Several years ago Emory University student Kaeya Majmundar and her roommate were running late and frantically packing to move out of their dorm room at the end of their freshman year. However, it was more difficult than she expected because she and her roommate hadn’t assembled their packing boxes.
“I have a million ideas a minute; everywhere I turn I see potential,” Majmundar said. “I love the idea of making something from nothing.”
Majmundar never forgot that experience and recently was able to turn it into an idea good enough to receive an investment offer on an episode of the hit television show Shark Tank, which aired May 18. She was awarded $50,000 from Lori Greiner of QVC for a 40 percent stake in her company.
After that experience of moving out of her dorm, Majmundar began to contemplate how to streamline the packing process. The answer came to her while watching her sister folding a paper crane several years ago.
“I wanted to simplify the packing process, increase efficiency and save money,” Majmundar said.
Before applying to be on Shark Tank, Majmundar won the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization’s National Elevator Pitch Competition. Following this, she applied to be on Shark Tank by submitting a two-sentence pitch and video to the show’s producers.
Majmundar said she had almost forgotten about applying when the show’s producers called and told her she was one of the 114 applicants selected to appear on the show.
“It was really nerve-racking,” Majmundar said of appearing on the show. “The process was so drawn out.”
She said the process of the show made her even more nervous because she knew she only had one chance to appear in front of the five investors on Shark Tank.
“It took forever to get there and I only had one opportunity to get an investment from these people so if I made a mistake, that was it,” Majmundar said.
Majmundar said she expected Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary to be the toughest person to impress. However, she said investor Barbara Corcoran was the most intimidating. After asking Majmundar about her background, Corcoran told her that she had a wonderful idea but lacked the listening skills and the drive to become a successful entrepreneur.
“Will you allow me to speak bluntly?” Corcoran asked. “You are not an entrepreneur. I’m out.”
“It was a little bit intense but she had every right to say what she said,” Majmundar said. “Barbara actually emailed me afterwards to wish me luck.”
Greiner, dubbed the “Queen of QVC,” said there were problems with Majmundar’s product, called BZbox. However, she made her an offer if Majmundar promised to work with her to iron out the kinks.
“I think it’s really clever,” Geary said. “You are the kind of person I like to work with because you are the type of person who will do whatever it takes.”
Currently, Majmundar is working to fill orders on BZbox and get the product into retail stores. She also runs several other businesses: an online jewelry company called Ringlee that allows customers to create a made-to-order ring featuring any image they upload to its website; and a physical therapy product Majmundar invented after breaking her arm last year.
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