CannPowerment, The Startup Behind ButACake, Takes Home Top Prize At Benzinga's Cannabis Market Spotlight

Zinger Key Points
  • “Our mission is to empower communities and foster inclusivity within the cannabis sector,” CannPowerment CEO Matha Figaro says.
  • ButACake, CannPowerment's flagship brand, offers unique infused baked goods that have quickly gained market demand.

CannPowerment took home the top prize at the 2024 Canna Founders Pitch Competition in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The competition, which concluded the Benzinga Cannabis Market Spotlight on Monday (June 17), featured five innovative cannabis ventures.

But it was CannPowerment’s CEO Matha Figaro — the creator of ButACake edibles — who impressed the panel of judges to snag first place and a $5,000 prize.

Bada Bloom Inc., Jades Elevation, TLEHL and The White Oak Bridge also took part in the “Shark Tank”-like contest, with White Oak taking home the second place prize.

Benzinga Cannabis, in partnership with Curaleaf's corporate philanthropy arm Rooted In Good, chose these businesses from a competitive pool due to their unique advantages, strong teams, business viability and potential for scalability.

Judges evaluated the entries before a capacity crowd at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center; each entrant boasts a competitive advantage, team strength, business viability, and scalability potential.

For these ambitious entrepreneurs, the Benzinga Cannabis Market Spotlight event served as an unmatched opportunity to connect with industry leaders and gain significant exposure.

See Also: Can Cannabis ‘Bring Retail Back To Life’? Verano, Curaleaf, NewLake Capital Bet Big On Local New Jersey Market


Figaro, a pastry chef with expertise in the food regulation and compliance space, presented CannPowerment as “a startup on a mission” to revolutionize the cannabis industry through innovative product development and social equity initiatives.

Its brand, ButACake, offers unique infused baked goods that have quickly gained market demand.

"Our mission is to empower communities and foster inclusivity within the cannabis sector," Figaro said.

Figaro co-founded CannPowerment with CRO James Barrett, a regional sales manager for Germany-based Pester Pac Automation, a pharmaceutical production equipment supplier.

The White Oak Bridge

The White Oak Bridge, the runner-up, won the second-place prize of $2,500.

The Connecticut-based company is focused on revolutionizing cannabis logistics with secure, temperature-controlled warehousing and efficient business-to-business transportation.

CEO Justin Frytz and his team are also gearing up to distribute low-dose THC hemp beverages across numerous liquor stores, thanks to a new Connecticut law.

"We aim to streamline operations for cultivators, producers, manufacturers, and retailers," Frytz said.

Bada Bloom

Bada Bloom is carving out a niche with its craft cultivation techniques and premium flowers grown using energy-efficient technology.

Founder Michael Marinaro emphasized the company's dedication to organic, solventless extraction methods and the recent approval of their retail storefront. "We have created a following of consumers who want high-quality products in the market," Marinaro said.

Additionally, Bada Bloom is set to feature in an upcoming TV series, which will provide educational content on cannabis cultivation and consumption.

Jades Elevation

Danielle Buntyon's Jades Elevation is a Black-owned farm in Memphis, known for its high-quality THC and CBD products. Its mission is to bring handmade, artisanal products to the cannabis market, similar to a craft brewery.

Buntyon, who also teaches at Tennessee State University, is passionate about helping others enter the cannabis industry through urban agriculture. "Our products are carried in Tennessee and Arkansas, and we focus on organic farming methods," Buntyon stated.


TLEHL, which stands for “The Legal Eagle Has Landed,” is a New Jersey-based craft cannabis manufacturing venture led by CEO Ray “Dab” Riga. The company specializes in solventless concentrates, which Riga likens to the “fresh-squeezed orange juice of cannabis products.”

Riga remains committed to hiring ex-offenders affected by the war on drugs.

"Our mission is to provide organically grown, carbon-neutral, data-driven cannabis products," said Riga.

What’s Next?

CannPowerment and The White Oak Bridge will move on to the Rooted In Good Cannabis Demo Day at Boston Cannabis Week on Sept. 19. Both startups will vie for an additional $25,000.

This initiative not only provides financial support but also crucial exposure and networking opportunities for the participants.

Cannabis rescheduling seems to be right around the corner. Want to understand what this means for the future of the industry? Hear directly for top executives, investors and policymakers at the 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, coming to Chicago this Oct. 8-9. Get your tickets now before prices surge by following this link.

Now Read: Too Many Cannabis Shops, Too Small Profit: How To Play The Municipal Game In The Legal Weed Era

Photo Corynn Egreczky for Benzinga

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Posted In: CannabisEventsTop StoriesSuccess StoriesStartupsBada BloomCannabis Market SpotlightCannaSpotlightCannPowermentJades ElevationNew Jersey CannabisStories That MatterThe White Oak BridgeTLEHLVenture Capital
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The Top Cannabis Event In New Jersey

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