Search Interviews:

Will Nitze is the Founder and CEO of IQBAR, a company that produces plant-based nutritional protein bars, hydration mixes, and instant coffee that boost brain and body performance. IQBARs are keto, vegan, and paleo-friendly, and are made with nutrient-dense ingredients. Before IQBAR, Will was a Sales and Marketing Manager for Wood Mackenzie, a global insight business for renewables, energy, and natural resources.

Google Play
tune in
radio republic

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [05:17] Will Nitze introduces IQBAR and the evolution of its products
  • [10:47] Creating a unique protein bar with brain health benefits
  • [15:56] IQBAR’s product development journey
  • [18:11] What are the various IQBAR flavors?
  • [19:42] Will talks about his entrepreneurial journey
  • [25:48] Growth strategies for a CPG company in a changing market
  • [41:32] Will shares his thoughts on trade shows and distributors

In this episode…

Mental exhaustion is increasingly prevalent for many from work, school, and other obligations, making it all the more challenging to eat healthy. So, how can you regularly improve your brain and body performance?

Some foods can help you feel structurally sound, energized, and operate at your best. A passion for mental performance and long-standing interest in the brain propelled Will Nitze to create IQBAR protein bars, hydration mixes and instant coffee that promote sustained cognitive energy, performance, and health. He shares his journey as an entrepreneur in building a nutrition company focused on the brain and body.

On this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz sits down with Will Nitze, Founder and CEO of IQBAR, to discuss how he built a brain and body food brand. Will introduces IQBAR and the evolution of its products, how he’s created unique protein bars with brain health benefits, and the growth strategies for a CPG company in a changing market.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments:

  • “Anything where it can mean “and,” and not an “or” — you should do it.”
  • “The crazy thing about being an entrepreneur is that you have to become somewhat proficient in like 30 things.”
  • “The definition of a startup is an ultra fast-growing, nascent business.”
  • “At some point, you have to live off what you kill.”

Sponsor for this episode

At Rise25, we’re committed to helping you connect with your Dream 100 referral partners, clients, and strategic partners through our done-for-you podcast solution.

We’re a professional podcast production agency that makes creating a podcast effortless. Since 2009, our proven system has helped thousands of B2B businesses build strong relationships with referral partners, clients, and audiences without doing the hard work.

What do you need to start a podcast? When you use our proven system, all you need is an idea and a voice. We handle the strategy, production, and distribution – you just need to show up and talk.

The Rise25 podcasting solution is designed to help you build a profitable podcast. This requires a specific strategy, and we’ve got that down pat. We focus on making sure you have a direct path to ROI, which is the most important component. Plus, our podcast production company takes any heavy lifting of production and distribution off your plate.

We make distribution easy. We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.

Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90xAtariEinstein BagelsMattelRx BarsYPOEOLending TreeFreshdesk, and many more.

The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.

Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.

Are you considering launching a podcast to acquire partnerships, clients, and referrals? Would you like to work with a podcast agency that wants you to win?

Contact us now at [email protected] or book a call at

Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…

Never Miss an Episode and get Free Updates

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:01

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz 0:22

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I have Will Nitze of IQBAR, they do more than just bars of course, which we’ll go into. And Will I always like to point out other episodes people should check out of the podcast. And I find, Will from my research, you have some counterintuitive views, which I love about conferences, about endorsing and getting celebrities. I did an interview with Natural Stacks. And it was fun, because probably the best opening of any interview I’ve done not because of me, but because part of their company was featured on ESPN. So I just encourage people to check out just the first five minutes of that they actually did have someone that endorse their product. And it was interesting to see that journey, the founder of Big League Chew. That was another interesting one. How he’s sold millions and millions of packages of shredded gum and how it started. That was another good one. And the SmartSweets founder Tara Bosch. It’s funny after I interviewed her, I was watching with my kids will Meghan Trainor video Made You Look, and sure enough their product is in the video. And I think when I asked them, I don’t think they paid for that placement. I think she just liked the snack and it showed up in the video, which is kind of cool. So we’ll talk about some of the we’re IQBAR have showed up in the wild a little bit too. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25, we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. How do we do that we actually help you run your podcast. We are an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast. We do the full strategy, accountability and the full execution. Will we call ourselves kind of the magic elves that work in the background and make it look easy for the host in the company? For me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire on this planet and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions go to You can email us at [email protected] And I’m excited to introduce Will and IQBAR. Actually shoutout to Sanjay Patel. Sanjay is in my EO group in Chicago. We do meetings and I think I sent you a picture Will of this, in the started the meeting, we had like six boxes of the different flavors of IQBARs. And he’s like, if we’re gonna get through this meeting, we need some energy, we need some brain energy and some fuel. And he loves your bars. And all of us now love them too, because he brings them to the meetings. And now Sanjay runs He’s a master of systems. He worked in scale businesses cut his teeth at his IBM for almost 15 years. So when he says something, I listen. And what was cool about this, Will is I’m going to just share my screen. This is what Will caught my eye with the bars specifically, if you’re looking at the screen, if you’re listening to audio, there is a video version. You can see us versus them. And I said Sanjay, why do you like these bars? These are good. They taste amazing. Why do you love them so much. And if you’re looking at this, this chart of total sugar and net carbs, he’s like, I don’t want as much sugar in that carbs. I love IQBAR is the best. So is that right? So you’re looking at this one gram of sugar to 15 grams of the other bars, three grams of net carbs versus 20 grams. So I’m like, okay, sold and obviously there’s other benefits and things like that to fiber. It’s plant protein, etc. But I’m like Sanjay, let’s do this that you get you sold me okay. I’m a customer for life now. So Will Nitze is a founder and CEO of IQBAR, one of the nation’s leading brain and body nutrition startups. And they have a selection of IQBAR plant proteins IQMIX, which I hydration sticks. IQJOE, which is the instant coffee is packed with functional compounds and much more. And you can find them all at Will, thanks for joining me.

Will Nitze 4:57

Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Weisz 4:57

Yeah, so this is where I like pretty much stop talking you to the rest of the talking but talk about just some of the products of IQBAR to start and a little the evolution of the products that started with I know the bars and then talk through the evolution of the product line.

Will Nitze 5:19

Sure. Yeah, so the original idea was pretty simple as just brain food. Like, I didn’t understand why no ready-to-eat brain food existed meaning just like there was this demand for brain-healthy stuff, could be helping you grow neurogenesis growing new neurons could help with cell membrane wall fortification could help with staving off cognitive decline, whatever, there was a major demand for all of these functionalities in pill and powder format, and there was not in ready to eat format, which I didn’t really get. And on the flip side of that, if you look at, let’s say, just the bar aisle, it’s all body-centric. So it’s weight loss. gut microbiome centric, so prebiotic fibers, it’s growing new muscles, so high, high protein, whatever, it’s all body, body. And I didn’t really get why there was no brain food. So that was it. And there was no real data on is this even a good market? No, of course, the answer might have been there is nothing like this, because no one wants this. But that’s, of course, a rescue you take when doing anything. That’s even somewhat innovative. So I thought, okay, I’ll do a Kickstarter, and I’ll see if this is something that market wants. And that was the first iteration was just brain food. And it was a very different product, it was the packaging look different, it was higher in sugar. I had no idea how to make a product for starters, but a lot of food products. And no one in my family, no one I knew was in food, or consumer goods. And so I just sort of figured it out as I went. So we pre-sold about $90,000, a product across Kickstarter and Indiegogo, crowdfunding campaign, which was a massive success for us, we were trying to hit $50,000 would have been a massive success. And we be at $90,000. So we were like, okay, this is at least something people are intrigued by. And then we actually, I actually had to figure out how to make it, right, because we sold all those units without even having a product. And then we made the first iteration and then just started getting feedback on it and iterated from there. But where it shifted was after we got a bunch of feedback. Basically, we realized there was an opportunity to reduce sugar and that carbs and increased protein. So basically, shift it from being like brain food that’s low ish sugar to ultra-low sugar, low net carb, brain and body food. And the end body is kind of a key, like, micro pivot there, because just we realized, like anything where it can mean, and not an or you should do it. So it was like, can we incorporate let’s say 12 grams of plant protein, and all these other things without taking away from these other things? The answer is, yes. Great, let’s do that. And that opened us up to a much, much broader total addressable market of people who, let’s say, just want to a protein bar. So now what the product evolved into what it is today is, it’s a unique set of value propositions such that we can hook consumers in a bunch of different ways. So you might just want a low sugar bar, right. And then you can be a customer, you might want a brain-healthy bar, great. Your customer for that reason, you might want just a plant protein bar, you don’t want an animal, whey protein-based bar, maybe way upset your stomach, whatever. Great. We can hook you that way. So there’s so many ways to hook consumers in and the brain angle, it’s maybe counterintuitive, because our name is IQBAR, it’s not the first, like in the hierarchy of value propositions it’s not number one, it’s like number five, it’s sort of the rounding element that’s like, it’s this, this and this plus that. And that order of operations is really critical. Because if you start with that, you kind of lose the consumer, like over science, the consumer in colloquial terms, so we’ve just found, like, what you emphasize and an order of operations of callouts and value propositions is incredibly important. But yeah, that’s kind of how the bar evolved and happy to get into the other product lines to.

Jeremy Weisz 10:03

You mean the case in point, Will, I mean, that’s kind of what you have all these benefits right in some people gravitate to certain benefits more than others, like Sanjay gravitated towards that, like you’re saying the net carbs and sugar, right. Now, obviously, it’s an additional benefit. It’s got brain nutrients, it’s got the protein, what were the initially, when you pre-sold $90,000, and Kickstar and then the real work begins, right? You start making the bar, what were some of the things when you’re thinking originally, we want to include brain nutrients? What were some of the things you want to make sure were in the bar.

[Continue to Page 2]