Justin Huang's 'Cup-a-Bug' Lands $75K Shark Tank Deal With Mark Cuban Who Said ‘I Want You To Myself’

Justin Huang's 'Cup-a-Bug' Lands $75K Shark Tank Deal With Mark Cuban Who Said ‘I Want You To Myself’
Cover Image Source: Instagram | Cup-a-Bug | @thesolidfactory

In a recent episode of ABC's "Shark Tank," entrepreneur Justin Huang pitched his bug-friendly device, Cup-a-Bug, seeking a $50,000 investment for a 10% stake in his business. The handheld tool allows users to trap bugs without harming them. Despite initial nervousness during his pitch, Huang successfully secured a deal with Mark Cuban, who offered $75,000 for a 20% stake. Cuban praised Huang's passion for lifelong learning and geek culture, expressing excitement about the partnership, per CNBC Make It. Cup-a-Bug gained attention on TikTok, accumulating over 10.6 million likes and 107,000 followers.

Instagram | Cup-a-Bug | @thesolidfactory
Instagram | Cup-a-Bug | @thesolidfactory

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Huang, a self-proclaimed "bug sympathizer," designed Cup-a-Bug out of a personal aversion to squashing bugs. The University of California, Irvine graduate and mechanical engineer sought $50,000 from the "Shark Tank" investors to further develop his business. Cup-a-Bug, retailing for $40, gained popularity after a successful Kickstarter campaign, bringing in $28,000 in March 2022. Huang's presentation highlighted the simplicity of using the device, emphasizing its appeal to bug-conscious consumers.

Huang's entrepreneurial journey extends beyond Cup-a-Bug. Previously, he founded Solid Factory, a company specializing in accessories for board games, desk organizers, and planters. The mechanical engineer's commitment to learning is evident in his pursuit of knowledge in various engineering domains. Mark Cuban commended Huang's dedication, referring to him as his "hero." The entrepreneur's multifaceted background and commitment to continual education resonated with Cuban, leading to the investment offer.

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Mark Cuban attends Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary launches symposium | Getty Images | Photo by GP Images
Mark Cuban attends "Shark Tank's" Kevin O'Leary launches symposium | Getty Images | Photo by GP Images

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Mark Cuban, known for his tech investments and role on "Shark Tank," identified with Huang's bug aversion and appreciation for learning. Cuban's initial offer of $50,000 for a 20% stake in Cup-a-Bug quickly escalated to $75,000. He expressed a desire for an exclusive partnership, stating, "I want you to myself... geek to geek." Huang accepted the offer, anticipating collaborative and innovative projects under Cuban's mentorship. The partnership is poised to leverage Huang's inventive skills and Cuban's business acumen.

Future plans

Following the "Shark Tank" episode, Cup-a-Bug experienced a surge in orders and positive feedback from fans. Huang, in the early stages of finalizing the investment agreement, expressed gratitude for the unexpected support. The entrepreneur's friends volunteered to assist in fulfilling orders, emphasizing the community aspect of his business.

Cup-a-Bug | Official website

Mark Cuban's tenure on the hit TV show "Shark Tank" has been marked by significant investment triumphs. Over the years, Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and co-founder of Broadcast.com, has made lucrative deals, contributing to the show's success. According to Sharkalytics, Cuban has invested $19.85 million in 85 deals, showcasing an impressive average investment amount of $235,000. Notably, his largest single investment, $2 million for a 20% share in Ten Thirty-One Productions, stands out in the show's history.

While the total profit from Cuban's "Shark Tank" investments is challenging to ascertain due to the evolving nature of these deals, one standout success is the Cycloramic investment. Cuban invested $250,000 for a 15% stake in the app development company, ultimately reaping an impressive 88 times return when Cycloramic was sold for $22 million.

Among Cuban's other notable deals are Rugged Maniac, an obstacle course race company; Tower Paddle Boards, a stand-up paddle board business; Simple Sugars, a natural skincare company founded by a 19-year-old; and Groovebook, a photo book app acquired by Shutterfly for $14.5 million, resulting in a remarkable 96 times return on investment.


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