Shane Cox entered “Shark Tank” seeking $200,000 for 15% equity in PeeQ Technologies, the parent company behind his product, the Qball. The Qball is a wireless microphone that comes in a throwable rubber ball, with the receiver having an aux output that can be plugged into almost any kind of sound system. As Cox explained, the Qball was primarily designed as both a classroom tool to help keep kids’ attention and make it easier to hear teachers, particularly since auditory cognitive processing fully matures around 15 years old.
At the time, the Qball retailed for $179 with a manufacturing cost of $52, and he had done $177,000 in sales year-to-date at the time of shooting. (Based on the usual “Shark Tank” shooting schedule where the season would be shot in two separate “pods” in June and September, the episode was most likely shot in June 2017, meaning that was less than half a year’s worth of sales.) Cox pegged about 90% of Qball sales as being to schools, with church groups and other public speakers making up the 10%, with his main marketing efforts being a booth at trade shows.
Robert Herjavec, citing his past issues with selling cybersecurity products to schools, opted out, but other Sharks were interested. Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, and guest Shark Rohan Oza wanted to go in together, offering $200,000 for 30%. Barbara Corcoran showed interest in making her own deal but was rebuffed by Cox, given the three-Shark deal in play before making an offer. After Cox’s counter-offer of dropping the equity to 25% was rejected, he agreed to the Sharks’ original deal.