September 19, 2021
It’s getting easier for consumers to purchase American-made goods, thanks to an enterprising new ecommerce tool WeCultivate. Founded in 2019 by Harsh Khurana and backed by billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Cultivate provides a browser extension that instantly delivers a curated marketplace of American-made goods in a broad range of categories — including lighting. Los Angeles-based Alcon Lighting is the latest domestic lighting manufacturer to join the roster.
Owned and operated by brothers Jake and David Hakimi, Alcon manufactures commercial-grade lighting for healthcare, industrial kitchen, workspace, and retail applications in its California facility.
The bottleneck in overseas production and shipping from China caused by the pandemic has heightened the demand for American-made goods. Using the WeCultivate website, shoppers can browse American-made products directly from the platform’s search tool or add its browser extension.
“I’m a big believer in buy American, invest in America,” Mark Cuban told FOX Business when he invested in the New Jersey-based enterprise in 2020. “Cultivate can be a big step forward.”
Cultivate’s founder and CEO Harsh Khurana remarked, “Mark is a true visionary. He invested in us before the product was even a proof of concept. He’s the only person I reached out to as a VC, and within a couple days, he said, ‘Let’s do this.’”
Cultivate’s philosophy resonated with two young sibling entrepreneurs behind Alcon. “I admire Mark Cuban’s competitive spirit and commitment to entrepreneurship, so when he talked about investing in Cultivate for its founding ideal of high-quality, American-made products, it caught my attention,” said Alcon Lighting Chief Digital Officer and Co-Owner David Hakimi. “Our family business was born in Southern California and it’s a part of who we are. It’s our conviction that a healthy, thriving community begins at home. So, we strive to source parts, components, and supplies from manufacturers making the highest quality products here in the USA. After studying Cultivate’s site and approach, we decided to act.”
The slowdown in the global supply chain was the final catalyst. “Communities have been drained, stifled, and challenged in recent months,” Hakimi observed. “Our customers, who are often architects and interior designers, contractors and property owners, want to simplify lighting for a variety of purposes,” he said, citing recent case studies such as fitness, healthcare, and commercial lighting projects—including a Texas property for shared office space. “They want intelligent lighting systems that stand up to today’s highest design and technology standards,” Hakimi explained. “They also want products that last. They want it made, shipped, and delivered with reliability and accountability. We’re enthusiastic about working with Cultivate to distribute our American-made lighting products.”