Dano Keys

CEO & Founder

Dano started his first company at a young age, and he’s never looked back. Since then he has helmed many startups in a variety of industries, many of which were eventually acquired. Dano’s business success is characterized by his extraordinary team-building abilities, canny marketing and branding acumen.

In the 1980’s Dano launched a manufacturing rep and distribution firm, overseeing it’s growth into international markets, including the US and Pacific Rim. Targeting the hospitality and sporting goods industry, his leadership resulted in the distribution of what would be among the decade’s top-selling toys.

As an early adopter of the World Wide Web of the 1990’s, Dano saw opportunity and created an Internet marketing startup that marshaled the skills of 50 of the new industry’s top developers. Under his direction, this team created a software platform allowing Fortune 500 companies and thousands of other businesses to use the power of the Internet to develop their marketing materials online. The innovative enterprise grew to include clients such as Disney, M&M Mars, Herman Miller, Hallmark, Levi Strauss, Motorola, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Boeing, Hitachi, Kaiser Permanente, Ingersoll-Rand, and Visa International.

Following the successful sale of the company, Dano turned his focus to real estate development, building a firm specializing in the luxury home market. His team of professionals designed, built and sold luxury homes while also refurbishing and selling more than fifty one-of-a-kind “fix and flips.”

One would think his varied entrepreneurial successes would have prepared him for his most challenging venture: cannabis. But, as Dano puts it, “there is nothing that could have prepared me for the wild west of cannabis in 2009.” In a then non-industry industry, there were very few rules, fewer guidelines, and no best practices. Cannabis business leaders even had to live with the daily threat of federal prosecution and incarceration.

It became clear to Dano that his cannabis startup needed a seat at the table as city and state officials began planning for this new and controversial industry. He personally joined local non-profits, participated in government hearings, and lobbied officials in an effort to educate and to put in place common sense rules and laws that would benefit not only his operation, but also the local cannabis industry as a whole.

Dano’s pioneering perseverance not only resulted in another successful startup, but eventually allowed him to sell his dispensary business. More valuable than the sale, however, was the industry knowledge he gleaned. Ever the visionary, Dano recognized this as an asset that could supply a deep industry need. In 2014, Dano assembled a team of cannabis experts to develop a portfolio of best-practice solutions that the rampantly growing cannabis industry was craving. FlexMOD was born.

Now recognized as the leading brand in the ancillary space, FlexMOD deploys its team on both hemp and cannabis projects across North America, including Canada, Puerto Rico and Jamaica. While these regions will continue to be growth markets for many years, FlexMOD is also making inroads into the Europe, where the future looks bright.

FlexMOD is one of the few startups with a founder who can claim a full decade of legal cannabis industry experience. His message to other cannabis entrepreneurs: Be ready for change. Compliance and government standards will only get more stringent. If you enter the marketplace based on today’s standards, you may not be around tomorrow. Prepare for where standards are going to be in the future.

 

Comments are closed.