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Investor Connect Podcast

Investor Connect is for investors interested in learning more about investing in startup and growth stage companies. Experienced investors share their experiences and advice with those who are considering an investment into startups and growth companies. It includes a podcast series of interviews with investors to inform others about the process of funding startups as well as a resource list and a discussion board.  

Topics include sourcing, analyzing, and researching companies. Other topics include valuations, terms Sheets, board of directors, board of advisors, due diligence, syndicates, venture capital, angels, angel networks, family offices, crowdfunding, exits, and more.

Investor Connect is a community program. We welcome your suggestions for speakers and topics which you can send to us through the Contact page. No registration is required to use the resources.  Discussion boards are available to post and answer questions about startups and growth company investing through which registration is required.

Investor Connect is a program under the Texas Open Angel Network which is a 501(c3) non-profit dedicated to the education around startup funding.

Disclaimer: Hall T. Martin is the Director of Investor Connect which is dedicated to the education of investors for early stage funding. All opinions expressed by Hall and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Investor Connect. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions.

Aug 3, 2020

In this episode, Hall welcomes Smoke Wallin, CEO of Vertical Wellness.

Vertical Wellness is a leading, vertically integrated, consumer-focused health and wellness brand company with innovative hemp cannabinoid solutions. Their mission is to help people by bringing the most innovative and effective portfolio of cannabinoid (CBD and others) brands to the market. Initial VWEL brands include Kathy Ireland Health & Wellness, Taos, Lap Dog, Par5, Halogenix, Wingra Farms, Neutrate, USMCC, and Hemp-Moji. 

VWEL Services leverages their extensive investment and team knowledge by helping the entire industry with strategic, financial, branding, sales and hemp processing solutions. Vertical Wellness has operations in California and Kentucky and has cultivated over 1,800 acres of hemp on partner farms in 2019. The Company is one of the largest processors of Hemp globally with over 20 million lbs processed or contracted in 2020. 

Smoke is a chairman and multifaceted CEO and industry leader in beverage, distribution, hemp and technology. He built >$1 billion alcohol beverage distribution company before merging into now $11+billion company. Smoke was the Chairman & President of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, industries. 25+ acquisitions, multiple successful turn-around situations, and startups with successful exits. Successfully raised $500+ million in debt & equity for direct ventures. Served(s) on multiple public and private boards. YPO, EY Entrepreneur of Year, Distinguished Alum Award Vanderbilt, MBA Vanderbilt University, BS Agricultural Economics Cornell University.

Smoke shares with Hall how he sees the cannabis industry evolving, the sector’s current growth rate - despite COVID-19 - the challenges in the space, what accelerated and decelerated during COVID-19, and much more.

You can visit Vertical Wellness at

Smoke can be contacted via LinkedIn at, via Twitter at, and via email at