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Local developers of Stashbelt doing pitch on


Next Wednesday night Pictou County residents will have the opportunity to witness a couple of local men’s journey into the Dragon’s Den.

The footage which was shot last year, will appear next week and shows Pictou County’s own Jeff Davis and Seth Rozee pitching their business Stashbelt on the CBC venture capital show.

Stashbelt is a business they founded to build a special type of money belt that could provide profit for themselves and jobs for people in desperate need of them in Kenya.

While he can’t offer any spoilers, Rozee said it was an incredible experience to be part of.

“Our invitation was rather unexpected,” he said. “Jeff, one of my business partners, applied on a whim and they liked this so much they contacted him. We were selected out of 3,000.”

Once they had made the first cut, there was a lot of work getting prepared to make their perfect pitch. They were assigned an executive producer with CBC, and through Skype video calls they practised their script as well as potential questions that the panel might present.

That was followed by a week and a half in Toronto of even more intense practice. Day and night, the business partners were up practising what they’d say.

The day of their appearance was equally exciting and he said they felt very prepared. There was paperwork to sign followed by makeup and hair. Finally they were at the stairs ready to walk in.

“It was game time,” he said. “We knew what we had rehearsed.”

He said everything went well with their pitch, although it was certainly a different experience being filmed.

“There’s about 25 cameras zooming over your head and there’s hundreds of lights,” he said. “That kind of hits you, but within 30 seconds the jitters kind of went away.”

He believes they did a good job of presenting themselves and their business and what it’s all about.

Stashbelt was launched in 2012 to produce moneybelts or Stashbelts. The belts are unique because they hold a USB drive for important files as well as cash or other items.

“My first Stashbelt was given to me by my father (Dave Davis), when I left New Glasgow to be an exchange student in France in Grade 12,” Davis told The News in a 2013 interview. “It was a thin, stiff leather belt, and dad had a tailor to sew a fly zipper onto the back side.” 

He’s worn it throughout his later travels across Africa and deepest Asia and credits it with saving him a number of times including once when he was accused of being an American spy.

While reporting in Kenya for a time, his belt broke, though, and his search for someone to make a replacement resulted in the idea of starting the company.

Since then they've been manufacturing small batches for sale in stores and online. Already they’ve been able to sell Stashbelts to dozens of countries throughout the world.

While making money is important, the pair said they also want to be socially responsible. Kenya has around a 45 per cent unemployment rate, Rozee said, and their hope is that their business can help alleviate that. He said they make a point of paying the workers above the average.

Rozee said they are currently planning a trip to go back to Kenya later this year and during that time hope to expand their operations.

“We’re hoping to really solidify things with a new manufacturer we’ve been working on over the past year.”

Will they have the backing from venture capitalists on Dragon’s Den? For that you’ll have to wait and find out.

The night of the show, Davis and Rozee plan on watching with family and friends at a special invite-only gathering in town.

Jean Rozee, Seth’s mother, said she is excited to watch the show.

“He’s very charismatic, which makes for a good salesman,” she said. “I’ve always known he would do great things with his life.

He’s always been gifted, and very creative.”

The footage which was shot last year, will appear next week and shows Pictou County’s own Jeff Davis and Seth Rozee pitching their business Stashbelt on the CBC venture capital show.

Stashbelt is a business they founded to build a special type of money belt that could provide profit for themselves and jobs for people in desperate need of them in Kenya.

While he can’t offer any spoilers, Rozee said it was an incredible experience to be part of.

“Our invitation was rather unexpected,” he said. “Jeff, one of my business partners, applied on a whim and they liked this so much they contacted him. We were selected out of 3,000.”

Once they had made the first cut, there was a lot of work getting prepared to make their perfect pitch. They were assigned an executive producer with CBC, and through Skype video calls they practised their script as well as potential questions that the panel might present.

That was followed by a week and a half in Toronto of even more intense practice. Day and night, the business partners were up practising what they’d say.

The day of their appearance was equally exciting and he said they felt very prepared. There was paperwork to sign followed by makeup and hair. Finally they were at the stairs ready to walk in.

“It was game time,” he said. “We knew what we had rehearsed.”

He said everything went well with their pitch, although it was certainly a different experience being filmed.

“There’s about 25 cameras zooming over your head and there’s hundreds of lights,” he said. “That kind of hits you, but within 30 seconds the jitters kind of went away.”

He believes they did a good job of presenting themselves and their business and what it’s all about.

Stashbelt was launched in 2012 to produce moneybelts or Stashbelts. The belts are unique because they hold a USB drive for important files as well as cash or other items.

“My first Stashbelt was given to me by my father (Dave Davis), when I left New Glasgow to be an exchange student in France in Grade 12,” Davis told The News in a 2013 interview. “It was a thin, stiff leather belt, and dad had a tailor to sew a fly zipper onto the back side.” 

He’s worn it throughout his later travels across Africa and deepest Asia and credits it with saving him a number of times including once when he was accused of being an American spy.

While reporting in Kenya for a time, his belt broke, though, and his search for someone to make a replacement resulted in the idea of starting the company.

Since then they've been manufacturing small batches for sale in stores and online. Already they’ve been able to sell Stashbelts to dozens of countries throughout the world.

While making money is important, the pair said they also want to be socially responsible. Kenya has around a 45 per cent unemployment rate, Rozee said, and their hope is that their business can help alleviate that. He said they make a point of paying the workers above the average.

Rozee said they are currently planning a trip to go back to Kenya later this year and during that time hope to expand their operations.

“We’re hoping to really solidify things with a new manufacturer we’ve been working on over the past year.”

Will they have the backing from venture capitalists on Dragon’s Den? For that you’ll have to wait and find out.

The night of the show, Davis and Rozee plan on watching with family and friends at a special invite-only gathering in town.

Jean Rozee, Seth’s mother, said she is excited to watch the show.

“He’s very charismatic, which makes for a good salesman,” she said. “I’ve always known he would do great things with his life.

He’s always been gifted, and very creative.”

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