Cole Harper

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Cole Harper
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Born (1983-12-06) December 6, 1983 (age 40)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
  • Businessman
  • Entrepreneur
  • Film Producer
Years active2010–present
Taylor Harper (m. 2018)
  • Scott Harper (father)
  • Cindy Harper (mother)
  • Whitney Lee (sister)
  • Jack Lee (brother in law)
  • Brooke Harper (sister)
  • Ezra Harper (child)
  • Oliver Harper (child)

Cole Harper (born December 6, 1983) is an American businessman, entrepreneur and film producer. He is best known as the co-founder of Utopia alongside business partner Robert Coppola Schwartzman.

Early life

Harper was born in St. Louis, Missouri where he spent his entire childhood before attending the University of Missouri-Columbia to study business finance. Upon graduating in 2006, Harper moved to Chicago, Illinois.


Harper began his professional career as a business consultant at Accenture, where he primarily serviced Fortune 500 clients in the finance industry on technology-related projects. Harper left Accenture for Citadel Investment Group where he supported business and operations departments with technology-enabled improvements, such as trading algorithm enhancements across funds and platforms.


In 2010, Harper and business partner Marc Doering co-founded SceneTap, a technology company that installed people-counting and facial detection sensors in bars and nightlife establishments that could provide consumers and business owners with real-time data regarding crowd size, gender and age of patrons at a given establishment.[1] SceneTap was selected as a finalist in the 2012 South by Southwest Technology Interactive Competition[2] and won the 2013 Award for Chicago's Coolest Startup.[3] As of its acquisition in 2014 from BarVision, SceneTap had deployed its services across many cities and college towns.[4][5]

DoorStat, MovieRanker and Other Ventures

Following the SceneTap acquisition, Harper launched several unrelated companies, including DoorStat, which attempted to deploy similar people-counting and demographic sensors in sports venues, movie theaters, fitness centers, retailers and real estate properties as a private B2B service. DoorStat was selected to join the 1st cohort of companies in the Los Angeles Dodgers Technology Accelerator Program with R/GA Ventures in 2015[6], though it struggled to scale in any particular vertical and experienced cash flow issues. In early 2020 following the onset of Covid-19, DoorStat officially wound down operations.

In 2016, Harper launched a film-related marketplace, MovieRanker, with the hopes to give consumers free tools to discover and catalog movies they would want to watch. MovieRanker also provides automated news feeds on entertainment news and curated, customized reviews and articles for new releases, reviews and more.

Harper has also actively advised and invested in several private companies and initiatives.

Utopia Media

In 2018, Harper co-founded Utopia Media,[7] a "filmmaker first" distribution company.

In 2019, Utopia released its first batch of licensed films, which included Errol Morris' American Dharma, Annabelle Attanasio's Mickey and the Bear, Lynn Shelton's Sword of Trust and blue-grass music documentary Fiddlin'.

In 2020, Utopia Media announced the launch of Altavod, a platform for filmmakers to more easily distribute and profit from their films. Altavod originally launched in partnership with Unanimous Media’s[8] documentary Jump Shot,[9] a documentary that uncovered the inspiring true story of the forgotten basketball legend who developed, pioneered, and popularized the modern-day jump shot, which included Stephen Curry as executive producer.

As of 2023, Utopia has launched several production, service-oriented and development-related subsidiaries, and in totality, represents a catalog exceeding 100 films and documentaries.[10]

In 2024, Utopia began forming an advisory board and new initiatives to benefit filmmakers and film development.[11]


  1. "SceneTap Founder on Creating a Real World Nightlife App - Chicago Business".
  2. "Six Austin Startups Make SXSW Interactive Accelerator Finalists - Dallas News".
  3. "The CEC Names Cleversafe the 2013 Momentum Award Winner, SceneTap the First Annual Coolest Startup Winner - 1871".
  4. "Cheers, BarVision Teams Up With SceneTap - AZ Tech Beat".
  5. "San Francisco Hates Your Startup - ZD Net". ZDNet.
  6. "Los Angeles Dodgers give Chicago-based DoorStat big-league shot - Chicago Tribune". Chicago Tribune.
  7. "Robert Schwartzman Launches Utopia Distribution Company – Deadline". Deadline – Hollywood Entertainment Breaking News. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  8. "Unanimous Media". Unanimous Media. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  9. "JUMP SHOT MOVIE". JUMP SHOT MOVIE. April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  10. "Utopia Official Website".
  11. "Dave A Liu Joins Utopia as Strategic Advisor - Variety Exclusive".

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