Entrepreneur Raquel Graham took Shark Tank season 13 stage to shed light on her innovative solutions company, ROQ Innovation. She used her latest product Headlightz to interest Sharks in a $200,000 investment deal for 15% equity stakes.
Scroll down to see how her pitch went on the show!
What Is ROQ Innovation
ROQ Innovation is a business helping families and individuals resolve their everyday problems with its innovative solutions. Headlightz is one such innovation created by the company that allows people to see in the dark without holding a flashlight in their hand. It is a washable and unisex knit hat with an LED fixed on its front. Users can remove the LED light and charge it using multiple power sources like computers and laptops, as it has a USB port for charging.
Entrepreneur Raquel Graham appeared on Shark Tank season 13 to partner with a Shark for her business, ROQ Innovation. She opened her pitch by building up a scenario around late-night walks and how tiresome it can be to pick up after your pup in the dark. She further highlighted the struggle of changing tires and doing just about anything with one hand holding a flashlight. She announced her knit hats with removable and chargeable LED lights can solve the problem by allowing the users to see in the dark without holding anything.
Raquel listed everything that makes her Headlightz hat different from other lighting caps, from 8-hour battery life to a washable design. She then asked the Sharks to say, “show me the light,” if they wanted her to demonstrate how the light worked, and the Sharks complied.
In the end, the enthusiastic owner asked the Sharks if they were willing to show her some money now that she had shown the light.
Raquel’s pitch left the Sharks in high spirits as they laughed at her playfulness and enthusiasm. She handed out the samples, and Lori commented that the light was brighter than she expected. Raquel supplied that the LED was 140 lumens, and Kevin found the number a good metric of its quality. Daymond wore his hat with the light on the side, and Mark pointed out that that’s not how it was supposed to be worn, but the former countered that he is a trendsetter.
Once the playful exchange died down, Peter Jones wanted to know where she sold her product. Raquel answered that she was on a home shopping network and had $2.4 million in company sales and $1.1 million in sales for Headlightz only. Kevin asked about the current projected sales for the Headlightz, and Raquel replied with $1.7 million. He then pressed if the home shopping network was her only mode of selling the product, and Raquel supplied that she also sold from her website, had made it to the old list, and had even appeared on Good Morning America to promote her product. Mark complimented the woman on her marketing strategies and called her a marketing machine—a title she accepted humbly.
Mark was curious about her typical order size and was pleasantly surprised by her answer. Raquel said that her order size never falls under $25,000 and sometimes goes up to $40,000. Daymond wanted to know if she was ordering in half or full containers, and just when Raquel was about to reply, Lori asked if she had ever been on QVC. Confused by the barrage of questions, Raquel took a step back, exclaiming that she didn’t know who to answer first, and Lori encouraged her to just relax. Daymond repeated his question, not giving the entrepreneur any time to breathe, but she volleyed back that the size of the container depends on her supplier because she changes them a lot as per her convenience.
Kevin commented that Headlightz is not a company, and Raquel cut him off, saying it is. Kevin emphasized that even if he gives her what she is asking for, what is the guarantee that she will not get run over by a bus, meaning surpassed by a cheaper duplicate? Mark interjected that she might have keyman insurance, and Kevin asked Raquel if she had it, but the entrepreneur didn’t know what it was. Lori came to her rescue, asking if anything protected the design from being stolen like a patent. Raquel said that she had a patent pending since 2018, which worried the Sharks. Lori inquired why it was taking so long and if she had received any office actions, but Raquel was at a loss of words.
Peter praised Raquel for being a great designer and endorser, but he thought she was disconnected from the business side of her company. He told her she needed a “supercharged entrepreneur” and was immediately shut down by Raquel and Mark. Peter reasoned that she didn’t have any clarity on the patent, and Mark interjected that she is still an individual entrepreneur selling and making money.
Kevin jumped in, ready to offer Raquel a deal, but his use of “crazy chicken” for her offends Raquel and Lori. Kevin amended that he meant nothing vicious by it but only wanted to point out her energy, and Raquel accepted his explanation, yet she didn’t look convinced. Kevin offered her $200,000 for a $2 royalty per hat until he recoups his money; then, the royalty will drop to $1 and hold as long as the product is in the market. The Sharks found his deal outrageous, and Kevin emphasized that he wouldn’t have any equity.
Raquel broke the discussion between the Sharks and shared that in 2016 she was misdiagnosed with pneumonia when she had fungal pneumonia. The delayed treatment led to more complications, making it hard for her to walk. She was quarantined, suffered a stroke and two lung failures, and was on the ventilator for a month. With tears in her eyes, she elaborated that she was not a “crazy chicken” but merely driven because she didn’t want her children to suffer.
Kevin looked guilty, so Daymond came in for his rescue, elaborating that his friend meant nothing by that word.
Peter commended Raquel for rising above her failures and shared that he had also gone through a rough patch and could understand the struggle. He offered her $200,000 for 25% equity stakes, and Kevin told Raquel to look at his deal first. Raquel replied that she wasn’t excited about a royalty into perpetuity deal.
Lori congratulated Raquel for coming so far, but she had a similar product in her portfolio and believed that Headlightz could be a conflict of interest for her, so he was out.
Mark commented that clothing was never his thing, so he pulled out.
Daymond was worried about the delay in patent approval and didn’t want to be blindsided by competition in the future, so he stepped away from the deal.
Peter proposed a joint deal with Kevin for $200,000 and 20% equity and a $1 royalty until they recoup $600,000. Raquel agreed and closed the deal with Kevin O’Leary and Peter Jones.
After her appearance on Shark Tank season 13, ROQ Innovation garnered much attention from potential investors. It has been featured in Forbes, Black Enterprise, and the View and is constantly growing its product catalog. Raquel is bound to make big bucks with two Sharks in her town.
Our Review of ROQ Innovation
Despite the lack of patent, Raquel has made Headlightz a bestseller in its niche. She didn’t shy away from cold calling and singlehandedly made the marketing campaign for her business a success. Her can-do attitude struck a chord with both the Shark and the audience, and her sales increased significantly after her Shark Tank episode aired.
We think Raquel can expand her business by launching more products like Headlightz and patenting it from the get-go. She has already launched face masks and headbands on her website, and with two Sharks on her team, she can definitely tap into other sectors. Additionally, it can reduce accidents caused by night darkness as the LED light on the head can tell drivers someone is walking on the pavement or crossing the road.
Pros of ROQ Innovation
- No-hand light
- Unisex knit hat
Cons of ROQ Innovation
- Patent pending
- Limited availability
Who Is ROQ Innovation for?
ROQ Innovation’s Hedalightz is for everyone who wants to see in the dark without holding a flashlight. It facilitates visibility without burdening you with heavy equipment and is perfect for a late-night jog in the city.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Headlightz from ROQ Innovation is not a unique product and has many alternatives available on the Chinese online shopping platforms and Amazon.
Our Final Thoughts
Headlightz solves a problem, but it isn’t something that can hold on its own in the industry. The product can be surpassed by Chinese duplicates if it doesn’t improve its design or introduce something in the market. Raquel really has to deliver on her promise to provide “innovative solutions,” or else the company will find it hard to stay afloat.