Jeremy Scheinberg and Chris Harden, two fathers seeking an entertaining way to teach their children about STEM topics, invented TROBO (Trobo): a plush robot that reads fun stories on various STEM subjects from a speaker in its tummy.
The toy has a Bluetooth connection that allows it to connect to smartphones and tablets. Trobo was funded on Kickstarter in 2014, but would they get an investment from the Sharks?
In April 2016, Trobo, the adorable robotic toy firm, appeared on Shark Tank. They asked for $100,000 in exchange for a 10% stake in their company .
The Sharks were impressed with the product, but not so much with the company’s sales. They passed on the deal. So what happened after Shark Tank?
What Is Trobo?
It doesn’t teach much about science, mathematics, technology, and engineering (STEM), but it is compatible with an iPad app.
The Trobo app offers a wide variety of programs that are educational, entertaining, imaginative, and age-appropriate for children. It offers answers to questions such as “Why do birds fly?” What is the function of a Smartphone? What exactly is lightning?” The Trobo app and toy were created by two Orlando-based engineering fathers who previously worked in the theme park and gaming park development industries.
Harden developed his expertise as a development director at EA Sports, whereas Scheinberg graduated from Penn State University and has worked for Disney, NBC, and Universal. Trobo came to them after they had their children and started thinking about how the world was impacting their children .
Who Is The Founder Of Trobo?
Trobo app and toy were both created by two experienced engineers from Orlando who have backgrounds in developing theme parks and gaming parks.
Harden and Scheinberg both have experience in the development sector, with Harden coming from EA Sports and Scheinberg having graduated from Penn State University. The Trobo concept came to them after they had children of their own and began to think about how the world was affecting their upbringing.
He yearned for something basic for Sophia’s development as he watched her invest hours studying to be a princess. He wanted to convey his enthusiasm for technology and engineering to Sophia.
The pair met at Orlando’s Startup Weekend event and decided to collaborate on a project. Originally, they wanted to make a programmable robot, but after some thought, they decided to include a speech-enhanced robot that could be used with an iPad.
In each episode, the sharks evaluate two fathers’ requests for $100,000 and 10% equity. In exchange for a 33 percent stake in the firm, subject to winning license approval from DreamWorks, they accepted $166,000 from Herjavec Robert .
Trobo Before Shark Tank
Jeremy Scheinberg and Chris Harden are passionate fathers who not only wanted their kids to grow up with an appreciation for STEM subjects, but also sought ways to make learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fun.
The toy’s Bluetooth link allows it to connect with smartphones and tablets. Trobo was crowdfunded on Kickstarter in 2014, but would the Sharks invest? Take a look at the following scenarios.
Trobo On Shark Tank: The Pitch
Chris Harden and Jeremy Scheinberg strolled out into the Shark Tank, looking dapper in their suit jackets and button-up shirts. They told the Sharks that they were seeking $100,000 for a 10% equity stake in their company Trobo. Jeremy said that Trobo is a robot from Florida who tells stories. He asked the Sharks if they’d ever seen a stuffed toy that just repeats the same phrases until the child gets bored and puts it at the bottom of their toy box. The camera then showed an overflowing toy box with “worthless toys” on the front of it.
Chris had an adorable stuffed robot, which he called a Trobo, along with a tablet. He explained that Trobo robots are wirelessly connected toys that could read kids’ stories about math and science off either tablets or smartphones. Chris went on to say that children could use the apps’ pictures and problems to read along with them. Jeremy added that the stories might be personalized as well. If a kid wanted to, they could name the character after themselves, and they were also able to design their own avatar based on themselves, similar to a video game.
Chris singled out Daymond and told him it was time to get acquainted with his new robot buddy. As Chris passed the robot over, Daymond approached the stage and informed him that he’d be hearing “What do Sharks eat?” on the narrative of “What do Sharks eat?” The title, as well as a representation of Daymond, was projected on a large screen television on the stage. Lori and Robert both showed their affection at the cuteness of it. Chris had Daymond sit on a child’s stool, and Mark told him “Good luck getting out of that seat!” In a sarcastic manner. Chris handed him the tablet and tucked the stuffed robot into his arm reassuringly.
Daymond was instructed to press the right arrow on the tablet to begin reading. The tale began in a mechanical voice that said some sharks would eat anything and urged Daymond to assist the shark to alleviate her stomach ache by moving food stuff from her “tummy” to the trash can by yawning as he complied. Daymond asked if he could keep a wine glass as he hovered it over the Sharks mouth, but Chris told him that it needed to go into the garbage as well if he wanted to complete the puzzle. Daymond took a little sip before moving the glass to the trash bin.
Chris thanked Daymond and took the tablet and robot before Daymond walked back to his seat. Chris said that Trobo would help parents teach their children science while also sticking around for years to come. Then, Jeremy and Chris ended their presentation by telling the Sharks they should get ready for Trobo in unison. Chris gave everyone a personalized Trobo, each with an embroidered tag that had a Sharks player’s name on it. Lori said that her’s was very cute. Robert looked over his Trobo and asked if he could control the tablet from the stuffed robot, or if it was simply where the sound came out. Chris told him that the sound came from the robot – that was all it did.
Jeremy added that there was also a more emotional connection created between the child and Trobo, in addition to the robot being able to act as a speaker. Who creates content for stories? Jeremy answered they crowdsourced them from people who submitted their story ideas when Proof offered up topics for contest winners – and those winners got paid .
After that, Kevin inquired about the cost of the Trobo. Jeremy informed him that the plush robot costs $59.95 and comes with the first five floors. Kevin let out a little groan. Daymond asked both of them how much money they had made, and Chris danced around answering, claiming that some buyers placed orders with them and were “in talks” with med-box retail stores salespeople. Daymond was not pleased and asked them more firmly what orders have been placed. Jeremy told him that they’ve gotten orders from small boutique stores. Daymond said, “So Daymond’s asking you how many phones you’ve sold”, and Chris replied that they had 600 units in stock. Daymond inquired about the number of trade shows they’d attended; the pair informed him there were two.
Lori inquired if any stores had shown great interest, and Chris sought to brush the question off by saying that they did not anticipate an overwhelming response because they were targeting smaller stores. Daymond told the entrepreneurs behind Trobo that there were already many storytelling apps and smart toys on the market. “They’re not afraid to be different. Is that what makes you unique?” he asked Chris and Jeremy. Chris informed him that they have been featured in 45 publications, including national publications. Daymond observed that they’d received such a high level of coverage, yet the purchases did not reflect the same amount of interest.
Chris said that the stores were risk-averse. He told Daymond they’d been in the industry for a year and a half. The makers behind Trobo had many skills in the manufacturing field, but selling was new to them, which is why they sought out a Shark. Robert asked if there was a subscription fee per month to get more stories, and Chris told them that it cost $4.95 per story, but would switch to a subscription model soon. Robert told him that if they were able to generate more interest, they might be able to become sell their platform as a means for publishers trying to reach kids their target audience.
When the Crossfaders brothers heard that Mark was not a fan of the concept, they voiced their concerns. Mark stated that he did not believe the material was compelling enough, and so he left. Kevin informed them that attempting to sell a $60 stuffed toy with a speaker in it would be fruitless. Kevin proceeded to tear apart their pricing structure, informing them that the material for Trobo was not possible at $5 for each story. There is already a lot of free kid’s material available on the internet. Kevin said that he has the prior toy industry experience and that in order to achieve a large number of orders, they must go after big-box stores like Target and Walmart rather than small retailers. Kevin claimed that the bigger stores would refuse to put the toy on their shelves for $50, which was $10 less than their suggested retail price of $100.
Chris was pessimistic when he asked Kevin if he’d ever heard of Teddy Ruxpin, which went for $70 in 1985. Apparently, Teddy Ruxpin sold $95 million in the eighties, a remarkable feat. Kevin mentioned that Teddy has moveable lips. Daymond remarked that technology was not up to par with 2015 standards at the time. Daymond predicted that Trobo would come to an end and that he would retire from the business. Chris expressed his gratitude toward him.
Lori went next and voiced her concerns that the price point would be a challenge for them to sell to big retailers.
Lori stated that because large toy shops do not hold back on purchasing something fresh and interesting, she took it as a caution for her as an investor, and she went out.
Chris then spoke to Robert, who was the only Shark left in the room. He said that they had not talked about patents yet – something that the Sharks always look for in potential teams. Chris began recounting his life story, which painted a picture of a struggling young boy whose mother was on welfare and whose father was in prison. Despite this difficult upbringing, Chris learned an important lesson from his mother: if he committed to his education every day, he could one day escape his current situation.
Chris started to cry, and revealed that he was able to get out of his bind because of his schooling and the possibilities it provided him. He stated that he could bring the Sharks two individuals who could carry out tasks better than anyone else, as well as “a guy with a fire in his belly like they’ve never seen!” He requested that Robert consider it, and urged all of the other Sharks to reconsider their positions.
Chris was hooked. But Daymond smirked and Robert praised Chris for his zeal. He said he could relate to him because he, too, had come from difficult circumstances. He came from a family of non-college graduates who urged him to leave school. His father chastised him for not going back to school, telling him that he loved him but would murder Robert if he didn’t get his GED. This shed light on Robert’s passion for learning.
Chris asked him to collaborate with them. Robert stated that the toy was unimpressive, but he could see it working as a content delivery business. He claimed to have a connection with Dreamworks, and they may be interested in providing excellent material and plush toys. He made them an offer of $100,000 for ⅓ of the company contingent on closing the agreement with Dreamworks.
Why would Dreamworks want them? Robert replied that they presently possess the technology and a store. It’s a method of delivering material, according to Robert. Chris thanked them but said that the creators behind TROBO were having difficulty with the appraisal. Would you be willing to go as high as $166,000 (USD)? That would result in a valuation of $500,000. After hearing about the situation, Robert agreed. Chris hugged him and welcomed Robert to Team Trobo. Back on stage, Jeremy and Chris were talking to Robert and Kevin while the fake robots were being operated by them. “Trobo thinks you’re screwed!” Kevin yelled in a high falsetto as they walked offstage. Let’s see if he’s right.
Trobo Now In 2022
The deal between Trobo and Robert Herjavec that was agreed on in Shark Tank failed to finalize. A non-disclosure agreement among the entrepreneurs prevents them from discussing exactly what happened to cancel the deal. However, the chances are that Dreamworks’ attention to Trobo was minimal, and Robert’s legal demands were overbearing.
The Shark Tank Effect has had lasting positive effects on Trobo, including a decrease in price. Trobo is currently sold via Amazon and its website with the hope of licensing its “content delivery platform” to other companies in the future.
The agreement with Nick Herjavec fell through, and people cannot purchase a Trobo on the Trobo website. The toy robot was sold on Amazon, where it remained available (starting at $200).
In 2022, popular media sources have named them the “best of toy fair”, including People Magazine, TechCrunch, Examiner, Fox, CBS, and Philly.com. They also won the title of “Best of Toy Fair 2015” from Popular Science magazine.
As of 2022, the Trobo is no longer in operation. The product development was hampered by difficulties in sourcing manufacturing that could meet demand and develop the software. The plush talking toy is essentially a speaker, with a price tag of $59.95 that includes five stories as well as the robot toy .
The pair has already received 600 orders from medium- and small-sized retail businesses. Robert shook hands with the pair, but the deal never came to be. The proprietors are not permitted to talk about the failure of the arrangement, but it’s likely that DreamWorks did not support Trobo, and Herjavec’s legal measures were too stringent.
The Net Worth Of Trobo
The business was valued at $1 million during the presentation, and since then it has gone out of business. As a result, the company’s net worth is unknown .
Competitors of Trobo
There are many other educational toy companies on the market, including CogniToys, which was founded in 2012. The company offers a line of “smart” toys that connect to the internet and use artificial intelligence to engage with children. The Dino is the most popular product, and it was named one of Time’s Best Inventions of 2015. Another competitor is My Special Aflac Duck, which is a robotic duck designed to help children with cancer feel less alone. The duck can be customized and programmed to perform over 50 actions, including wagging its tail.
Other competitors include Kano (computer), Osmo (gaming system), Wonder Workshop (robotics kits), and Sphero (BB-88 robotic ball).
Was Trobo working?
Yes, Trobo was working. The product had been developed and pilot tested with kids.
Was Trobo safe for kids?
Yes, Trobo was safe for kids. The product had been developed with safety in mind and had passed all safety tests. The Sharks were not convinced that there was a market for Trobo. They felt that parents would not be willing to spend money on a product like this when they could just read their kids a story before bedtime.
How does Trobo work?
The stories are educational and teach kids about different science concepts. Trobo also has a built-in night light and can play music to help kids fall asleep.
What is the goal of Trobo?
The goal of Trobo is to make bedtime a fun and educational experience for kids.
Which country has Shark Tank on Netflix?
Shark Tank is an American reality show that fans can find in the Netflix library in other countries including Canada and the United Kingdom, but not in the US .
Is Shark Tank available on YouTube?
Yes, Shark Tank is available on YouTube. You can find clips and full episodes of the show on the official Shark Tank YouTube channel.
Why doesn’t Hulu have all seasons of Shark Tank?
Hulu only has the most recent season of Shark Tank available for streaming. However, you can find all seasons of the show on ABC’s website.
After their disappointing experience on Shark Tank, the Trobo team went back to the drawing board. They knew they had a great product, but they needed to find a way to convince parents that it was worth the price. They also needed to make some changes to the product so that it would be more appealing to parents.
Does Apple TV have Shark Tank?
Live TV Streaming is currently available from six major streaming services. ABC’s “Shark Tank” Season 14 premiere may be viewed on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Web by five of these providers .
Is Shark Tank on Discovery Plus?
Yes, Shark Tank is on Discovery Plus. You can watch full episodes of the show as well as bonus content and behind-the-scenes footage.
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