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Meet the Founders: Snapp Digital

Posted by Meghan Grabow on Mar 7, 2017 10:25:00 AM
Meghan Grabow

Snapp Digital is a digital advertising platform breaking into the marijuana industry, and one of Canopy's Spring 2017 cohort of cannabis companies. Find out how they developed Snapp, how the team was formed, and how their product will change the industry.

Snapp Digital

Founders & Hometowns: Dustin Lato (Lisbon, OH) and Ron Warner (Cleveland, OH)

How did you develop the concept for your company?

After several years in the ad industry, as well as years of buying ads for previous startup ventures, we are very familiar with the current fractured market of ad buying that includes multiple vendors and processes, and either navigating this on your own or paying big money for an agency to handle it. We decided that there needed to be an easier way, one that would streamline the process and pull all vendors and locations into one marketplace while making it so easy that anyone could use it. That's when we developed Snapp Digital.

How did you meet your co-founder?

We met pitching our own individual products within a local incubator in Cleveland. We then combined our efforts to develop Snapp.

I (Dustin) actually worked with a previous Canopy company called Vapor Slide (Spring 2016). After Vapor Slide finished the program, we at Snapp saw a virtually untapped opportunity in the market to go after with our existing product. Canopy has a great reputation, and we knew that teaming up with them and going through the accelerator program would just strengthen the opportunity.

What problem does your product/service solve in the cannabis industry?

Snapp Digital simplifies the process of buying and selling cannabis advertising across TV screens (aka digital signage/menu boards) within dispensaries. By creating a single marketplace containing all available ad inventory and streamlining the process of choosing locations, buying space, and uploading and managing ad content, cannabis businesses can quickly and easy run their own ad campaigns anytime, anywhere.

Why did you decide to apply to the Canopy accelerator?

The digital signage market in cannabis is beginning to come up with a few signage networks jumping into the space. Also with the cannabis industry being a new expanding market as well, there is a huge opportunity for scalable success.

You work a lot. What do you do when you're not drilling down on your startup?Dustin - work out, mountain bike, hike, freelance design/branding, and hang out with family and friends.

Ron - anything outdoors, including hiking, working out, fishing, basketball, family, mentoring other entrepreneurs during early stage struggles, and community development.

What element of the Canopy program are you most excited about?

Networking and making connections within the cannabis industry, and helping better organize our company structure.


Meet the founders at Canopy's bi-weekly Happy Hour & OH GOD WHY ME Wednesdays. Every other week, we feature stories of epically proportioned startup mishaps, told by the entrepreneurs who lived through it. Grab a beer, settle in for story time, and relish in the failures of someone who's not you. Doors open at 5pm, Tales of Failure kicks off at 6pm.

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Topics: Company Info, Entrepreneurship