Published: Apr 5, 2016 9:00:00 AM
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Chris Harden, ’98 electrical engineering, will be featured on ABC’s reality television show “Shark Tank” on Friday, April 8, at 8 p.m. CDT.
Harden and business partner Jeremy Scheinberg aim to convince the show’s panel of business executives to invest funds in their startup company’s signature product, a plush toy called TROBO, the Storytelling Robot. The cuddly, app-connected toy reads digital stories to children about science, technology, engineering and math topics. TROBO explains complex subjects in fun ways that kids ages 2-5 can understand through a series of personalized stories.
Children are able to place themselves into the stories and use an avatar builder. As the child interacts with TROBO, he or she builds an emotional connection with the TROBO characters to encourage further reading. Two TROBO toys, a boy named Newton and a girl Curie, are now available.
Harden and Scheinberg started their company after successful careers in the theme park and video game industries and launched the first TROBO in November 2013. Since then, the business duo has garnered media attention for their product, including outlets such as USA Today, Popular Science, Wired, FOX and, coming soon, the April 8 episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
“This was such an amazing experience for us,” Harden said following the pre-recorded episode of Shark Tank. “We did a lot of preparation before the show, but we could have never prepared for what actually happened.”
To learn more about TROBO, visit mytrobo.com.
***Update: Harden and his business partner Jeremy Scheinberg successfully pitched TROBO and Robert Herjavec agreed to a $166,000 deal in return for one-third of the company, contingent on a deal with Dreamworks.***