Benjamin Stern is the Founder and CEO of Nohbo-No Hair Bottles-a company that creates and manufactures the world’s first water dispersible ball that contains personal care products, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and shaving cream. Ben founded this eco-friendly idea after viewing a documentary on the damaging impact of plastic bottles on the environment. His outrage fueled inspiration to find a way to rid the world of unnecessary, destructive, and unsightly plastics, beginning with personal care products in the bathroom. Initially, Ben thought to investigate similar technology used in making dishwashing or laundry detergent pods, as he’d seen his family using them. However, he knew his ideas needed expertise and financing beyond his capacity.
At fourteen years old, Ben got a job at a sub shop and borrowed thousands of dollars from parents, grandmother, and college saving to help pay for Nohbo, LLC’s initial start up expenses. He contacted corporations, hotels and garnered interest in his product, enough to convince patent attorneys to provide pro bono legal representation and services. Ben researched and hired a chemist to develop the original formula with the stipulation that the product must be waste-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, wrapped in a plant-based wrapper, and not tested on animals.
Ben hired a tech savvy high school friend to film a clip for a Kickstarter campaign. As the campaign got started, Ben applied for Shark Tank. In a short 5 months after his application process, Ben heard back with an invitation to appear on the show. On Nohbo's airdate on February 19, 2016, he received three offers, even though his product was not market-ready, and was patent-pending. Mark Cuban was particularly impressed with Ben’s work ethic and Nohbo’s potential, and called him his “mini-me.” Robert Herjavec said, “Nohbo may be one of the most successful companies he has ever been presented on Shark Tank.”
Within four months of airing, Nohbo launched a crowdfunding campaign to sell only the shampoo and doubled its funding goals. The company is scheduled to fulfill those orders next month. He has cumulatively received over 80 investment offers, some valuing the company at over 20 million.
In his free time, Ben enjoys skating, flying (pilot-in-training), and brainstorming innovations of the future with like-minded individuals. He is inspired to make his vision a reality after witnessing the tragic affects plastic has had on the stunning Florida marine life. One of his favorite quotes is, "Don't let school interfere with one's education." He is a fierce advocate that experience is the best teacher, and that is where his entrepreneurial roots originated from; creating experiences.
Ben has been featured in articles on Forbes.com, Business Insider, Inc., The Huffington Post, Florida Today, Space Coast Daily, etc. He has spoken/booked to speak at Yale University, The Next Gen Summit in New York, Florida Institute of Technology, and a wide range of students and audiences. Ben speaks naturally to young people and old about the challenges of gaining credibility, breaking barriers, getting financial support, crowdfunding, and ….managing a life and building a business.