Jeremy Scheinberg and Chris Harden discuss TROBO in Shark Tank episode 728, a cuddly robot that communicates with kids and tells them STEM stories via an app.
Both fathers are engineers with extensive experience in electronic consumer goods and user interface technology.
TROBO was launched through a Kickstarter campaign after seeing their children’s natural curiosity.
TROBO is first and foremost a soft toy and then an educator. The talking robot recounts stories responding to children’s questions, such as “What is lightning?” How are birds able to fly? Is there a catch with an iPhone?” via iPad tales?
The robot reads the stories from an accompanying, animated “book” displayed on an iPad. The stories answer children’s inquiries and highlight your child. This teaches pre-readers to read while also introducing them to STEM subjects.
The two fathers face several obstacles in bringing the product to market, including locating manufacturing capable of scaling to meet demand and building the software.
TROBO is a hit with educators and the technology press, and it appears to be a hit with parents as well.
Once they move beyond the “pre-order stage,” there should be some demand. There are two models available: the “Edison” and the “Curie.”
They’re presumably looking for a Shark’s assistance in scaling up manufacturing and obtaining capital for inventory and further development. Will a Shark take an interest in this robot and invest?
What is Trobo?
Trobo is a vocal plush robot that teaches fundamental science, mathematics, technology, and engineering (STEM) concepts. Children will love playing games, watching stories, and taking quizzes with this iPad-compatible application.
It provides stories in response to children’s quizzes, such as “How do birds fly?” What is the operation of a smartphone? What exactly is lightning?
TROBO is a range of interactive plush robots that educate children about STEM subjects.
“TROBO” was pitched in April 2016 by Jeremy Scheinberg and Chris Harden, the business creators.
The Shark Tank offered them $100,000 for 10% equity in exchange for $100,000. Robert Herjavec agreed to invest $166,000 for a 33% stake with a contingency – that they could secure a Dreamworks licensing deal – for the show.
|Founder||Jeremy Scheinberg And Chris Harden|
|Product||A STEM Learning Story, Interactive Plush Toy Robot|
|Investment Seeking||$100,000 For 10% equity in Trobo|
|Final Deal||$166,000 For 33% equity in Trobo|
|Business Status||Out Of Business|
Who Is The Founder Of Trobo?
Trobo app and toy were developed by two Orlando-based engineering fathers who had previously worked in the theme park and gaming park development.
Most of Harden’s experience comes from his time as a development director at EA Sports, while Scheinberg graduated from Penn State University and has worked for Disney, NBC, and Universal.
The concept for Trobo came to them after they had their children and began to consider how the world was influencing their children.
Jeremy ached for something essential for Sophia’s growth as he saw her spend hours studying to be a princess. He desired a means of communicating his enthusiasm for technology and engineering to Sophia.
Trobo was born when the couple met at Orlando’s Startup Weekend event.
Initially, the aim was to develop a programmable robot, but they changed their minds and chose to incorporate a speech-enhanced robot that could be used with an iPad.
Shark Tank aired two father’s requests for $100,000 along with 10% equity. They did, however, receive $166,000 from Herjavec Robert in exchange for a 33 percent stake in the company, subject to obtaining licensing from DreamWorks.
Trobo Before Shark Tank
Both Jeremy Scheinberg and Chris Harden were fathers who sought ways to educate their kids about STEM subjects. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
They created TROBO, a beautiful cuddly robot that reads fascinating stories about STEM subjects via a speaker in its abdomen.
The toy comes equipped with a Bluetooth connection that enables it to communicate with smartphones and tablets.
TROBO was funded via Kickstarter in 2014, but would the Sharks invest? Consider the following.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Trobo?
Jeremy and Chris enter the Tank seeking $100,000 for a 10% stake in Trobo.
They demonstrate a stuffed robot and how it can send stories wirelessly to an iPad or tablet to be used by youngsters as they play and read.
In essence, the plush animal is a speaker. Trobo costs $59.95 and includes five stories and the cuddly animal.
They have received 600 orders from small to medium-sized retail establishments. A total of 45 magazines have covered their story, so they feel prepared to enter the child education toy industry.
Mark Cuban, on the other hand, is unimpressed. With crowd-sourced stories and a stuffed toy that serves as a sales tool for the technology, he believes the concept is not powerful enough to captivate the market. He has departed.
“You cannot sell a $50 plush toy with a speaker,” Kevin O’Leary asserts. That will not work. At $4, the real material is not viable.
Free. There is an abundance of free content available for children’s books. There is no charge.” He’s leaving because he’s skeptical that major retailers like Target and Walmart would stock the toy.
Chris brings up Teddy Ruxpin, a 1985 toy that retailed for $70 a unit. Daymond John responds, “That was a different era when technology was not nearly as advanced as it is today.” He has departed.
Lori Greiner believes the $50 pricing range presents a “significant hurdle.” She states that even though the team has taken Trobo to toy fairs, they have not received a favorable response from major stores. That, she believes, is a negative indication for the future, and she exits.
Robert Herjavec is the lone remaining Shark. Chris concludes with a passionate plea, recounting his upbringing as the product of a single, alcoholic mother who encouraged him to escape poverty by focusing on his studies.
Trobo, according to Robert, is a “content delivery product.” He expects that a corporation such as Dreamworks, with whom he has already communicated, may acquire the technology as a new method of monetizing their material.
He offers the couple $100,000 for a third of the business in exchange for signing a licensing contract with Dreamworks.
Chris counters with a demand for $166,000 in exchange for a third of the company. Robert accepts the offer, and the Trobo duo secures a Shark deal.
What Happened To Trobo After Shark Tank?
The agreement did not materialize despite the handshake between Robert and the couple in the Tank.
A non-disclosure agreement among the entrepreneurs prevents them from discussing exactly what happened to kill the deal.
Still, the odds are that Dreamworks’ interest in Trobo was paltry, and Robert’s legal demands were too onerous.
The Shark Tank effect has continued to benefit them, and Trobo’s price has decreased. Trobo is still sold via Amazon and its website, hoping to license their “content delivery platform” in the future.
Trobo Shark Tank Update
The arrangement with Herjavec fell through, and visitors to the TROBO website cannot purchase a TROBO. Shark Tank and the holiday season have caused us to sell out of TROBOs.”.
TROBO was available on Amazon but has been removed (priced between $200 and $400). Shark Tank (Season 9) new episodes are broadcasted every Sunday at p.m. on ABC.
The company has been covered by mainstream media outlets such as People Magazine, TechCrunch, Examiner, Fox, CBS, and Philly.com as of 2021. They were also named the Best of Toy Fair 2015 by Popular Science magazine.
Is Trobo Still In Business?
The TROBO is no longer in operation. The pair had difficulties developing the product, including sourcing manufacturing capable of increasing demand and developing the software.
The plush talking toy is essentially a speaker, and it retailed for $59.95, which included the five stories and the robot toy.
They’ve gotten 600 orders from medium- and small-sized retail establishments. The pair exchanged handshakes with Robert, but the agreement never materialized.
Non-disclosure restrictions prohibit the proprietors from discussing information about the deal’s demise, but, likely, DreamWorks did not back Trobo, and Herjavec’s legal contingencies were too onerous.