NORTH VERSAILLES (KDKA) — Nathan Failla looks more like a salesman than a Walmart shopper.
In a sense, he is a salesman. The Duquesne grad has invented PocketGel, packed so small it gets a pass from TSA inspectors.
He thinks he came to Walmart on Friday for another interview, pitching his hair gel in North Versailles. Instead, he gets a letter that makes it clear he’s already crossed that bridge.
The letter indicates he will be one of seven product inventors going to Open Call at Walmart headquarters in Arkansas next month. PocketGel is the outcome of a senior project at Duquesne University.
“They come in three grams,” Nathan says. “You just tear them off. You use them and throw the rest away. It’s an on-the-go hair care solution for the gym, for traveling, and it’s eco-friendly, doesn’t use any plastic. Doesn’t waste as much product as plastic bottles.”
Store manager Don Henry says local product developers, like Failla, encourage others to do the same.
“It’s going to give other people, once they see this opportunity, that, hey, they might have a product that they may have, and it’s a local guy pitching his product, so it’s huge,” Henry said.
The maker of PocketGel doesn’t lack for confidence.
“More excited than nervous. Any competition is good competition, is the way I look at it,” he says.