What Happened to The Factionist after the Shark Tank Pitch?

What Happened to The Factionist after the Shark Tank Pitch?

The Factionist after the Shark Tank Update

The Factionist is a startup that was featured on Shark Tank for their innovative and sustainable bicycle tire solution. The team, led by CEO Brandon Miles, showed their product to the sharks and received criticism for the high price point of their product.

Item Details
Company Name The Factionist
Product Casual streetwear clothing line with socially conscious messages and environmentally-friendly practices
Founder Nate Berkopec
Shark Tank Pitch Season 1, Episode 12 – Asked for $30,000 for 20% stake (valuation of $150,000)
Deal No deal
Post Shark Tank Website and social media inactive since 2010. Barbara Corcoran hired Nate briefly as a consultant. Nate admitted there was never a real business, just selling some shirts on campus. He later found success in programming.
Founder’s Net Worth $800,000 as of 2022
Competitors None mentioned


Nate Berkopec was a 19-year-old college student when he pitched his company The Factionist on Shark Tank Season 1, Episode 12. He was seeking a $30,000 investment for 20% equity, valuing his company at $150,000.

Despite his passion, the Sharks did not invest because:

  • He did not actually have a real business yet, just selling some printed t-shirts
  • The Sharks felt there was nothing unique about printing messages on t-shirts
  • There was too much existing competition in this space

After failing to get a deal, Berkopec shut down The Factionist to pursue other interests. He had to pay the 2% royalty fee to ABC for appearing, despite making no sales revenue. The royalty fee has since increased to 5%.

Berkopec ended up becoming a developer/programmer after Shark Tank. He briefly worked for Barbara Corcoran, gaining valuable experience from her.

While his company failed, the Shark Tank exposure helped lead him in a new career direction.

What exactly was The Factionist?

The Factionist is a casual streetwear clothing line that uses ethically sourced fabrics and environmentally mindful procedures.

It’s emblazoned with a number of socially aware statements, sayings, and logos.

The Factionist strives to be more than just another fashionable apparel brand; it aspires to be a youthful identity movement.

Attempting to appeal to today’s children as they become more conscious.

Who was The Factionist’s founder?

Nate Berkopec started The Factionist while a business student at NYU, where he later earned his Bachelor’s degree.

The concept was to create a socially/environmentally conscious clothing brand that resonated with his peers who were becoming more engaged with those issues.

He began by buying and selling t-shirts with socially conscious messages printed on them. In 6 months, he made $3,000 in sales, mainly to fellow NYU students.

Realizing he lacked business experience and funds to grow further on his own, he decided to seek investors.

After about a year, he shut down The Factionist due to lack of funds and moved on to other projects.

He is now the sole owner of The Speed Shop, helping organizations with app design and scalability.

His original goal with The Factionist was to merge social activism with entrepreneurial capitalism during his university years.

What Happened to The Factionist's Pitch on Shark Tank?

What Happened to The Factionist’s Pitch on Shark Tank?

Berkopec appeared on Shark Tank season 1 episode 12 and asked for a $30,000 investment in exchange for a 20% stake in his company. This translates to a $150,000 valuation.

He asserts that today’s youth are the most socially conscious generation in history.

He dresses in t-shirts that say things like “1.75 billion people live on less than $1.25 each day.” Buy fair-trade items.”

“The Factionist is not just another clothes brand,” Berkopec continues. It’s a societal uprising.”

Kevin O’Leary  is  skeptical. “Do you really believe you’re going to rescue the world?”

Berkopec is ready to meet with him. “Yes, but I’ll be paid for it.”

Robert Herjavec questions the business concept. Berkopec has sold shirts totalling $3,000 in value. He purchases ethically made shirts, screen prints sayings on them, and sells them.

“There isn’t even a company yet,” Herjavec says.

“Anyone and his dog can stick sayings on tee shirts and sell them,” notes O’Leary.

According to Daymond John, the reigning king of fashion, Berkopec hasn’t “even gone to private manufacturing.” He’s intrigued.

“How will you assure that this is environmentally safe?” For the first time, Berkopec is at a loss for words.

He is aware that bamboo is more expensive than cotton, but he lacks actual facts or sales numbers to back this up. He’s stumbling in the water.

According to Herjavec, there are hundreds of more capable businesspeople out there that have more skills, backing, and resources to enter this field.

Berkopec’s zeal and enthusiasm are working against him. He is excited about his product, but he lacks the necessary skills, expertise, and resources.

“It’s just a terrible notion,” Kevin O’Leary says as he walks away.

Barbara Corcoran is perplexed as to why his company’s brand isn’t printed on the shirts. “People will ask, ‘hey, where did you get that shirt?'” predicted Berkopec. “That is the worst branding phrase I’ve ever heard,” Daymond John comments.

Kevin Harrington is departing because the company’s worth outweighs its sales. “It’s a long-term investment,” Berkopec continues.

“We’d lose money, so it’s a short-term investment,” Daymond John explains. Robert Herjavec thinks the idea of a company without a proprietary product is “ludicrous,” thus he’s out.

Barbara Corcoran believes that the figures just don’t add up for her. She regrets not being able to declare herself in, but she is also out.

“I’m worried that my shirt will say, ‘I invested, and I lost 100% of my money,'” says Daymond John. The final Shark went out.

Despite his passion and vision for The Factionist, Nate Berkopec’s pitch failed to convince any of the Sharks to invest during his appearance on Season 1 of Shark Tank.

The entrepreneurs felt there was nothing proprietary about his business model of printing socially conscious messages on t-shirts.

With no Sharks willing to partner with him, Berkopec was forced to exit the tank without securing a deal to fund the growth of his fledgling apparel company.

What Happened to The Factionist Following His Shark Tank Pitch?

Despite the fact that Berkopec’s six-month-old firm lacked the sales, business plan, and distinct product to entice the Sharks, Barbara Corcoran was impressed enough to hire him. He worked in her workplace for a few moments.

As a garment firm, The Factionist lacks a unique enough brand to succeed. The website is no longer active, and neither Facebook nor Twitter have been updated since 2010.

Berkopec’s clothing line plan may have failed, but his determination and dedication will get him through.

Nate admits, in a blog post published in October 2017, that there was never a business.

He was utilizing a rented screen printer to sell tee shirts for a few hundred dollars.

His confidence was sufficient to get him on the show. He also admits that his failure on national television had a long-term influence on him, prompting him to seek counselling.

He did find his calling in programming, earning over $250,000 from a Ruby on Rails course he created.

What was The Factionist’s net worth?

Berkopec appeared on Shark Tank season one episode 12 and asked for a $30,000 investment in exchange for a 20% stake in his company. This translates to a $150,000 valuation.

Who are The Factionist’s competitors?

There are no known competitors for The Factionist.


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