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Sustainable Success

May 1, 2022
Marc Spiegel, Alum

“We were learning as we were building the company,” says Marc Spiegel, with a laugh. “We once drove to Frankfort just to register the LLC because we didn’t know you could do that online.”

In the nearly 14 years since co-founding Rubicon Technologies with high school friend Nate Morris, Marc has come a long way. A native of Louisville, Marc Spiegel now lives in Atlanta, GA where, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rubicon once maintained a leadership office. A two-time graduate of the University of Louisville, Marc obtained his undergraduate degree in sports administration and a graduate degree in public administration.

“I wanted to learn the business of sport…my plans were to go to law school after college and be a sports agent,” he says. Those plans changed, and Marc got involved with the family business of waste management.

Beyond the Family Business

His family has been in the solid waste and recycling industry since 1909. After completing his undergraduate degree, he started working with his cousin on a new project and inspiration struck. “I had the opportunity to work with my cousin on a startup and realized that there was an opportunity to use data technology to revolutionize the [waste and recycling] experience.”

Marc reconnected with Nate and the two of them started building what would become Rubicon. “We took my experience in the solid waste and recycling space and asked, ‘How can we reimagine this industry through the use of data and technology while focusing on sustainable outcomes?’”

Thus, Rubicon was born. Today it is a leading provider of cloud-based solutions for the waste and recycling sector, serving businesses and governments around the world. Through the company’s suite of software solutions, organizations of all kinds can monitor how their waste is managed, track their recycling rates, and understand how much waste they are diverting from landfills. Rubicon collects, analyzes, and presents this information via its digital platform so customers can make more informed decisions about their waste operations, and execute their sustainability goals.

The company has seen great success since its inception. If Marc had any doubts about that success, they were cast aside when he was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 list in 2016, a mere five years after the company opened its office in the city.

“Whenever you move somewhere, you have to have the opportunity to create your own network and create your own name,” Marc says. “That was something I relished. It was a sign of respect that the people in the community recognized some of what we were doing, not just me, but our incredible team.”

Staying Connected

Marc is still very involved in and passionate about Louisville and UofL. He frequently visits and stays informed on what’s happening at the University. “My wife and I hold Louisville close to our hearts. We cheer for the Cards whenever we can. We as a university need to be aspirational. With every hire we make, we need to figure out who is the absolute best and what will it take to go get them. And then we need to do everything in our power to get them. We need to think like that across the board.”

The best advice Marc has for any student, faculty member, staff, or alumni from UofL is to not sell yourself short. “I think when you surround yourself with people who are aspirational, you tend to excel because you chase greatness instead of accepting mediocrity. Sometimes you need that extra push from somebody who believes in you, but you have to be empowered to do it yourself. It’s wild how much that can bring you.”