Cup-a-Bug Shark Tank Update: Making Homes Bug-Free Without Guilt

Fear of bugs, insects, reptiles, or arthropods transcends the boundaries of age, gender, or sometimes even living creatures. We all know or might be someone who panics at the mere sight of the creepy crawlies. Over the years, humans have come up with various interesting tricks to trap or get them out of our spaces, such as the cup and paper method. However, they don’t always yield favorable results as oftentimes, the unwelcome leggy guests free themselves during the process or while they are being transferred.

Cup-a-Bug was designed as a foolproof way to curb this issue. With a mechanism built to promote humane bug-catching, the product ensures you make your space bug-free without harming the visitors. A classic win-win situation! When they appeared in episode 15 of ‘Shark Tank’ season 15, the unique invention was quite well-received and garnered the attention of the viewers, thus prompting many to trace their journey after their appearance on the show.

Cup-a-Bug: Who Are They and What Do They Do?

Just like Cup-a-Bug, the motivation behind its conception is also interesting. Its founder, Justin Huang, is an entrepreneur with years of experience in the field. Following his graduation from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2010, he joined Astro Flight, where he works to this day. Over the years, he has also garnered immense knowledge about a lot of stuff. As per his own account, Justin’s determination to possess a deeper understanding of the subject of engineering has helped him expand his horizon of knowledge and delve deep into the field of electrical, software, and manufacturing engineering, all by self-learning via co-workers, online tutorials and programs.

In 2016, he put his vast knowledge to good use and established Solid Factory. Though the production and sale of Dice Tower and Bulbasaur set the ball rolling for the entrepreneur, the successors were met with a not-so-favorable response in the market. Justin then decided it was time to take a step back and focus on small but feasible products, even if it meant he wouldn’t get to showcase his creativity. Then, a random incident on a fine day hit him with the idea of crafting a no-kill bug catcher. Just like many of us, Justin grew up as a child who was extremely terrified of the crawlies. It used to take as much as a glimpse for him to flee the spot where he encountered the bug.

When the fear permeated into adulthood, the young man began using a tissue to smack and kill tiny bugs and insects he came into contact with. As time passed and Justin got more mature, he realized the practice began to eat at his conscience, and he opted for the tried and tested cup method. Sadly, he couldn’t bring himself to do it, but the disappointing experience prompted him to do something about it. That’s when he began to wonder how convenient bug-catching would be if there was a handle attached to the cup. After a while, he got the prototype ready and put it on Etsy in January 2022. However, a mixed review from a friend made him start from zero. It is that friend who actually came up with the name Cup-a-Bug!

The final product that we see in the market today is a tool comprising a cup, lid and handle. Whenever you chance upon an unwanted visitor, you need to position the pivoting cup in a way that it covers the bug, then proceed to slide the handle and close the lid, that too from a distance. Now, you can take the critters out in the open and set them free. The long handle helps create enough space between the user and the tiny guest. It took two years for Justin to come up with this product, which has a minimalistic design, is easy to use, and gets the job done. In February 2022, he started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds, which led him to ultimately taste success.

Cup-a-Bug: Where Are They Now?

In the months that followed the setup of the campaign, Justin Huang gave detailed updates to the contributors, finally beginning to dispatch the Kickstarter units sometime in August 2022. Interestingly, the company got pre-orders for over 700 units of Cup-a-Bugs via the campaign. One thing led to another, and May 2023 marked the commencement of the inaugural production run of the product on the eponymous website. In July 2023, they were present at the Modern Makers Mart at Woodbury Town Center in Irvine, California, to showcase the innovative bug catcher.

Though the company has been bombarded with orders, they have decided to take it slow and see how the product performs in the homeland before transporting it to the rest of the world. As far as the pricing of Cup-a-Bug is concerned, the selling price is set at $49.99. However, you can currently avail the product from its website at a discounted rate of $39.99. Additionally, the company is also offering free shipping to customers across the nation. As of writing, Cup-a-Bug is only available for order via the official site and Amazon. Having said that, they plan to expand their business overseas and serve international customers who have been eager to make their homes bug-free without an iota of guilt.

Justin genuinely believes in the product’s ability to make life easier. With a simplistic mechanism, Cup-a-Bug helps you capture bugs, roaches, bees, flies, and lizards (not over 3 inches) from every nook and cranny of your abode without fearing for your life. The handle, which is over 3 feet long, enables tracking the critters from a distance and even on the ceiling. As a way of doing his part to conserve the environment, the founder aims to contribute to organizations that work for the welfare of animals in the future. With the growing popularity of Cup-a-Bug, that goal doesn’t seem farfetched.

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