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Whatever Happened To Mission Belt After Shark Tank?

In his short "Shark Tank" pitch for Mission Belt, co-founder Nate Holzapfel anticipated the judges' scrutiny and beat them to the punch. When it comes to a thousand-year-old accessory, he said, "Some people might ask, 'Why reinvent the wheel?' At the Mission Belt company, we've asked, 'Why not?'" That willingness to reimagine a tried-and-true product is a common occurrence on "Shark Tank," whether it's the wildly popular Bombas Socks or Qball's fresh take on a microphone.

In the case of Holzapfel, he and his brother Zac launched their start-up Mission Belt in 2012 in the hopes of reimagining the belt, replacing the typical hole-and-insert style with a durable ratchet. The brothers had a philanthropic vision for their company as well, combining sales with micro-loans in the hope of fighting poverty. With only 3 months of sales under their belt (zing!), the Holzapfels had already made $39,000 in Mission Belt sales. In the Season 4 episode, Lori, Kevin, and Robert rejected a deal, leaving Daymond to ultimately invest $50,000 for 37.5% equity. Here's how the belt company has fared since its "Shark Tank" debut.

The Mission Belt co-founder has racked up several criminal charges

In the years since appearing on "Shark Tank" in 2013, Mission Belt has proven to be a coveted menswear item. In 2017, Zac Holzapfel confirmed that Mission Belt had made roughly $25 million in sales since launching in 2012 with about 60,000 corresponding micro-loans. The profitable company also launched licensed sports belts featuring the logos of NBA, NHL, and collegiate sports teams.

Much of Mission Belt's success, however, has been eclipsed by various legal troubles and criminal charges incurred by the company's co-founder, Nate Holzapfel. In 2018, Nate was sued by Larry King for using the entertainer's likeness in a "mock interview" for sales purposes (via The Blast). In 2021, he was charged with communications fraud for defrauding an extramarital partner out of $200,000, allegedly causing her to lose her house that had been constructed with accommodations for her disabled son. The "Shark Tank" contestant was later accused of defrauding two more victims, and as of 2022, has also racked up charges of theft by deception, forcible sexual abuse, operating as an unlicensed broker, and lewdness (via Deseret News).

In 2021, Mission Belt released a statement claiming it had severed all ties with Holzapfel. "Nate Holzapfel has not been associated with Mission Belt for more than seven years and has no dealings with any of its employees, managers or customers. Nate Holzapfel does not represent Mission Belt in any capacity."

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