Monday, December 5, 2022

Roominate Update After Shark Tank – Now In 2022

Roominate Before Shark Tank

Roominate is a clever and unique construction set that blends the skills of building, creativity storytelling, and even circuitry into a toy that gets kids excited about learning. After its founders met in the master’s degree program of Stanford University, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions for research and education, they learned that less than 15% of women enter college intending to major in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) field. It was then that they agreed to make it their mission to inspire the next generation of inventors.

Roominate on Shark Tank – Episode Recap

The duo of Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen appeared on shark tank on September 26, 2014, to inspire the Sharks to see the opportunity in revolutionizing the construction set industry by focusing on engineering and circuitry, as well as the education of young girls.

The two women entered the Shark Tank seeking an investment of $500,000 for a 5% interest in their company. They began with a simple argument on the influence that toys can have on what type of person everyone grow ups to be. That favorite toy that you loved as child, was it playing with a fire truck, or pickingr2 out clothes for a doll; what effect did that have on you, and what effect is it having on our children? What was even more compelling was the Roominate argument: what if that board game, was an actual construction set that let you actually build those hotels, what if those crayons you used to draw pictures was actually a toy that let you design your own prototype? For Alice, co-owner of the business, her turning point came when she asked her father if Santa Claus would be bringing her a new Barbie for Christmas, a few weeks later she opened her shiny new saw! Her father’s words, “build the dream house yourself.” Ever since, she was passionate about engineering.

The pitch went well at first, Roominate had some impressive numbers, entering the Shark Tank with over $1.7 million dollars in sales, in little more than a year and a half. And to add to those impressive stats, Roominate was set to be in 596 Toys-R-Us stores and 1,500 Radioshacks by the following year. Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, was truly impressed with entrepreneurs ability to get mass distribution so quickly, a task that is often insurmountable for young inventors. That said, he was weary of the reality that all of their claims of distribution were for the future, and at present, their sales were online focused. In his words “I’m being asked to pay for success before I know with certainty I have it.” The Roominate team quickly defended their numbers, responding that they have a clear track record of success, with sales more than tripling each year.

r1Mark Cuban, who in order to prove the versatility of Roominate, was built a basketball court with complimentary airplane as a sample, was impressed with the success of the two female inventors. The ingenuity and dedication of the women brought out the family man that accompanied Mark’s own success. With a net worth of over $3 billion dollars, Mark expressed concerns that his two daughters may acquire a sense of entitlement, instead of the strong work ethic he developed. So, he made the entrepreneurs their first offer, the full $500,000 for 5% of the business, but with one contingency, his daughters had to be a part of the project and have the opportunity to lean on Alice and Bettina as mentors. Lori Greiner took the opportunity to jump into the deal as well. Known to her other successful entrepreneurs as The Chickstarter, she was excited to join another project with passionate women set out to inspire and innovate.

The two Roominate owners didn’t need take a moment to think it over, with two sharks ready to join the team, they were excited to say yes!

Roominate Now in 2018 – How They’re Doing After Shark Tank

Roominate Before Shark Tank

Roominate is a clever and unique construction set that blends the skills of building, creativity storytelling, and even circuitry into a toy that gets kids excited about learning. After its founders met in the master’s degree program of Stanford University, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions for research and education, they learned that less than 15% of women enter college intending to major in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) field. It was then that they agreed to make it their mission to inspire the next generation of inventors.

Roominate on Shark Tank – Episode Recap

The duo of Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen appeared on shark tank on September 26, 2014, to inspire the Sharks to see the opportunity in revolutionizing the construction set industry by focusing on engineering and circuitry, as well as the education of young girls.

The two women entered the Shark Tank seeking an investment of $500,000 for a 5% interest in their company. They began with a simple argument on the influence that toys can have on what type of person everyone grow ups to be. That favorite toy that you loved as child, was it playing with a fire truck, or pickingr2 out clothes for a doll; what effect did that have on you, and what effect is it having on our children? What was even more compelling was the Roominate argument: what if that board game, was an actual construction set that let you actually build those hotels, what if those crayons you used to draw pictures was actually a toy that let you design your own prototype? For Alice, co-owner of the business, her turning point came when she asked her father if Santa Claus would be bringing her a new Barbie for Christmas, a few weeks later she opened her shiny new saw! Her father’s words, “build the dream house yourself.” Ever since, she was passionate about engineering.

The pitch went well at first, Roominate had some impressive numbers, entering the Shark Tank with over $1.7 million dollars in sales, in little more than a year and a half. And to add to those impressive stats, Roominate was set to be in 596 Toys-R-Us stores and 1,500 Radioshacks by the following year. Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, was truly impressed with entrepreneurs ability to get mass distribution so quickly, a task that is often insurmountable for young inventors. That said, he was weary of the reality that all of their claims of distribution were for the future, and at present, their sales were online focused. In his words “I’m being asked to pay for success before I know with certainty I have it.” The Roominate team quickly defended their numbers, responding that they have a clear track record of success, with sales more than tripling each year.

r1Mark Cuban, who in order to prove the versatility of Roominate, was built a basketball court with complimentary airplane as a sample, was impressed with the success of the two female inventors. The ingenuity and dedication of the women brought out the family man that accompanied Mark’s own success. With a net worth of over $3 billion dollars, Mark expressed concerns that his two daughters may acquire a sense of entitlement, instead of the strong work ethic he developed. So, he made the entrepreneurs their first offer, the full $500,000 for 5% of the business, but with one contingency, his daughters had to be a part of the project and have the opportunity to lean on Alice and Bettina as mentors. Lori Greiner took the opportunity to jump into the deal as well. Known to her other successful entrepreneurs as The Chickstarter, she was excited to join another project with passionate women set out to inspire and innovate.

The two Roominate owners didn’t need take a moment to think it over, with two sharks ready to join the team, they were excited to say yes!

Roominate Now In 2022 – How They’re Doing After Shark Tank

With Mark’s help, they were able to expand their retail presence. First and foremost, they landed a deal with Walmart, which agreed to sell their product in more than 800 locations nationwide. Not only that, but they were also available through their website.

Before long, they made over $4.5 million in sales, which is a significant jump from what they were making before going on the show ($1.7 million in 2014). This allowed the entrepreneurs to upgrade their workspace. In addition to getting their own headquarters in Wisconsin, they also hired eight additional employees.

From there, they won time Magazine’s Toy of the Year Award and was listed on Jennifer Alsever’s list of “next generation creators”. That’s not all, they also received an Academics’ Choice Brain Toy Award, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Dr. Toy 100 Best Toys Award, and several others.

Roominate was acquired by PlayMonster in February 2016 for an undisclosed amount

In the end, however, they only owned the company for an additional year. In January 2016, it was announced that Roominate had been acquired by Patch Products, a manufacturer of games, toys, and puzzles, for an undisclosed amount.

As of 2022, the toys still exist. They have since been rebranded as Playmonster and are available from their official website. Currently, the company offer six different categories of products—those for infants (less than 24 months), toddlers (2 to 4 years old), young kids (5 to 7 years old and 8 to 13 years), and teens to adults. As far as we can tell, however, they don’t have any of the original construction sets for sale—at the moment, at least. Rather, they have doll houses, ‘create a scene’ toys, make a bracelet kits, and other toys, all of which range in price depending on what you get. For those who are interested,you can check out their website here.

PlayMonster offers a variety of toys for children of all ages

As for the entrepreneurs, they seem to be working with Playmonster on the development of Roominate. According to Alice Brook’s profile on their site, she’s confident about the product’s next phase and that she will be working with other artists and engineers to design new pieces for the construction sets.

Bettina Chen, however, seems to have moved on to other things. According to her LinkedIn profile, she started working as a Watch aCcessories Engineering Program Manager for Apple in 2016. She later began working for their Biomechanics Research Center Engineer Program in March 2021 and as far as we can tell, she still works there today. Considering that, we probably won’t be seeing her back on the toys side of things anytime soon.

Orca9500@yahoo.com'
Chris Freeman
Chris went to school at the University of Maryland, and while rooting for the Terps, he began his career of freelance writing. Now a college grad and a passionate teacher, he enjoys taking the time to write articles and research the next big thing.
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