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Douglas Riboud

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Douglas Riboud, born in 1979, is the co-founder of Harmless Harvest, a coconut water and tea supplier.

Riboud co-founded Harmless Harvest with his close friend Justin Guilbert in 2009. The two met in New York City in their college years and together they began thinking about progressive business models during their time pursuing an MBA at INSEAD in France.

In 2008, both Riboud and Guilbert quit their jobs; at the time, Riboud was a Vice President of M&A with Lazard Freres in New York City. The two business partners set off to put their education and corporate experiences to work in a positive consumerism and natural capitalism setting. With this, Harmless Harvest was born.

Two-and-a-half years later, the company’s first product, 100 percent raw and organic coconut water, was launched to major success — proof that sustainable and ethical sourcing combined with pioneering technology and no marketing budget, could work.

At first, the company’s products were only sold exclusively at Whole Foods, first appearing in September 2011, before spreading to additional retailers. In 2013, the company started selling 100% Raw Tea, a line of bottled, unsweetened tea products that include honey, lemon and peppermint.

Companies and Investments

Harmless Harvest (co-founder)

Lessons Learned

1) Failure is an option. Our company is built on innovation and each of our projects is an example of thinking from scratch. We are not afraid of failing, and we do. Nothing innovative or progressive happens without failure. Each time we learn, we grow, and most importantly, we improve.

2) Detach yourself and take it slow.

Inspiring Quotes

Douglas Riboud's Quotes

Without the retailers and customers that believed in us early on, we would not be here delivering on our promise to make better products from better sources.

Douglas Riboud

Committing to a long-term partnership with a fair trade certifier is pivotal to verifying our ecosystem-based business model.

Douglas Riboud

Influential Books


Justin Guilbert