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Cowbucker is not only a RAIN Eugene Accelerator success story, but the founders are all graduates of the University of Oregon’s MBA program – and they started Cowbucker while students at the UO!

Starting a company is an incredibly difficult process—both practically and strategically. RAIN gave us a space to test our ideas, get feedback, and push us in new directions we wouldn’t have considered on our own. The program gave us access to mentors and advisors who have been in our shoes before, and who know what it takes to succeed. The mentorship and guidance we received at RAIN has been invaluable to our success and growth over the last year.” – Derek Schloss (Founder)


  • Funds Raised – $300,000
  • Licensed and selling product on 26 college campuses across the US and Canada. In addition, we have just been approved by licensing departments at five new colleges, where we will launch new product in Spring 2016.
  • Selling licensed collegiate product in Fred Meyer Department stores.
  • Selling licensed collegiate product with Follett, a national campus bookstore company.
  • Currently on-boarding with a national apparel retailer.
  • 2015 New Hires
    • Operations Employee (Full Time)
    • Designer (Full Time)
    • Designer (Part Time)
    • Marketing Employee (Part-Time)
    • 6 new independent sales reps around the U.S.
  • Released two new products in Fall 2015
    • The Buckeroo (The Bucker For Kids).
    • The Fiver (5-Panel Hat). Our five-panel hat is a modern take on a classic style, utilizing lightweight materials like mesh and foam along with an adjustable snapback.
  • Growing sales in four separate verticals.
    • Collegiate (e.g. University of Oregon)
    • Promotional (e.g. Creating custom hats for Eugene breweries like Falling Sky, Ninkasi)
    • Blanks (e.g. Selling blank hats to customizers / screen printers).
    • Cowbucker Designs (e.g. Building out our “State Flag” line after successfully raising $35,000 on Kickstarter).
  • Nearing completion of pop-up shop/store located at our Office/Warehouse on 228 E. 11th Ave, Eugene, Oregon 97401. Our small pop-up shop located on 11th Ave. will carry all of our current inventory, including soon-to-be-released Cowbucker hats, shirts, and other swag.
Three Co-Founders: Whitney Alexander, Derek Schloss, Chris Watkins
Formed Company: March 2014 (All while students at the UO MBA program)
RAIN Accelerator: July – October 2014
First Hit Stores: October 2014 (Just as they were exiting the RAIN Accelerator)