SALT LAKE CITY — In a confluence of efforts centered on social consciousness, Utah gear company Cotopaxi is among the first companies to receive funding from Rise of the Rest.
Rise of the Rest is an investment effort — launched by billionaire AOL founder Steve Case and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance — aimed at discovering and supporting innovation companies outside Silicon Valley and East Coast tech epicenters.
The fiscal infusion, announced Friday, will help Cotopaxi expand its branded brick-and-mortar stores in select U.S. cities, with a Utah store slated to open in Murray’s Fashion Place mall, adding to the company’s original, and only, retail space in downtown’s City Creek Center.
Cotopaxi CEO Davis Smith said he connected with Case last summer during a Rise of the Rest tour stop in Utah, and it became clear that Cotopaxi’s committment to giving back — the company commits 2 percent of its revenues to fund projects in the developing world — was simpatico with the goal of Rise of the Rest to seek out and fund startups in rural and out-of-the-way U.S. locales.
“(Case’s) vision is that a lot of the innovation that will be coming out of the U.S. will not be out of Silicon Valley or New York or Boston but the rest of the country,” Smith said. “Places that are ignored. I think he really connected with what we’re shooting for with a Utah brand that’s looking beyond ourselves. It’s a great fit.”
The Rise of the Rest mission statement has also resonated with a veritable all-star list of business titans with the likes of Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Eric Schmidt (Alphabet), Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Henry Kravis (KKR), Sara Blakely (Spanx) and numerous others tagging in as stakeholders. The New York Times characterized the backers of the $150 million startup fund — managed via another …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Business News