Qball entered the Shark Tank with its throwable microphone ball, designed with classrooms in mind. The fun tool has also proven successful in business meeting to engage coworkers.
Made of soft and durable foam, it has 10 hours of talk time, with CD quality sound, and a range of up to 75 feet.
We interviewed inventor Shane Cox who said it took him six months to create a prototype using a 3D printer, exacto knife and spray paint. He’s sold 2,500 systems so far, with 90 percent going to schools, which to him, is a priceless feat.
Interested in Qball? Buy one here.
How the Idea Came About
As a student, I always preferred the back row. It gave me the ability to sit back and observe, and hopefully avoid drawing attention. At times this created a challenge in both hearing and understanding my fellow students. I spent more time trying to figure out what was said than actually paying attention to the lesson. As an adult I’ve had the privilege of working with amazing schools and teachers across the country and observed many students facing similar challenges. I designed the Qball to solve this problem, while giving teachers a fun and innovative way to capture each student’s attention and PEEQ their curiosity.
Prepping for & Nerves in the ‘Tank’
How could you not be nervous? I mean I literally re-watched every single past episode, took down extensive notes, researched all of the Sharks, and practiced until I could hardly talk anymore. I was prepared as I think anyone can be, but there is nothing quite like waiting on the other side of those double doors. I felt like I wanted to do a happy dance.
Feedback from Teachers
Teachers absolutely love the Qball! So much, in fact, that they will do whatever it takes to get one for their class. I have teachers that have written grants, crowdfunded, or simply paid out of their own pocket because they knew the type of excitement and engagement it would bring to their class. One school loves them so much they made a video about it! [Video above]
Qball’s Success at Business Meetings
You know, adults can be just as hard to keep engaged as students. The Qball makes Q&A a heck of a lot more engaging and efficient. No more waiting for the poor guy running the microphone around the room. It also helps manage discussions, because if you have the ball you have the floor. For many businesses it has become an invaluable part of their meetings, as it not only makes sure everyone can be heard, but can also be used as the active mic when recording or live-streaming their meetings for employees off-site
His Experience with Indiegogo
Indiegogo was a great experience as it not only helped validate our idea, but gave us some of the capital we needed to get into production. Unfortunately, like many crowdfunded products, getting from prototype to mass production took way, way longer and cost a whole lot more than we anticipated. Fortunately for us, we had about the most understanding group of backers that you could ask for. They stuck with me through thick and thin! I love when I run into some of them at trade shows and other events and they tell me that for them, it was well worth the wait!
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