Davis Smith

Founder & CEO, Cotopaxi, Pacific U.S.

Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand with a humanitarian mission, focuses on fighting extreme poverty through investments in education, health care and livelihood training in some of the poorest communities in the Americas. Through Davis Smith’s leadership, the foundation assisted over 880,000 people experiencing poverty and setbacks due to the pandemic.

With a social mission at its core, Cotopaxi was the first company to incorporate from inception as a Benefit Corporation and subsequently raise venture capital. The company has set a new benchmark in corporate responsibility; a for-profit company that seeks to fight extreme poverty, inspire adventure and move people to do good. Cotopaxi is backed by Bain Capital Double Impact.

When Smith founded Cotopaxi in 2014, his dream was to find a way to sustainably alleviate poverty at scale and to inspire others to join him in this movement. Smith believes that a for-profit business could be a driving force for good in the world, and there is more to business than making a profit. He has since dedicated himself to redefining capitalism to address the problems he first witnessed as a child.

Smith previously founded Brazil’s Startup of the Year and was Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s CEO of the Year. He is a member of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Leadership Council, a Presidential Leadership Scholar, and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Smith holds an MBA from the Wharton School, a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s from Brigham Young University. He is an adventurer who has visited 70 countries, has floated down the Amazon on a self-made raft, kayaked from Cuba to Florida and explored North Korea. Smith is a loving husband and father of four children and resides in Salt Lake City where Cotopaxi is also based.

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