Andrea and Hong Cao, a mother-daughter partnership, are hoping the Sharks stuff Q Flex, their “Personal Acupressure System,” into their Christmas stockings when they pitch the idea in episode 614.
The QFlex is a bending, flexible wand that enables individuals to self-apply acupressure anywhere on their bodies.
QFlex was created by the Caos, who is of Chinese ancestry, to reproduce the ancient Chinese therapeutic technique of acupressure.
You can alleviate pain by applying pressure to specific places of the body. It’s similar to self-massage at a high intensity.
They assert that utilizing the Q Flex alleviates pain and tension. Despite their Chinese ancestry, the Caos make Q Flex in the United States of America!
As of a week before its scheduled air date, the Caos is handcrafting each Q Flex. They’re probably on the lookout for a Shark to aid them with manufacturing and distribution. Will a Shark show its teeth and strike a bargain with Q Flex?
What Is QFlex?
QFlex is a back massager that uses acupressure techniques to help you relieve back pain. QFlex is a company specializing in the development of a portable acupuncture massage device.
Despite starting small, the company has grown into a globally renowned brand with excellent sales and profit margins.
QFlex’s product line includes products of different sizes that appeal to diverse groups of consumers.
|Founder||Andrea Cao And Hong Cao|
|Product||Acupressure and self-massage device for personal use|
|Investment Seeking||$20,000 For 20% equity in QFlex|
|Final Deal||$20,000 For 25% equity in QFlex|
|Shark||Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran|
|Episode||Episode 12, Season 6|
|Business Status||In Business|
Who Is The Founder Of QFlex?
QFlex was founded almost five years ago by Andrea Cao and Hong Cao. Having worked long hours at the hospital, Andrea’s mother had aching backs after returning home.
She’d ask her daughter to massage her hurting muscles, which Andrea gladly did. Andrea was inspired to start her Qflex business at that point.
“If my mother is in need,” she reasoned, “then there must be millions of individuals with the same problem but no solution.”
That’s when she came up with the idea of producing a massage gadget that individuals could use to massage even the most difficult-to-reach locations without the assistance of a companion.
Andrea developed the first 20 prototypes with her mother’s engineering knowledge, and the response was positive. They sold 800 units.
QFlex Before Shark Tank
Hong Cao, a diligent nurse, would ask her daughter Andrea to rub her sore back muscles after returning from a long shift at the hospital where she worked.
Andrea was more than willing to assist her mother, but the entrepreneurial child possessed a spark of inspiration as well.
Andrea reasoned that a massager that would allow people to massage their aching muscles, even in hard-to-reach places, would benefit not only her mother but millions of others as well, and she planned to design an affordable version of such a massager to sell.
Angela Cao was of Chinese ancestry. Her ancestors used old medical traditions to create an acupressure massager that relieves tension, enhances blood circulation, and alleviates pain.
Hong, an engineering background, assisted with developing a final prototype and provided early finance to get the business off the ground.
The mother-daughter team initially produced only twenty massagers, with Angela selling them door to door and in local stores. They sold approximately 800 pieces, but Angela had grander ambitions for the business.
They created a Shark Tank audition tape and submitted it. Angela noticed that producers were holding open auditions in San Diego after not hearing anything for several weeks. They camped out overnight to get an audition slot after hiking for seven hours together.
Although she was originally skeptical that her performance had been sufficient, she was contacted two weeks later, and her application was eventually approved.
The QFlex segment was first televised on December 12th, 2014, as part of the Season six Festive special.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of QFlex?
Angela and Hong decided to pitch a $20,000 investment in return for a 20% stake in QFlex to the sharks when they entered the tank.
Hong began her presentation by describing how sore she was from working long hours and Angela’s massage to alleviate the pain.
Angela took over by discussing the origins of the Q-Flex concept and the months of testing required to get at the final product.
Angela informed the sharks that she was 13 years old when she introduced herself, but her smooth-flowing pitch confidence belied her youth.
She was a natural speaker, and the pitch would have been professionally polished coming from anyone, but coming from such a young entrepreneur was even more impressive.
She discussed the unique design, the medicinal benefits of trigger points, and the effectiveness of acupressure, but she concluded brilliantly.
She explained to the sharks that 65 million people in the United States alone suffered from back discomfort, and her portable, affordable, and attractive invention was the solution.
She said that the sharks understood that such a large market could only mean one thing: ‘Cha-Ching,’ she explained, before inquiring as to which sharks desired to make a deal and flex their way to success.’
Robert Herjavec detected a rat and expressed doubts about Angela’s sincerity. ‘I believe you’re lying,’ he warned her, and her smile vanished.
‘There is no way you are 13,’ he stated, and her smile returned as he described her presentation as ‘excellent,’ which the other sharks agreed on.
The sharks expressed mild admiration for the Q-functionality, Flex’s, and the sales question unavoidably came up.
They appeared disappointed when they learned that total sales thus far had been only 800, but their admiration for Angela grew when she revealed that she had created them all personally, door-to-door.
Kevin O’Leary inquired, distractedly stroking his back with the Q-Flex, what the retail price was, $25 to $35.
Angela responded swiftly, and when he inquired about the pricing per unit, she responded similarly quickly, informing him that it was only $4.50.
Mark Cuban laughed aloud at the high-profit margin, exclaiming triumphantly, ‘A capitalist is born!’
Robert Herjavec inquired whether the product was patented, and Angela admitted that there was no such application pending.
Hong elaborated and said that the cost of the patent process was currently beyond their means. Robert inquired as to whether the product has any exclusive features.
Angela claimed that the Q-Flex massager was produced and designed distinctively, which she considered were patented qualities.
While Mr. Wonderful was at least somewhat joking, he had a serious point to make. Kevin O’Leary informed Angela he was fine with dropping out of school to run the business; it demonstrated commitment.
In his judgment, the firm was a ‘hobby,’ Angela was unable to quit school, and Hong was unable to resign her work, which made the enterprise a poor investment in his opinion, and Kevin was out.
Lori Greiner, arguably the most qualified shark for the Q-Flex venture, delivered terrible news to the pair.
She had previously offered a very similar product’ on her QVC channel, and while she did not elaborate, she hinted that the product had been difficult to sell and was not fully successful.
She apologized but said that she was also out due to her personal experience.
Lori’s past expertise, Robert Herjavec understood, focused on patent concerns; he pressed her for details. She revealed that she did not believe the QFlex would acquire one; reluctantly, she urged him not to invest in the business.
He was heavily inspired by the experiences of his fellow sharks and also dropped out. He softened the blow slightly by informing Angela that he believed in her, but far more than he believed in her product.
Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban were engaged in a deep conversation at the time, and after they ended, Mark addressed the QFlex duo.
He indicated that he and Barbara worked well together and could assist the business by assisting with operations, setting up a website, and offering.
Barbara detailed the facts; she and Mark would invest $25,000 in exchange for a 25 percent stake in the business, but a significant benefit for Angela and Hong was that they would also manage the business’s operations.
In exchange, all that would be wanted was a commitment that Angela would make time for any sales calls. That was because Barbara was convinced Angela would sell like crazy,’ and Mark concurred.
Angela and Hong were overjoyed at the offer; there was never any mistake in their minds as to their decision, which they gladly accepted.
The program was a success for Angela; she was delighted and couldn’t believe the outcome. She was excited about joining forces with her two new shark buddies.
Final Deal: Barbara and Mark agreed to invest $25K for 25% equity in QFlex.
QFlex Shark Tank Update
The company has generated up to $1.3 million in revenue since its launch in 2016, following its appearance on Shark Tank. A patent for the concept was also obtained in January of the same year by the duo.
QFlex is a $7 product that retails for $24.95 on the company’s website. Additionally, they have orders that are fulfilled via Amazon and retail locations. Q-Flex is offered at all Brookstone locations nationwide.
The company’s sales continue to grow as they expand their market reach. They continue to develop new items to meet the needs of their clients.
They have achieved big sales records thus far, and everyone is turning to them for inspiration. Andrea, a co-creator of the QFlex massager, has invested in a horse ranch. She also achieved her ambition of adopting a wild Mustang. Continue reading:
Her mother, Hong Cao, now manages the business full-time and ensures that everything runs well. If the QFlex net worth teaches you anything, no one is ever too young to begin.
Ideas strike at the most inconvenient times, and like hot iron, you must strike them while they are still hot. Do not hesitate to begin unless you are debating which of two things to release first.
Believe in yourself first, then in your idea, and then, as you walk toward success, look for additional individuals to believe in you and your idea.
As with the Cao’s, there is no way to predict when you will succeed except exerting effort and giving it your best.
What Happened To QFlex After Shark Tank?
Andrea, Hong, and QFlex received an updated piece in episode 629 just a few months after its initial airing. We’ll see how far they’ve progressed under Mark and Barbara’s teaching.
They developed a website after the event and have already received 17,000 orders totaling more than $500,000.
They are behind on fulfillment due to working from home but are attempting to make up with the assistance of the entire family.
Barbara appeared in the section and relocated the operation to a fulfillment center, where operations are now running more smoothly.
Beyond the Tank episode, 108 features a second update on Q Flex. Barbara pays a visit in the segment, and they decide on a fulfillment center in Dallas. Additionally, the Hongs pay a visit to their maker. You can read about all of the updates HERE.
Since Beyond the Tank, QFlex has maintained a strong sales performance. Andrea founded Andrea Equine, a company that provides horse equipment, saddles, and other horse-related items.
She even purchased a ranch and adopted a wild Mustang using proceeds from the product.
Andrea will begin her junior year at Stanford in August 2021, where she will earn a Bachelor of Science in Innovation, Management, and Entrepreneurial Engineering. QFlex is still running strong, with yearly revenue of $3.5 million.