.

25:35 – Recent developments including the new master lease agreement in Colombia.

Tower One Wireless’ core business is providing access to its infrastructure to major national and multi-national cellular carriers through long-term leases (10 plus years). With the migration to fourth generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) and (5G) networks in Colombia and Mexico, the company pursues markets with a large demand for additional telecom infrastructure.

Related links
https://www.toweronewireless.com/
https://thecse.com/en/listings/technology/tower-one-wireless-corp

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Joe Deighan on the Hemp Alternative to Tobacco | #HashtagFinance

CSE’s Phillip Shum chats with TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Director Joe Deighan, who discusses their recent public listing and subsidiary Taat Herb Co. who manufacture and sell premium hemp products including hemp cigarettes made from a proprietary blend of premium hemp.

Here’s an overview of what they cover in this podcast:

1:38 – Joe’s background in the e-liquid manufacturing sector.
3:30 – The taste profile of the TAAT hemp cigarettes.
4:48 – Why TAAT is addressing the tobacco market with CBD products.
5:50 – The size of the North American cigarette market.
6:33 – How management is supporting TAAT’s growth.
8:17 – The distribution opportunity for hemp cigarettes within the US.
10:08 – The banking advantages of hemp over cannabis in the US.
11:45 – Origins of the “TAAT” name.

TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Ltd. is focused on hemp-based products that have been demonstrated to aid in improving health, quality of life, and overall wellness.

Taat Herb Co. provides a better-for-you alternative to tobacco that tastes and smokes as well as, or better than, traditional cigarettes. Taat Beyond Tobacco™️ Hemp cigarettes effectively deliver high yielding CBD & CBG without the “high” and without the scent or taste of cannabis.

Related links

https://taatusa.com/

https://thecse.com/en/listings/life-sciences/taat-lifestyle-wellness-ltd 

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