Kevin O’Leary Helps This Entrepreneur Lock-in The American Dream

Kevin O’Leary Helps This Entrepreneur Lock-in The American Dream
December 01 10:36 2017 Print This Article

Hundreds of entrepreneurs enter the Shark Tank to pitch their ideas to the panel of Sharks, hoping to secure a partnership that will make their dreams come true. For Robbie Cabral, founder and CEO of Benjilocks entering the Shark Tank was an opportunity to turn his life around. Securing a deal would end the years of job insecurity and finally enable him to provide for his family. After an emotional presentation, Robbie had two amazing offers from MLB star Alex Rodriguez and the legendary Mr. Wonderful. With the future of his company on the line Robbie accepted a deal from Kevin O’Leary, the “royalty deal” master. As soon as the deal was sealed, Kevin and his team worked tirelessly to bring Benjilocks a deal with Hampton Products, a leader in the lock and security industry. As soon as the deal was “locked up” I had the opportunity to speak with Kevin O’Leary himself together with Robbie and Kim Kelley, the CEO of Hampton Products International at CNBC headquarters. Here’s how it went:

Jay: The Shark Tank platform has inspired millions of people and this deal in particular is so remarkable. Robbie- you’ve show the world the power of the true American dream. Tell me a little bit about how you’re feeling right now?

Robbie: Shark Tank is an incredible platform and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to showcase to the world how the hard work and passion that I’ve invested over the last 3 years which has turned into an incredible reality. Going from being laid off of work, to winning an award in 2017 when I brought Benjilock to the Consumer Electronic Show, then Shark Tank and now locking in a deal with Hampton is extremely emotional and gratifying.

Jay: How much do you love Kevin right now after he’s invested in you and was able to thread the needle and guide you to such an incredible achievement?

Robbie: I love Kevin. There’s one thing a lot of people don’t really know which is that I grew up with no father figure. From the moment I was on Shark Tank I felt like Kevin was that father figure I needed because he spoke the truth. He is someone I can count on and I know he has my back. I’m extremely happy that I’ve been able to partner with him.

Jay: Kevin- within just a couple months you’ve not only added another entrepreneur to your portfolio, but you’ve gotten someone who looks up to you like a father. How proud are you of Robbie and this deal?

Kevin: From the moment Robbie made his pitch, all the Sharks agreed that what we needed to do was to find the right partner to take this product to market. It was a pure patent deal and that’s why this story is getting so much traction. Now that we’ve locked up the deal with Hampton the journey really starts now. Having just closed the deal last night we’re going to go back to CES and present the product to all the buyers for the major retailers. So many of the Shark Tank fans have a particular interest in this story because Robbie was not a lock engineer, and had no experience in the lock industry. He had an idea and figured out how to gather the right support to make this happen. There are so many inventors out there that want to know how you take a product to CES, how  you develop partnerships and more importantly what happens after that? So, we’re excited about the deal and what’s to come ahead.

Kim: Our team encountered Robbie and Benjilock with all the buzz that his creative and busy booth created at CES last year. We later found out that his product won the best product in the show, which is an amazing accomplishment knowing that this was an electronic show, and this is a padlock. However, as Kevin mentioned, he had terrific intellectual property, great and cool design, and nobody showcases it like Robbie. His enthusiasm and passion has spread throughout our team. As soon as we saw Kevin had invested in Robbie’s dream, we knew this was the missing link and we were off to the races to do whatever we needed to do to bring this deal to a close. It was a great celebration when I handed Robbie his check for $100,000.00 today on live TV.

Jay: One final question for you both- Kevin: What was it that inspired you to make the deal with Robbie? And for Robbie: What are you most excited about with the opportunity to work with Kevin?

Kevin:  From the moment Robbie made his pitch in the Tank, here’s the way I looked at it. There was no disagreeing that this was licensing deal, and who is the king of licensing deals? Clearly, it’s Mr. Wonderful- and I was hoping that Robbie would realize that. During the negotiation, A-rod was a serious competitor to my offer and here’s what I told Robbie- “Alex was an amazing baseball player, but how many licensing deals has he done?” Fortunately, Robbie realized I was the right partner and we’re both happy we joined forces.

Robbie: I completely agree with Kevin, I took a lot of heat from people back home in the Dominican Republic who were in shock that I didn’t take the deal with A-rod. But in the end, I went with my gut and I felt that Kevin was the right one for me.  What struck me about Kevin was that all the questions he asked me were the exact points I had in my heart from the beginning. I’m just very happy now because it’s a great partnership and great team. The O’Leary team has been an unbelievable help since the day we closed the deal in Shark Tank and the Hampton team has been incredible and I’m really excited about the future.