As an ex-military guy, Aaron Tweedie was challenged to carry heavy equipment during his missions. He preferred to use a backpack because of its flexibility. After his service, he invented the stylish and durable Man-Pack and pitched it on ABC’s Shark Tank. Though he didn’t get a deal, Man-Pack is worth an estimated $4 million as of 2023.
Aaron Tweedie’s Background
Hailing from Winchester, Virginia, Aaron Tweedie was born on December 25, 1979. However, most of the details about his early life are not available to the public.
We do know he worked as a radio transmission officer and an M-60 gunner for the Virginia Army National Guard around the late 1990s. Later, he attended Old Dominion University, a public institution in Norfolk, Virginia.
In 2006, he obtained a degree in business administration focused on marketing. He then created his first company, a rental property and real estate investment firm known as Tweedie Enterprises LLC.
Although it’s common for women to carry around handbags, guys need to carry stuff too but have very few options. Aaron stated during his pitch, guys on average carry around 4-5 pounds worth of stuff, things like keys, drinks and phones.
That’s why he created a bag with several designated compartments and a number of exterior pockets. Tweedie wanted a heavy-duty backpack that could withstand use on a construction site and still look stylish.
The young entrepreneur established Man-Pack using only $500 of his personal savings. He built his initial following among fellow military personnel, selling $76,000 worth of bags in 2013. However, Aaron wanted to reach a wider audience, so he sought help from angel investors.
Man-Pack’s Shark Tank Pitch
Aaron appeared on Shark Tank in 2014 during its sixth season. He came on asking for $200,000 for a 29% stake in his business, an ambitious valuation that damaged his chances of getting a deal. Although Aaron is a great salesman, the pitch didn’t exactly go as planned.
The former national guard explained how men needed to be more prepared every day by using a convenient bag. Sad to say, the Sharks couldn’t grasp Man-Pack’s vision or profit potential.
Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec indicated that it’s an idea that people may laugh at. Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, and Lori Greiner asked about the company’s performance, but they ultimately backed out. Tweedie walked out without a deal.
Update After Shark Tank Episode
Despite not getting an investment, Shark Tank was a big help for Aaron. In fact, it helped him introduce new product designs, such as the Spitfire, a bag designed especially for gun owners in the sling style.
After a Kickstarter campaign, he designed Man-Pack 2.0, which is more durable, sleeker, and remarketed as an everyday bag. The products are available to buy on Amazon and on its official website, Man-Pack.com.
In 2014, the year Tweedie entered the Tank, he made about $65,000 in annual sales. Now, he’s making $3 million per year with no help from the Sharks. Man-Pack is doing more than fine, with its company value at $4 million.