The Factionist Before Shark Tank
Nate Berkopec is a nineteen year old student and entrepreneur, originally from Eagan, Minnesota. He moved to New York to study business at New York University. He started a company called The Factionist with the goal to be ethically conscious and to make the world a better place to live in.
Nate Berkopec states that his products target sixteen to twenty four year olds that care about social issues. According to Nate Berkopec, his generation really wants to make the world a better place, and he thinks his company is the embodiment of that.
Nate Berkopec states that as a business student at New York University, he learned a lot about evaluating an idea, and putting that idea into action. Nate Berkopec claims that as an entrepreneur, it is really easy to do your marketing research, especially if you are the market. Nate Berkopec really is a nineteen year old college student who cares about the environment and social issues, which is why his company and products will reflect that.
The reason why Nate Berkopec decided to appear on Shark Tank is because he believes that he has the passion and drive to turn The Factionist into a multi-million dollar company; however, what he doesn’t have is the capital, which is why needs really needs an investment from the Sharks.
The Factionist On Shark Tank
Nate Berkopec starts by talking about himself and then he tells them that his company is called The Factionist. Nate Berkopec continues by stating that he is looking for an investment of thirty thousand dollars, in exchange for a twenty percent stake in his company.
Nate Berkopec states that today’s young adults like himself, are some of the most environmentally and socially aware in years. He claims that there has been such a huge youth turnout at the elections recently that he couldn’t even sleep because of all the people just running down the streets of New York and shouting “Yes We Can!”
Nate Berkopec also claims that you cannot continue this mindset in clothing, due to the fact that environmentally friendly clothing are just bland and expensive.
The Factionist is an ethical and environmentally friendly apparel brand, designed by and for Nate Berkopec’s generation. The Factionist is a brand that you could just feel good about buying, not only because it looks good, but because you didn’t spend a lot of money and it doesn’t hurt the environment.
According to Nate Berkopec, the bottom line is that The Factionist is not just another apparel brand, it’s a movement. Nate Berkopec states that it is time for the Sharks to invest in America’s future.
“Kevin O’Leary sarcastically asks Nate Berkopec if he is going to save the world”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying yes, but that he is also going to make money by saving the world.
“Robert Herjavec asks Nate Berkopec what his current sales are”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that his sales are around three thousand dollars, but that he just started The Factionist about six months ago. He states that he has been selling the t-shirts through college friends mainly.
“Kevin Harrington asks Nate Berkopec if he is only selling t-shirts”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that his products are indeed only t-shirts that are organic. A portion of the t-shirts are being made in Uganda; however, he wants to expand his business, in order to be able to reach more likeminded people.
“Robert Herjavec asks Nate Berkopec if he makes the t-shirts himself”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that he doesn’t make the t-shirts himself, he simply silkscreens the logos on the t-shirts.
“Daymond John asks Nate Berkopec what he does for a living”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that he is a fulltime student at New York University, studying business.
Robert Herjavec states that The Factionist is not a business yet and that Nate Berkopec doesn’t make the t-shirts himself. According to Robert Herjavec, all that Nate Berkopec really does is silkscreen a good saying on a t-shirt.
“Robert Herjavec asks Nate Berkopec what is so different about him compared to the million other environmentally friendly students in New York”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that firstly, he is a business student.
Kevin O’Leary states that if Nate Berkopec is a business student, he would know that it is going to be very difficult to take the enthusiasm, and turn it into a profitable business. According to Kevin O’Leary, the t-shirt business is a brutally competitive business, which you can already tell by all the street vendors in New York. The fact is that there is nothing special about The Factionist t-shirts, because everyone can stamp a quote on a t-shirt and sell it.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nate Berkopec what his margins are”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that his margins are over fifty percent.
Kevin O’Leary states that the answer is irrelevant, because The Factionist is not even a business yet.
Daymond John states that Nate Berkopec hasn’t even gone to private manufactures yet, so how is he going to make his t-shirts environmentally friendly.
“Daymond John asks Nate Berkopec if he is going to use bamboo for his t-shirts”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that he is indeed going to use organic bamboo as a material, because it is the best material on the market to create environmentally friendly clothing.
“Daymond John asks Nate Berkopec if he knows how much bamboo costs”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that it definitely costs more than cotton.
Daymond John states that Nate Berkopec’s graphics aren’t even that unique.
Nate Berkopec states that with the thirty thousand dollars that he is asking for as an investment, he will be able to grab artists from countries such as Uganda, allowing him to say that the t-shirt is designed by someone that has been going through hardships.
Robert Herjavec states that there are a million other people with a movement, who also have more brand, more credibility, more PR and more money.
Nate Berkopec states that there could be a thousand other companies out there who have millions of more dollars than himself, but what they don’t have is the authenticity. Young adults can smell authenticity from a mile away.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nate Berkopec if he has every worked for somebody that runs a successful business”
Nate Berkopec answers the question that his dad is an incredible businessman, and that he is also currently working for him.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Nate Berkopec how come his own dad won’t give him the investment”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that he is a good dad, and that he wouldn’t just give his son thirty thousand dollars, just because he wants to start a business.
Kevin O’Leary states that the reason why Nate Berkopec’s dad will not give him the thirty thousand dollars is because his dad is a smart investor. Kevin O’Leary continues by saying that if he was Nate Berkopec’s dad, it would be very hard for him to say that The Factionist is simply not an original or unique idea. Kevin O’Leary states that he is out.
“Daymond John asks Nate Berkopec how old he is”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that he is nineteen years old.
“Barbara Corcoran asks Nate Berkopec why he doesn’t have his brand on his t-shirt”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that the quotes on the t-shirts are already enough to start a conversation with someone, which is why it doesn’t have a brand on it.
“Robert Herjavec asks Nate Berkopec how he would be able to find the t-shirt and purchase it, if he doesn’t even know what brand it is”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying that Robert Herjavec would have to walk up to someone that is wearing a The Factionist t-shirt and ask him or her.
Daymond John states that Nate Berkopec’s branding is one the poorest that he has ever heard in his life, because there are millions of people in New York alone, and asking them where they purchased the t-shirt that they are wearing is not a good solution.
Kevin Harrington states that Nate Berkopec’s business only has three thousand dollars in sales, while the company itself is valuated at a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. With only three thousand dollars in sales, there is no track record to see if the company is actually going to make it or not. For that reason, Kevin Harrington is out.
Nate Berkopec states that he understand that his business is risky, but that the investment would be considered long term, and would be very useful to expand his business.
Daymond John states that the investment is short term, because any investor would immediately lose his money.
Robert Herjavec states that Nate Berkopec is living in a fantasy world, and even though he has a lot of passion, which is really the only reason why he is still in front of the Sharks. Once Nate Berkopec steps over to the real world, he would have to have real data. Robert Herjavec states that three thousand dollars in sales, on a t-shirt that Nate Berkopec doesn’t make himself, but rather silkscreens, is a ludicrous idea. Robert Herjavec is out as well.
Barbara Corcoran states that for her, the numbers simply do not add up. She states that she wished she could say she is in, but unfortunately, she is out as well.
Daymond John states that he knows a little bit about t-shirts, and the fact that Nate Berkopec is trying to sell t-shirts that he didn’t even make or design himself, is a very risky endeavor. Daymond John states that he is afraid his t-shirt will say that he has invested in Nate Berkopec and lost a hundred percent of his money. Daymond John is out as well.
Kevin O’Leary states that he wants Nate Berkopec to go back to his Business 101 class, and tell everyone that he went on Shark Tank and got beating to a pulp.
Nate Berkopec states that he doesn’t feel like it’s a mistake to have confidence in yourself, otherwise he is not going to get anywhere.
Robert Herjavec states that Nate Berkopec is absolutely right, which is also the reason why Nate Berkopec is still in front of the Sharks.
“Robert Herjavec asks Nate Berkopec if he has learned anything by being on Shark Tank”
Nate Berkopec answers the question by saying yes and that even though you could have all the confidence in yourself, it doesn’t mean that you can appear on Shark Tank without actual sales or data.
Robert Herjavec states that Nate Berkopec is going down the right path, but he simply should try not to lose his passion, because that is infectious.
At the end interview, Nate Berkopec states that he feels good that he tried as hard as he could, but he also feels disappointed that he couldn’t secure an investment.
The Factionist Now in 2018 – The After Shark Tank Update
Nate Berkopec was only a nineteen year old college student when he appeared on Shark Tank. He had so much passion about what he was doing; however, he really needed an investment from the Sharks in order to be able to get his business off the ground.
Unfortunately, Nate Berkopec was not able to secure an investment from any of the Sharks, due to the fact that he simply did not have a business yet. The Sharks believed that there was nothing unique about the t-shirts that Nate Berkopec was trying to sell, especially because anyone can print text and logos on t-shirts and try to sell them.
There is no mention of The Factionist being the best or worst on Shark Tank. The reason why none of the Sharks wanted to invest in The Factionist is because they believed that there are a million other companies that offer the same kind of products.
After doing some research, I found out that Nate Berkopec immediately shut down his company because he wanted to pursuit other interests. He does state that the Shark Tank lawyers used to call him once a year to collect the two percent royalty fee; however, because of the fact that The Factionist didn’t exist anymore, Nate Berkopec did not send in any checks.
The fact is that every company that appears on the Shark Tank has to pay two percent of their net income to ABC, in the form of royalty fees. That percentage has been increased to five percent royalty fees, which seems a bit absurd, because even if you do not secure an investment from the Sharks, you still have to pay royalty fees.
Apparently, Nate Berkopec ended up becoming a developer/programmer after he appeared on the Shark Tank. He did work for Barbara Corcoran for a while, and he states that it has been a great experience to be able to learn from her.