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15-Year-Old Entrepreneur Secures $100,000 Investment Deal on ‘Shark Tank’

At 8, Wellen conceived the idea for The Duo, a unique umbrella for two people.
Cover Image Source: Innovative ideas | Instagram | @theduoumbrella
Cover Image Source: Innovative ideas | Instagram | @theduoumbrella

In a remarkable turn of events on the latest episode of ABC's "Shark Tank," fifteen-year-old entrepreneur Nathaniel Wellen walked away with a $100,000 investment for his brainchild, The Duo—an innovative umbrella designed to accommodate two individuals of different heights. The umbrella, which features a second extendable handle, has obtained a utility patent. Surprisingly, Wellen conceived this idea when he was just eight years old.


Appearing on "Shark Tank," Wellen sought a $100,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake in his company. Despite being pre-revenue and having only prototypes to showcase, his pitch garnered attention and admiration from the seasoned investor judges.

During the episode, Lori Greiner praised the product, stating, "That's a good size for a little compact umbrella," while Mark Cuban commended Wellen, saying, "You're a great example for kids out there who want to be entrepreneurs."

On the other hand, Wellen had already formed a partnership with Shed Rain, a weather accessories brand, which held a 49% ownership stake. The judges were intrigued by how Wellen secured this collaboration only through cold-calling and building a relationship with the CEO.

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Despite the judges' interest, concerns arose regarding potential equity dilution. Cuban highlighted the importance of maintaining majority ownership, advising Wellen to avoid diluting his equity, even by 10%. Some judges, including Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O'Leary, decided not to make offers, citing various reasons.

O'Leary, in particular, expressed concerns about Wellen's age and his ability to balance school and business. "I have to be able to call my CEOs 24 hours a day. I don't like the fact that you're in school. What's your teacher going to say when I call your cell and you're in class? They're not going to let you answer, and that really pisses me off," said O'Leary, emphasizing the challenges that may arise when dealing with a teenage entrepreneur.

Amidst the concerns, Robert Herjavec saw potential in The Duo's unique selling proposition. "I love deals where there's a potential exit already built in," he said. "You create this product, you partner with them and it takes off ... There's no way they're not going to buy you out," he stated. He proceeded to offer $100,000 for a 20% stake in the company. Negotiations ensued, with Wellen eventually settling for an 18% stake, sealing the deal with Herjavec.

The Start of a Success Story

As Wellen left the "Shark Tank" set, he left behind valuable advice for other aspiring young entrepreneurs: "Just keep moving. Keep going. Reach for your goals, and maybe you [too] will make a deal with Robert."

Wellen's success on "Shark Tank" not only showcases the power of innovation but also underscores the importance of determination and tenacity, irrespective of one's age. The young entrepreneur's journey serves as an inspiration for other teenagers aspiring to turn their creative ideas into successful business ventures.