Nate Holzapfel is a force. The man was born to sell.
Nate realized that there was a market when it came to belts. Belts have been made the same way for generations. No one ever considering augmenting the design or the way that they work, despite that there are noticeable issues when it comes to belts.
First of all, there are plenty of people who fluctuate in weight at times. Sometimes losing 10 pounds here, gaining 10 pounds there. So, when you go to buy a belt, you can find a belt that fits you perfectly right at the second notch, for example. Well, the thing is, it only fits perfectly on that one day. Next week might be a different story, and in 3 months it might be entirely different.
Second, the holes are usually separated by an inch or two. This means that for someone who’s ideal size is in between two of those belt holes, they are out of luck. Either that or they need to make a new hole themselves, that probably won’t look so good.
Nate’s invention is the Mission Belt. It is a belt which has no holes. Through his patented design, he managed to create a belt that clicks into place, rather than relying on traditional belt holes. This means that you’ll only need one belt no matter what. It is a far more precise fit than any other belt on the market.
So what is the mission? Well, the Mission aspect of the Mission Belt is a philanthropic endeavor that Nate wished to pursue since he invented the product. For every belt sold, a dollar is then donated to people who are struggling with hunger and poverty throughout the world. It isn’t your standard type of donation either, these are called micro-donations. A lot of philanthropic organizations donate in bulk to governments. Unfortunately, sometimes the money is mismanaged or it falls victim to corruption. Micro-donations are anywhere from $25 to $500 and they go directly to a person or a few people who need it. Removing that additional layer of bureaucracy has proven to be highly effective.
Mission Belt on Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 4 Episode 23
Nate walks into the Tank with his chest out and a very confident aura about him. He is not at all intimidated by the Sharks or the spotlight. You can tell that he is built for this kind of thing and is enjoying the opportunity. This resonates well with the Sharks right off the bat. Naturally, these billionaire investors know the real deal when they see a salesman of Nate’s caliber.
Nate explains that everyone has a belt and that for so long no one has ever thought to change the design of the belt. Nate speaks with his hands and brings big energy, ideal characteristics for a salesman. With a bit of sales pizazz, Nate undoes his belt to show them how easy it is with his design, to which Mark Cuban warns, “careful” in a joking way.
The belt is removed so easily because of the release mechanism built into the belt, which he showcases to the Sharks. He also shows them the ratchet system that keeps the belt in place, making sure that they hear the clicks audibly as he puts the belt in place. He describes it as “a giant zip tie for your pants.”
Nate explains that he is a husky man and that keeping his pants around his waist is a “full-time job” which is met by a lot of laughter from the Sharks. Nate also understands the value of humor in making sales. He finishes his pitch by telling the Sharks that, he believes, with their help he can make this product colossal.
Nate hands out sample products for the Sharks to examine. They are all impressed by the quality of the belts and Nate explains that, despite their high quality, they are still affordable. No other similar products exist on the market.
Nate explains, in response to a question from one of the Sharks, that the reason he is standing before them is to get some assistance in getting his product into retail stores. He is an excellent salesman, but he doesn’t have the connections that he requires to have his product everywhere.
Information is revealed throughout the discussion, including the fact that in the last 3 months Nate has done $39k in sales. It’s impressive when taking into consideration the fact that he is only selling to small businesses mostly. He also explains to the sharks that the belts are only $6 each to produce, and he sells them for $35.
At this point in the episode, Nate can get a few Sharks on his side. An issue is raised that people might not understand exactly what makes his product so unique, so they may not consider it. He explains that he goes around to each retailer he sells to and gives them a rundown of the product and what makes it special. The Sharks can tell that he is all about connecting with his customers and making an impression. Nate explains that one of the first things he did upon arriving in LA was that he went around selling belts to people. He sold 20 belts right after landing. This is met by one of the best reactions possible, Mark and Daymond especially love it.
Kevin and Barbara both explain that they enjoy the product, however, each of them has concerns regarding the distribution of the product. They think it would be important to market the product in a way that people know it is more than just an ordinary belt, but they don’t know how they would be able to do that. For that reason, each of them drop out.
As Sharks drop off, it comes down to Nate and Daymond. Daymond offers the $50k that Nate is seeking, but instead of 20% equity, Daymond wants 40% equity. Nate counters, requesting that Daymond consider a deal for 30% instead. In the end, they come to an agreement on $50k for 37.5% equity in the company. Both Nate and Daymond are thrilled to be working with one another.
Life After Shark Tank
Taking a look at the website, you can see that the product has become quite successful and they have even expanded the business beyond just belts.
Nate has had a lot of success since his appearance on the show, both with his Mission Belt business as well as his brand. The man has a lot of fans these days and he goes around giving talks. He has been featured on TV several times since his appearance in front of the sharks, including an interview with Larry King.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Mission Belt, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.