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An American inventor stands his ground before a group of investors featured on a popular reality TV show that agreed to invest in his fledgling company if he manufactured his product overseas. He left empty-handed but not without his head held high and legions of new supporters impressed by his chutzpah.
Back in January, Donny McCall's dream to take his Invis-a-Rack, a retractable cargo rack for pickup trucks, to the masses hit some rough waters when he appeared on "Shark Tank" in hopes of securing $100K from the "sharks" for a 10 percent stake in his firm.
When the show's entrepreneurs suggested manufacturing his rack outside the United States as a condition for the funding, McCall refused to budge. It wasn't all about profits for him. He wanted to help restore some semblance hope to his hometown of Sparta, N.C., that had seen an exodus of manufacturing jobs over the past several years.
"I'm one man trying to do his best for this country," he told the sharks earlier this year, according to a recent ABC News story. "I want to help my family and my investors financially but also my church, community, state and country in any way that I can."
Despite the "Shark Tank" setback, McCall's dream is hardly sunk. The outpouring of support showered upon his venture over social media channels after his TV appearance has given McCall more confidence in securing the money needed to take his invention to the national market and put his hometown back to work.
"We've got product. We've sold product. We're ready to go," he said. "We just need money to create more product to be able to actually sell it. ... If a half-a-million dollars came in, we could be up and running and moving product and making money by year's end," he told ABC News.
Home Depot even indicated an interest in the Invis-a-Rack, according to ABC News. So, big things appear to be on the horizon for the small-town entrepreneur with a conscience.
Read the accompanying print story at: http://abcn.ws/L8hy74.