In This Podcast Episode
Rob McNealy interviews Ron Rice, founder of Hawaiian Tropic, and David Cohen, founder and director of TechStars.
Ron Rice’s Bio
Ron Rice started as a poor North Carolina mountain boy. His first business was a roadside stand with items straight from the mountain such as: grapes, peaches, apples, walnuts, honey, cider, rabbits, and at Christmas time, he sold wreaths. Later Ron taught Chemistry, was a football coach, and was a summer lifeguard for 9 years in Daytona Beach. Ron is the Founder and former owner of Hawaiian Tropic. He borrowed $500 from his father, money that his father didn’t have to spare to start his endeavor. Ron had the right idea at the right time. Using Hawaiian coconut oil, fragrance, mixed in a garbage can with essences of flowers, fruit, and nuts from across the pacific, Hawaiian Tropic has become the 2nd largest suntan cosmetic in the world today with sales of over 200 million a year. In a lifetime of products, so far Hawaiian Tropic has exceeded 500 billion dollars and starting from zero, with no money or method of sales and promotion/franchisees.
David Cohen’s Bio
David Cohen is the founder and Executive Director of TechStars. He loves being around technology startups and enjoys helping innovative early stage technology companies succeed. He also has a passion for Colorado and believes it’s a fantastic community for any startup. The TechStars program combines these passions with capital, connections and real-world experience to provide a unique opportunity for early stage startups.
David is a founder of several software and web technology companies including Pinpoint Technologies of Broomfield, Colorado. While at ZOLL Data Systems, David was also the CTO. The company was acquired by ZOLL Medical Corporation (NASDAQ: ZOLL) in 1999. You can read about it in No Vision, All Drive.
David was also the founder and CEO of earFeeder.com, which was acquired by SonicSwap.com in 2006. David is also an active startup advocate, advisor, board member, and technology investor who comments on these topics on his blog at ColoradoStartups.com.