SEASON 7 EPISODE 23
STEM learning stories, interactive plush toy robots
Jeremy Scheinberg and Chris Harden
$100,000 for 10%
$166,000 for 33%
OUT OF BUSINESS
Trobo is a verbal plush robot that teaches little kids about science, mathematics, technology, and engineering (STEM). It’s compatible with an IPad App and taps into the kid’s curiosity through games, stories, and quizzes. It tells stories that answer children quizzes, such as why do birds fly? How do Smartphones work? What’s lightning?
The app and toy were created by two Orlando-based engineering dads who left theme and game park development. Chris Harden was previously the EA Sports’ Development director while Jeremy Scheinberg is an engineering grad from Pennsylvania University who has worked on shows for Lego, Disney, NBC, and Universal.
The idea of creating Trobo popped up when they had their kids and started thinking about how the world was affecting their young ones.
While watching Sophia (Jeremy’s daughter) spend hours learning to become a princess, Jeremy yearned for something foundational for her growth. He wanted a way to share his passion for technology and engineering with Sophia.
The pair met at Orlando’s Startup Weekend event, and Trobo came to be.
Initially, the notion was to create a programmed robot, but they later decided to change the idea to include a speech-enhanced robot compatible with an IPad.
The two fathers appeared on Shark Tank seeking $100,000 for 10 percent equity. However, they got $166,000 from Herjavec Robert for a 33% share of the company, on the condition that they secure licensing from DreamWorks.
Trobo After Shark Tank – Where Are They Now?
Trobo faced hardships in producing the product and locating a manufacturer that could improve demand and develop the app.
Although the pair shook hands with Robert, the deal didn’t mature. Non-disclosure provisions prevented the proprietors from disclosing details that led to the termination of the deal, but chances are DreamWorks didn’t support Trobo, and Herjavec’s legal contingencies were too demanding.
After 3 years, Trobo sadly shutdown in 2017. Cofounders, Chris and Jeremy have written a book, Little Robot, Big Dreams: The Highs, Lows, & Lessons Learned of a Toy Startup, describing their journey with Trobo.
The toy robots are no longer available but the company has since released all of its iOS app stories to be enjoyed for free.