CANNAINVESTOR Magazine October / November 2016 - Page 120

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While managing and growing his private equity business in the UAE, he founded Omega Strategic Services, a firm that provided high-level security and competitive intelligence solutions to governments and multi-national corporations. The company focused on all facets of high risk protection, including crisis management, reconnaissance, training, and asset recovery.

Upon moving back to the States, Venegas and Ogur, acquired a $500 MM private equity portfolio focused on the clean technology and governance/risk/compliance (GRC) software industries.

His partner, Scott Ogur, a former NYU business school classmate and JPMorgan team member, continues to manage the private equity portfolio for Spruce Investment Advisors in Stamford, CT. Together, Zac and Scott began exploring new opportunities and thinking about their next endeavor, and they both admit that they never would have imagined themselves operating a business in the cannabis industry.

According to Venegas, “as the cannabis market started to come alive because of enabling legislation we began exploring opportunities in the sector. We came to realize that the cannabis industry is simply a frontier market, despite the fact that it’s located in the United States. It has all the same characteristics [as a frontier market]. After extensively researching the market through the lens of professional investors, we felt that the best way to take advantage of the opportunity was to switch into our entrepreneur role and start our own firm, and so we founded Helix TCS.”