We are working with some of the strongest leaders in the industry and the region to bring our vision to life.
Revolution's Rise of the Rest® seed fund (ROTR) is managed by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case and New York Times best-selling author J.D. Vance and is backed by over 30 iconic business leaders including Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, former Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, fashion designer Tory Burch and former Google CEO and Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt. ROTR supports entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley and other coastal tech hubs. It is a nationwide effort to work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. This is the beginning of a new era for entrepreneurship across the U.S. — high-growth companies can now start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities.
AppHarvest is currently operating from an office located in UPIKE’s new Health Professions Education building. The University is actively exploring the idea of developing curriculum that aligns with the high-tech Ag industry and provides valuable skills desired by AppHarvest’s large-scale greenhouse operation. President Dr. Burton J. Webb and Provost Dr. Lori Werth are working with Wageningen University & Research and HAS University of Applied Sciences. Both institutions are located in the Netherlands, which has earned a reputation for being the high-tech Ag capital of the world.
“UPIKE is pleased to support the efforts of AppHarvest, as they start a high-tech agricultural industry from within Appalachia. With each step forward, AppHarvest is working to build an ecosystem that will sustain the future of the region. As a university, we are committed to providing the skilled workforce necessary to maintain that momentum.”
- Dr. Burton Webb, President, University of Pikeville
"The network of high-tech greenhouses by AppHarvest will not only serve as a catalyst to provide high-quality, affordable produce to the United States, but it will serve as a model for rural economic development built on the ideas that true transformation occurs when you empower those vested in the region to dream, to explore, and to achieve."
- Jared Arnett, Executive Director, SOAR
"We are planting seeds of innovation and hope in Eastern Kentucky with home-grown engineers, like AppHarvest, leading the way as we strive to bring Silicon Valley to Silicon HollerWe are developing a high-tech workforce for high-tech enterprise in the Appalachian region to elevate our competitive edge for jobs and economic development. The resiliency and sheer talent of our people are the very reasons why we are able to diversify our economy and advance incredible ideas, like these high-tech greenhouses, in one of the most rural parts of the country."
– Congressman Hal Rogers
“AppHarvest’s project will bring exciting, high-tech job opportunities to Eastern Kentucky. Rise of The Rest's investment into AppHarvest, a promising Eastern Kentucky AgTech startup, recognizes the immediate potential of Kentucky as a key player in the tech world. We are grateful for this investment by Rise of The Rest and look forward to continue working alongside Jonathan Webb and AppHarvest as they create new opportunities for Eastern Kentucky and beyond."
- Governor Matt Bevin
"This project will capitalize on increasing demand for US-grown produce, technical innovation, the opportunity to recapture market share from beyond our borders, and an available workforce. This is an exciting opportunity that could change the economic trajectory of the entire region for decades to come."
– Ryan Quarles, Commissioner of Agriculture
Sunset is a fourth-generation family-owned greenhouse company. After four generations, the Mastronardi family still owns and manages what is now the leading greenhouse vegetable company in North America, growing and selling world-class tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, baby eggplants, and berries. The company continues to pioneer new greenhouse technology, sustainable growing practices, and the protection of heritage, old-world produce varieties.
“Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is excited to partner with innovative companies such as AppHarvest, which shares the mission and vision of our work. In 2018, Goodwill helped more than 900 individuals who have disabilities or other disadvantages achieve and maintain work in the east region of Kentucky. This work is only accomplished by relying on strong partnerships with our employer and community partners. Our team of career coaches is excited to work with AppHarvest to provide soft skills training and additional supports to ensure our candidates are ready to be successful on the job.”
- Amy Luttrell, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky