Sara Batterby - CEO Hifi Farms
Experienced startup executive and investment advisor. A demonstrated track record of delivering actionable strategies and identifying opportunities obscured by the break neck pace of rapid growth companies.
Sara is the President and CEO of Hifi Farms, Oregon's most recognized and respected cannabis brands. She came to Oregon from the Bay Area, where she spent 12 years as entrepreneur in technology startups across finance, real estate and compliance. She built strong execution capabilities in operations, brand, marketing and product management before co-founding and angel fund and designing a portfolio strategy that leveraged diversity as an investment thesis. Her passion for supporting female entrepreneurs found its focus in the development of a data-backed portfolio strategy designed to deliver capital to the historically underserved sector of women and minority founders. Sara's decision to move to Oregon in November of 2015 was primarily a personal one. She entered the cannabis industry when 3 friends asked her to help them develop a business around a small cultivation that they were in the process of building out in Portland. The excitement and energy surrounding the emergence of this new industry was contagious, and Sara dove into the process of understanding the plant, connecting with cannabis professionals and putting in place the foundations of the brand and business that Hifi has grown into. She took the initiative to found the Portland Chapter of Women Grow which quickly became the largest and most successful chapter in the country. One year after launching Hifi as a small, proof-of-concept business, Sara kicked of her fundraising efforts and, one intense year after that, she had succeeded in raising around $5,000,000 in debt and equity capital, purchasing a 50-acre farm in Hillsboro, and completing the build out of a Tier 2 Oregon recreational license facility. Hifi farms is on of the most progressive and innovative cannabis brands in the country. It was the first in Oregon to register an employee stock option plan and implement a diversity hiring strategy. It is planning the first Oregon solar project on a cannabis farm and Sara sits on the board of the Resource Innovation Institute which is developing energy and water standards for cannabis nationwide. Sara has been actively engaged in the regulatory and rule making process as an advisor to legislators charged with the creation of balanced business rules, and as a member of the OLCC Business Advisory Committee. Hifi's founding team is known for a variety of initiatives including their support of pro-cannabis politicians, their hosting of an epic series of salon rock events called "Live at Hifi Farms", their corporate activism expressing a deep commitment to ethical business and, of course, really great cannabis. Sara's was recently recognized as an "Executive to Watch in 2017" by the Portland Business Journal, Oregon's leading business publication. In addition to her work as CEO, Sara is planning the launch of Just Cannabis, a network that invites professionals from outside of cannabis to connect with cannabis professionals and opportunities. She is a respected writer and speaker on the subjects of investing in cannabis, raising capital and the unique strengths of women as leaders in early stage companies. She is an advisor and mentor to several young companies, three of which have successfully secured capital with her support and one which has exited. She has supported several companies in a more focused capacity around fundraising and has facilitated the delivery of around $1.5M in capital to startups excluding her own in 2017.