Entrepreneur Anthony Franco took his line of office products, mcSquares, to the Sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank to see if he could get an investment in the eco-friendly business.
McSquares were created by Franco as an eco-friendly replacement for sticky notes and paper pads, and they work like a whiteboard more than like a usual sticky note would.
Franco pitched his business to Sharks Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner and guest shark Rohan Oza. This is Oza’s last appearance in Season 11 of the show.
Here’s what you should know about McSquares:
1. The Company Sells Several Products
McSquares is not just a replacement for sticky notes. In addition to those, they sell homework kits which include a whiteboard and markers, large tiles that work as whiteboards, to-do lists and erasers.
They also offer different sizes and shapes of whiteboards and sticky notes including some fun star-shaped sticky notes that come in a bundle. Also available are classroom, maker space and library bundles.
The 3″ x 3″ sticky notes come in a 24-pack and are available online for $34.99, though additional shapes and sizes are available for different prices.
2. McSquares Was Funded Through Kickstarter Campaigns
There were three separate Kickstarter campaigns, the first two in 2017 and one additional in 2019, that worked toward funding mcSquares. The first, which was last updated on October 30, 2017, raised $42,122 from 251 backers to help with the funding.
The second campaign, which was last updated in November 2017, worked to fund the “world’s first 4-in-1 dry-erase whiteboard system. Modular, stackable panels stick to any magnetic surface.” That campaign raised $20,556 from a total of 132 backers.
The most recent Kickstarter campaign for mcSquares was last updated in January 2019 and was dubbed a “quickstarter” for the mcSquares stickies that are static-cling dry-erase stickers that could be used up to 2,000 times. There was a total of 94 backers that raised $2,735 for the project.
3. The Products are Made in Colorado
Products sold by mcSquares are made in the USA. Each of the reusable products are designed and manufactured in Colorado. According to the mcSquares website, Colorado was chosen because “environmental standards are high and we can keep our carbon footprint small.”
The founder has also started other businesses with Colorado-based locations, most of which have human interests in mind. According to the company website, mcSquares is no different in that regard.
“mcSquares are designed with innovation and collaboration in mind. A system built to reinforce team-building and independent work, our tools give a voice to everyone in the room, from classrooms to boardrooms,” the website reads. “We bring together communities of engaged participants. We live at the intersection of learning, collaboration, progress and invention.”
4. The Company Partners With Trees for the Future
With every mcSquare product sold, the company plants a tree through Trees for the Future to keep “investing in the future of the planet for our families and community.”
So far, the company has planted over 15,000 trees through Trees for the Future, which works with farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa to plant Forest Gardens. The gardens are collections of trees that yield food and other resources for family farms.
Trees for the Future provides training, mentoring and nursery supplies for each farmer and guide their farmers through the process of using trees to optimize their cropland.
5. The Founder Is a Serial Entrepreneur
Franco has more than just mcSquares in his entrepreneurial history. He has built and sold five companies and earned a large number of awards.
To date, Franco has received: 74 technology awards, 62 design awards and over 100 awards combined in innovation, marketing, mobile and business. He credits these awards to an open, effective process of collaboration. He also believes that creativity is an essential human trait.
He founded Effective in 2005 in Denver, Colorado, and it was later purchased in 2012 by WPP, a British multinational communications, advertising, public relations, technology, and commerce company in London.
Tune in to Shark Tank on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, to see if Franco gets a deal from one of the Sharks.