Morris is the youngest ever to receive the honor
LEXINGTON, KY (November 21, 2019) – Rubicon Founder and CEO Nate Morris was inducted into the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame on Wednesday evening. Morris is the youngest person ever to receive the honor.
The Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame shares and celebrates the stories of Kentucky’s most successful entrepreneurs. Founded in 2010 and now run by Awesome Inc., the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Sustainable Business Ventures Corporation, the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame’s mission is to raise awareness of the impact that entrepreneurship has made in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, while encouraging others to pursue similarly ambitious endeavors.
“I share this award with my teachers who encouraged me to push hard for my dreams and never give up,” said Morris. “I received an amazing public education in Kentucky and for that I will always be incredibly grateful. Rubicon is proof that technology can have a positive impact on job creation and opportunity, and that the free market is a tremendous catalyst for environmental innovation.”
With a companywide mission to end waste, Rubicon is a technology company that provides a suite of SaaS products for waste, recycling, and smart city solutions, and collects and analyzes data for businesses and governments worldwide. Under Morris’s leadership, Rubicon has become a driver for groundbreaking change across the waste and recycling industry, expanding operations to five continents and 18 countries. Rubicon has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and as an Industry Disruptor by Inc.
A ninth-generation Kentuckian, Morris was born in Lexington and raised by a single mother with the help of his grandfather, who was a United Automobile Workers leader. Morris graduated from Eastern High School and won academic scholarships to attend college and graduate school.
In 2008, Morris and high school friend Marc Spiegel started Rubicon in Kentucky. Marc’s family had been in the garbage hauling trade for more than a century; his knowledge piqued Morris’s interest in starting a company that could disrupt the waste industry. Morris used a $10,000 line of credit, maxed out credit cards and sold items on eBay to fund initial expenses, including the Rubicon website and basic legal work.
Intent on building a different kind of technology company outside of Silicon Valley, Morris founded Rubicon with the mission to end waste while using the free market to bring positive change to the world. An early adopter and supporter of benefit corporations, Rubicon was recognized as a “Best of the World” Certified B Corporation in the reporting categories of the Environment and Governance. A cornerstone of Rubicon’s employment benefits is the 100% payment of employee health care premiums.
Morris has led Rubicon’s fundraising efforts. Investors in Rubicon include Leonardo DiCaprio, Henry Kravis and Marc Benioff. In 2017, Forbes reported that Rubicon’s valuation was more than $1 billion. Morris is the first Kentuckian to build a venture-backed technology startup with a valuation that exceeds a billion dollars.
Morris was the first Kentuckian to be named to Fortune magazine’s 40 Under 40 list and to be named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He was named an Outstanding Young Kentuckian by the Kentucky Junior Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and received the U.S. Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Americans award in 2013.
A signatory of the Founders Pledge, Morris created the Morris Foundation to provide opportunities for self-advancement. He is a benefactor to the University of Kentucky. Morris was named the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the UK Gatton College of Business and Economics. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Gatton College.
Morris is married to Jane Mosbacher Morris, the founder of TO THE MARKET and author of Buy the Change You Want to See: Use Your Purchasing Power to Make the World a Better Place (Penguin Random House, January 2019).
Also inducted in the 2019 class: Dudley Webb, Chairman and Co-Founder of The Webb Companies; Mike Davis, co-Founder of Appriss; and Debbie Scoppechio, Founder of Scoppechio (inducted posthumously).
Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductees include iconic business leaders Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, restaurant entrepreneur and Churchill Downs, Inc. director; John Y. Brown, Jr., former governor of Kentucky; David Jones, Sr., founder of Humana; Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton, namesake of the University of Kentucky Gatton College; Bruce Lunsford, health care entrepreneur; Bill Samuels, Jr., former CEO of Maker’s Mark; Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken; Chris Sullivan, founder of Outback Steakhouse; and William T. Young, legendary thoroughbred owner.
Rubicon provides a suite of SaaS products for waste, recycling, and smart city solutions, and collects and analyzes data for businesses and governments worldwide. Using technology to help turn businesses into more sustainable enterprises and neighborhoods into greener and smarter places to live and work, Rubicon’s mission is to end waste in all of its forms. The company is a Certified B Corporation, affirming that Rubicon meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance. Rubicon has been named a Great Place to Work® and was recognized as one of Glassdoor’s “Top Ten Companies with Seriously Impressive Benefits”. Learn more about Rubicon at www.rubiconglobal.com.
Director of Communications, Rubicon