Sun, 9 August 2015
About: Nate Holzapfel - Co-Founder of Mission Belt Company, appeared on Shark Tank
Overview: Though Nate does not have a college degree, he has become a very successful entrepreneur. He was able to secure Daymond John from Shark Tank as an investor in his belt company and is focused on giving back to third world countries as well as sharing what he knows with other business owners.
Mission Belt Co: Nate realized that belt branding hadn't really been done before. He saw a hole in the market and made the plunge. His passion is creating an awesome product for his customers.
Giving Back: Each time Mission Belt sells a belt, a dollar goes to fight hunger and poverty worldwide through micro-lending. These micro-loans range from $25-$500 dollars per loan.
Staff: 40-50 employees, and are based in Northern Utah.
Challenges: Early on, Mission Belt struggled with getting the word out. Nate realized that he needed to create his brand identity and do everything he could to sell his product. As a leader in his company, he needed to keep the energy flowing to get his passion to the salesman by providing them with the tools they need.
Shark Tank Appearance: When you apply to be on the show, you are up against 40,000-50,000 people who apply each year. Nate submitted his audition via email and was lucky enough to get a call back. Then he did a dry audition in front of hundreds of people and got the attention he was looking for because of his ability to be a master story-teller. Four months later, he eventually made his way in front of the investors and made his pitch. Daymond John ended up investing in Mission Belt and after Nate's airing on that show, sold $1million in sales 3 weeks later. Now, Nate spends a lot of time talking with Daymond and benefiting from his mentorship.
Advice for Entrepreneurs: Start your company now. Hire experts to do work for you. You don't need to do everything. You don't need an amazing degree to be successful. You can start with nothing and get to where you want to be. The more successful business people we have in the world, the better off we are.
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