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Shark Tank Entrepreneur Talks About What Happened After the Show

Kelsey Davis, Manager, Digital Media, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
We first spoke to Robbie Cabral in April after he had exhibited with his company, BenjiLock, at CES 2017. Originally from Dominican Republic, Robbie told us about how he started BenjiLock after being laid off on the same day his daughter was born.

Just eight months later, we caught up with Robbie on the heels of his incredibly successful appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank. Before he returns to CES in January (where his Shark Tank journey first began), we had a chance to speak with him about the exciting new developments in BenjiLock’s future.

How did you end up on Shark Tank? What was your first reaction when you found out you were going to be pitching to the Sharks?

During the CES 2017, I had the chance to exhibit in Eureka Park and a lot of the attendees kept saying "I want one" or "This looks like a great product for the Shark Tank". Lo and behold, one of the days of my exhibition there was a Shark Tank open call at The Venetian, so I took a quick break and ran to it. A couple months after, I was shocked when I found out that I made it through onto pitching in front of the Sharks. Shark Tank receives over 50,000 applications and to be part of this experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I could not believe I was given the opportunity to pitch my passion, BenjiLock, in front of people that can help me take it to the next level. It was truly a blessing.

Tell us a little about what it was like to stand in front of the Sharks and pitch them your product?

The most nerve wracking part was waiting to get called to pitch inside the tank. The second, was stepping inside the tank and standing in front of major power hitters such as Alex Rodriguez, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O'Leary, Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban. When I entered the door, I felt empowered that my American dream was coming to life. At that moment, I retraced the roads and obstacles that I had to overcome to get to that place, so it was very emotional. The Sharks' comments and positive feedback reinforced me that BenjiLock was on the right path to success.

Why did you decide to take the offer from Kevin O'Leary?

All of the Sharks were amazing and it was a very difficult decision, especially with the time that you're given to choose. My gut told me to pick Kevin. He had asked me all the questions that were lingering in my head and what I believed were the most important. His vision was also where I saw BenjiLock going. Having a passion for music, showed me that he also respects creativity and out of the box thinking!

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs, especially those who are coming to the U.S. to innovate and start companies?

The advice I would give is to stay focused on your innovation regardless of what others around you are saying. Keep it positive, as you might run into very dark times, so just know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Most of all, stay humble and be open-minded.

'Shark Tank' entrepreneur weeps when he gets a $100,000 check, says it's the 'American Dream' from CNBC

What's next for BenjiLock? What do you have planned for CES 2018?

BenjiLock is coming to life for "Back to School" 2018 thanks to our recent partnership with Hampton Products. For CES 2018, we will be in booth #50013 in the Eureka Park and introducing the BenjiLock family, alongside future innovations and who knows, maybe a Shark bite!

The Shark Tank Open Call is coming back to CES for 2018. Learn more about how you can participate. You can also see BenjiLock at CES 2018’s Eureka Park.