SEASON 6 EPISODE 12
personal acupressure and self-massage device
Andrea Cao and Hong Cao
$20,000 for 20%
$25,000 for 25%
Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban
Q-Flex is a company that specializes in creating a personal handheld acupuncture massage device. It was co-founded by Andrea Cao and Hong Cao a little over five years ago. Although it started small, the company has grown to be a globally-recognized brand, raking impressive sales and revenue margins. Its product line includes products of different sizes to appeal to a wide range of consumers.
However, it is the story behind the brand that fascinates a lot
Hong Cao, Andrea’s mother, was a nurse who would attend long shifts at the hospital, only to come home with an aching back. She would request her daughter to massage her aching muscles, which she [Andrea] did happily. It was then that Andrea got the inspiration for her Qflex business.
She thought: “If my mother has the need, there must be millions of people out there with the same problem but no solution.” That’s when she developed the idea of creating a massage device that people could use to massage even the hard-to-reach areas without the help of a friend. Leveraging her mother’s engineering background, Andrea produced the first 20 prototypes, and the sales were encouraging. They managed to sell 800 units.
In 2014, she auditioned for Shark Tank Season 6 and earned a chance to meet the Sharks during an episode aired on December 12th. When the duo pitched their brand in the Tank, they decided to ask for an investment of $20,000 for 20% equity, but they ended up settling for $25,000 for 25% equity from two sharks: Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran.
Once they partnered with the two business moguls, the company reached millions of consumers who experienced back pains. Following their appearance on Shark Tank, QFlex recorded a tremendous spike in annual sales, from $20,000 to $500,000.
As a young, studying entrepreneur, 2015 was quite a busy year for Andrea. She went on to graduate from Laguna Middle School, before joining Obispo High School. She is steadfast with her entrepreneurial pursuits, as she appeared on QVC by Lori Greiner.
Andrea is also passionate about ponies. Some of the earnings she got from Qflex were used to purchase a ranch, where she adopted a wild mustang. She travels a lot because of business, and that means one thing – skipping school. Her mother, Hong, need not worry about that because she visited UC Davis and scored highly in their Vet Sciences studies. Moreover, the QFlex co-founder also appeared on the cover page of FFA New Horizons. In 2017, she started Andrea Equine, a tack and apparel brand.Buy on Amazon Visit the Q Flex website