It only took five years for two brothers-in-law to create a billion-dollar, award-winning, take-no-prisoners cannabis company called HEXO. How did they do it? That’s the story.
From early roadblocks and devastating personal and financial setbacks to explosive growth and some of the biggest cannabis deals in global history, Billion Dollar Start-Up not only recounts the HEXO story but the history of Canada’s momentous road to legalization.
In this part fast-paced memoir, part high-octane business book, writer and journalist Julie Beun gives us an intimate look at the life of a start-up and the ferocious entrepreneurial drive it takes to succeed — written in real-time, as the story unfolded.
Throughout history, there have been fewer than 100 Canadians who have started a company and lived to see it become worth one billion dollars. Adam Miron and Sébastien St-Louis are two of them. This is their story.
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Adam Miron (Ottawa, ON) With at least 20 start-ups under his belt, Adam Miron is a well-known figure in political and media circles in Ottawa and across Canada. Adam is the executive chairman of the Ottawa-based blockchain innovation company Brane.
Sébastien St-Louis (Ottawa, ON) Sébastien is one of the longest-serving and most dynamic CEOs in Canada’s expanding cannabis industry.
Julie Beun (Ottawa, ON) From 2014 to 2019, Julie had a privileged front-row seat to HEXO’s remarkable evolution as its publicist, content strategist, and senior writer. As a journalist, news editor, and foreign correspondent, Julie has written articles with a national and international scope in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. She is currently a marketing communications and brand consultant who owns J Beun Media, a marketing communications company.
Published: February 2021
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.
“A story of two young men with an insatiable thirst for success and learning is compelling in itself. The ‘Billion Dollar Lessons’ that punctuate the story are essential reading for any budding entrepreneur who aspires to start the next billion-dollar company.” — Michael Henry, Dean, School of Business & Economics, Thompson Rivers University
“Two young Canadians saw a business opportunity and threw themselves into it. Their story is one of hard work, high energy, endless ingenuity, and above all, persistence. Canada's budding entrepreneurs can be inspired by the path blazed by Adam and Seb.” — Dalton McGuinty, Ontario's 24th Premier
“A front-row seat to the frenzy that drove Canada's cannabis industry to half the market capitalization of the country's gold mining industry. Compelling reading with real-world lessons you can actually use.” — Steve Brearton, award-winning business journalist and writer
“A lively, well-researched book that offers readers a true backstage pass to the ins and outs of all the work involved behind the development of a pioneering and successful Canadian cannabis company.” — Simon Gervais, former RCMP counterterrorism officer and #1 international bestselling author of Hunt Them Down
“Only a handful of companies have had the courage to strike a distinctively Canadian pose abroad.” — Literary Review of Canada
“In short, it's the inside track personified, a beautifully written account of multiple near-disasters, overcoming regulatory hurdles...navigating a black hole as far as market data was concerned, and an eye-popping cash-burn rate.” — Pivot Magazine
“How fun to now get a behind-the-scenes peek at the phrenetic growth of HEXO against the backdrop of cannabis legalization. It’s an entrepreneur’s dream … on steroids!” — Trina Fraser, partner, Brazeau Seller Law, CannaLaw® group
“A fascinating tale of two young entrepreneurs navigating through an ocean of complex health regulations, filled with finance sharks and storms of uncertainty. One of the few true success stories in the frantic new cannabis business.” — Tristan Péloquin, cannabis beat reporter, La Presse
“HEXO is a uniquely Canadian story. I witnessed its rise firsthand but reading this expertly crafted narrative was beyond enlightening and inspiring. The artist Prince said, ‘a strong spirit transcends rules.’ There’s some great transcendence in this book.” — Raine Maida, lead singer of multi-platinum rock band, Our Lady Peace
“The objective facts flavoured by the colourful creativity of a story weaver and tempered with the discipline of a historian. This delicious tableau brings the wonder and excitement to the reader, experienced by the participants of this entrepreneurial adventure themselves!” — Michel Weatherall, editor-in-chief at Broken Keys Publishing, author of The Symbiot Trilogy
“From financial hardships to life-changing moments, this book covers it all and is a must-read for any aspiring entrepreneur.” — Hardbacon