Qubits Before Shark Tank
Mark Burginger hopes to share his love for architecture, and inspire children with his product. Mark Burginger is from Bend, Oregon, and he is the creator of Qubits, which is a construction toy for kids. Mark states that he works as an architect, and like many people, he played with construction toys when he was a kid. He states that he thinks it influenced him to become an architect, in the first place.
Back then, (2007-09) with the slow economy, architectural jobs are very hard to come by. Once Mark started to accumulate some debt, it put a load on himself, put a load on his wife, and even his kids are being affected by it. Mark Burginger states that he is semi-employed, has sixty thousand dollars’ worth of debt, and he got a garage full of Qubits. He states that the Shark Tank is his last hope, and he is hoping to get an investment from them.
Qubits During Shark Tank
“Mark Burginger walks confidently and stands in front of the Sharks”
Mark Burginger starts his presentation by introducing himself and states that this invention is a construction toy called Qubits. Mark says that he is seeking an investment of ninety thousand dollars, in exchange for a fifty-one percent stake in his company. Mark Burginger continues his presentation by explaining what is so unique about Qubits, which is a small and flexible toy that allows you to create curve shapes, unlike any other toy in the world.
Mark Burginger states that the Qubits are quite easy to put together, as you just secure them with a connector. You can use your own imagination and the different Qubits parts to construct whatever you wish, and it is fairly easy to do.
“Mark Burginger shows the Sharks what he has constructed in under a minute”
Robert Herjavec states that he is suspicious, even though that Mark Burginger looks like a trustworthy person. Robert Herjavec says that it is very rare that a person on Shark Tank voluntarily gives up fifty-one percent control of his or her company. He asks Mark Burginger why he is willing to give up the majority of his company.
Mark Burginger answers the question by saying that there are a couple of reasons. The first reason is that he is smart. The second reason is that he wants to put together the best board of directors anyone could ever imagine, for this company. Mark states that he would be only able to do that if he would give up the majority share in Qubits.
“Daymond John asks Mark Burginger if he has a patent on Qubits, and if there are other toys that bend and twist like Qubits”
Mark Burginger answers the questions by saying that he has a patent on Qubits and that there are no other toys like Qubits, at least not to his knowledge.
“Barbara Corcoran states that she is really curious how Mark Burginger came up with the idea for Qubits”
Mark Burginger states that it was a creative endeavor that he had on his mind for a long time. He states that you can create natural structures with Qubits, which also relate directly to science.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Mark Burginger how long he has been working on Qubits and how long Qubits have been on the market”
Mark Burginger answers the questions by stating that Qubits have been on the market since November 2007, and he has managed to sell about eight thousand dollars’ worth of toys, ever since he began. (Note: Actually sales were $27,000 - $8,000 during the recent year - that moment was a misunderstanding)
“Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec seem very shocked with how low a number of sales have been, since Qubits hit the market”
Kevin O’Leary states that the market is owned by LEGO, which has been the construction toy for decades and owns all of the market share. Kevin states that the trouble with this business is getting distribution, and yes, it is a large business because every child likes to play with these blocks.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Mark Burginger if he went to any of the large toy companies with Qubits, and showed them what he has created”
Mark Burginger answers the question by saying no, and that he has not approached any large toy companies.
“Robert Herjavec asks Mark Burginger how much of his own money he has put into Qubits”
Mark Burginger answers the question by saying that he has invested sixty thousand dollars of his own money into Qubits, and much of that money was borrowed, to begin with.
Kevin O’Leary states that, given the recourses that Mark Burginger has right now, there is only one strategy. Qubits either have the merits of support by a toy company, or it doesn’t. Kevin continues by stating that there are four large toy companies, which means that Mark Burginger has to make four phone calls, and hope that one of those four companies will like Qubits and will want to take it over. Kevin also states that, until Qubits gets the merits of support from one of those toy companies, there is no opportunity for an investment. Kevin O’Leary says that he does not see how his investment could help Qubits and that he is out.
Robert Herjavec states that it is hard, and tells that Mark Burginger has basically thrown out sixty thousand dollars. Robert continues by stating that one of the greatest things you will learn about sales is, that you got to know where to not waste your time. Robert Herjavec states that he is out as well.
“Mark Burginger disagrees with Robert Herjavec, and states that he didn’t waste his money”
Kevin Harrington states that Mark Burginger is competing in a huge industry, and is up against big boys, who have spent tens of millions of dollars in order to create brands. Kevin Harrington also states that he doesn’t see how Mark Burginger will be able to compete with them and that he is out as well. Barbara Corcoran states that she entirely agrees with what Kevin Harrington said and that she is out as well.
“Daymond John is holding a ball made out of Qubits and is looking at it”
Daymond John states that there are things that concern him. He says that he does not know the toy market that well, but he likes the fact that Mark Burginger came in and offered a fifty-one percent stake in his company. Daymond also states that he thinks that Mark Burginger is a well-educated man and that he likes how the Qubits have branding all over it.
Daymond John states that he is making an offer of ninety thousand dollars, in exchange for a fifty-one percent stake in Qubits. He also states that his offer is only valid if they will call one of the four top toy companies, and make a deal with them.
“Mark Burginger thinks for a moment and accepts Daymond’s offer”
At the end interview, Mark Burginger says that he is happy to be in business with a dynamic person such as Daymond John. Mark says that Daymond will be able to help him to land a bigger deal, which will help Qubits in the long run. Mark Burginger seems to be very happy and says that his wife and children will also be very happy that he was able to get an investment from Daymond John. However, what that is not shown on TV is that there was no investment. Daymond did try to call a few toy companies but they passed on Qubits as the next big idea. (stupid them)
So without a deal with the toy companies, the deal with Daymond was finished as well.
Mark and Lisa own 100% of the startup company.
Qubits Now in 2017 – After Shark Tank Update
It was very easy to tell that Mark Burginger was struggling with his company’s finances, especially because of the fact that he invested sixty thousand dollars into the company, which he mostly borrowed from other people -- (bank actually). Mark Burginger has been having financial problems for a while, especially because he was not able to find many architectural jobs, due to the economic crisis. Mark Burginger needed an investment from the Sharks, just to be able to keep himself and Qubits afloat and in order to be able to scale up his production and sales. Since he started Qubits in 2007, he has not been able to make a lot of sales. There is no mention of Qubits being the best or worst on Shark Tank. Four of the five Sharks did not want to invest in Qubits because they either did not have an interest in toys, or they believed that it is almost impossible to get any market share in the toy business.
You can find more information about Qubits, and order one of the two sets on http://www.qubitstoy.com. It is very nice to see that the website has been updated to recent technology, making it look modern and fresh. You can also order Qubits sets on Amazon, and read very positive reviews. Qubits have scored a 4.5 out of 5 star on Amazon, which really shows that a lot of people are very happy with the product. Qubits also have their own Facebook page, with a lot of very positive reviews.
I would have thought that Qubits would fail as a company, especially because Mark Burginger had a huge debt. I was pleasantly surprised that the company still exists and that Daymond John was able to help Mark Burginger, both financially and with his expertise. Qubits products are very popular, especially among children that enjoy constructing different kinds of buildings and objects.
There are a total of two different Qubits sets available on the Qubits website. The first set is called the Qubits Rainbow Kit, which is a starter pack with differently colored Qubits. The Qubits 84 pcs. #STEM Kit goes for $49.95. The second set is called the 42 pcs. STEM Kit, which is a smaller set that you can easily bring along when you are going on holidays. The 42 pcs. Qubits STEM Kit goes for $24.95.
In 2014 Qubits Toy won the prestigious Chase Bank Mission Mainstreet Award. Chase bank gave out $1 Million dollars between 20 companies. 10,000 businesses entered and we were one of the top 20 chosen for the cash award. That award allowed for the expansion of colors, features, advertising, and graphics. The $150,000 award is intended to boost the winning companies for three years, This coming Christmas season will be the final year of that timescale. Our fingers are crossed for a great holiday season.
The award included a special 3-day tour of the Google Headquarters in Moutain View, CA. That Google AdWords education is used daily as Qubits Construction Toy expands its sales and operations in 2017.
Recently we had fun on TV again. Here is our most recent TV Interview:
LINK TO ORIGINAL GAZETTE REVIEW ARTICLE: