Whatever Happened To mcSquares Dry Erase Whiteboard Tiles After Shark Tank Season 11?

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Paper waste from sticky notes may seem arbitrary, but when you consider the millions of companies, offices, schools, and homes that regularly use sticky notes, all those little squares really start to add up. Sticky notes may be a good way to jot down quick thoughts, but what about when you need to organize your workstation or share those thoughts with a team? That's why Anthony Franco invented mcSquares, an innovative line of products including magnetic boards and reusable dry-erase "sticky notes." Franco felt that mcSquares — pronounced "em-see squares" — were so ingenious he even named them after Albert Einstein's famous equation, E = MC^2. 

"In certain environments, everybody is scared to speak up, and the people with the best ideas are the ones that are least likely to share them," said Franco. There's perhaps no scarier place in the world to speak up than in the Shark Tank, where Franco found himself in season 11 of the series. In addition to pitching his product, Franco gave the sharks an unforgettable performance stocked with plenty of surprises — one of which made the sharks hop out of their seats — but was it enough to capture their investment? Here's what happened to mcSquares on Shark Tank and how the company has transformed since.

What happened to mcSquares on Shark Tank?

Since his first Shark Tank episode, Anthony Franco turned heads with his colorful presentation. Franco asked for $300,000 in exchange for 10% equity, then stated, "A six-pack of mcSquare stickies can replace over 12,000 paper sticky notes." Suddenly, a loud pop made the sharks jump in their seats, and thousands of paper notes rained down from the ceiling. Multiply 12,000 sticky notes by 50 million companies, Franco explained, and "That's roughly 250,000 trees worth." Franco had yet another surprise in store; he had hand-drawn portraits of each shark on their sample boards. Franco later said he got the idea at a business meeting, where he had passed out whiteboard squares and was amazed by people's sudden contributions.

Of course, it was only a matter of time until the sharks came looking for blood. Sales at that point had reached $214,000, but Franco projected, "We'll do $110,000 this month, and we'll do $1 million this year." Mark Cuban declared himself "out" due to a conflict of interest with a similar investment. Lori Greiner didn't feel passionate about the product, Rohan Oza didn't think mcSquares addressed a problem consumers would care about, and Barbara Corcoran simply preferred sticky notes. The final shark, Kevin O'Leary, seemed merciful. "Here's my offer. It's the only one I'm going to make. $300,000 for 25%." After a few suspenseful moments, Franco accepted Kevin's offer. To seal the deal, he even gave Kevin his funky jacket. 

McSquares after Shark Tank

Franco's original terms with Kevin were eventually renegotiated after the episode. Instead of $300,000 at 25% equity, mcSquare received $50,000 in exchange for 11% equity for Kevin. "As we started looking at the company, we realized the company had significantly changed from when we shook hands on it. We agreed that this is essentially a better deal for both of us. We gave him a better deal on the valuation and took in less capital." Franco told the Denver Post. After the episode aired, mcSquares also continued to raise money through crowdfunding, over $650,000. 

"Anyone that has Kevin as a partner is super, super lucky," Franco said after leaving the tank, "This was easily the hardest thing I have ever done." All of his hard work paid off after the show, however. With Kevin's guidance, Franco was able to grow mcSquares by 600% by 2020. In the original Shark Tank episode, Franco described himself as a "stereotypical teased-and-picked-on computer nerd" and said that he had struggled to graduate from high school. To go from that to owning a company that rakes in $3 million in revenue annually is a stellar achievement and a legendary business success. 

Is mcSquares still around?

Yes, mcSquares is still in business and livelier than ever! In season 13 of the series, which premiered in October 2021, Shark Tank provided a follow-up on Anthony Franco and mcSquares. In the episode, Franco shared the company's great success and said that mcSquares had recently moved to a larger 25,000-square-foot facility in Colorado. McSquares has also stuck to its goals of reducing waste and benefitting the planet; the new facility uses wind-powered energy, and the company has planted over 40,000 trees since the Shark Tank episode first aired. The company also made a deal with the Novi School District in Michigan, providing 6,000 whiteboards to help students and faculty engage with each other. 

Besides Shark Tank, mcSquares products have also been featured by many news outlets, including a back-to-school supply episode of Today. While it may have been originally designed for offices and schools, mcSquares has also found surprising success in residential homes. The mcSquares boards and stickies have become an excellent tool to help people keep up with daily tasks like self-care, chores, grocery lists, and more. The company offers calendars, planners, journals, habit trackers, wet-erase markers, and even dishwasher magnets. 

The future of mcSquares

McSquares has had several appearances on Shark Tank since that first fateful episode, and Anthony Franco seems thrilled with his newfound success. "Yep — one more chance to see the jacket as we air on Shark Tank for the 4th time!" he wrote in a LinkedIn post from 2022. But what does the future hold for this creative and collaborative company? Has this little fish finally outgrown the Shark Tank? McSquares has remained relatively secretive about any new investment plans, but the company was only just founded in 2013. As they continue to grow, we suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of these innovative little whiteboards out and about. 

If you're ready to get organized or create the perfect homework station for your kids, you can purchase mcSquares products on their website or through Amazon, but the product hasn't yet made its way into brick-and-mortar stores. Perhaps the next big frontier for mcSquares will be getting their products onto shelves of stores like Target, Walmart, or Office Depot, where consumers can experience their quality first-hand. It's possible that mcSquares will also form more connections with schools and other government institutions. Hopefully, mcSquares can continue to inspire other entrepreneurs and set an example for smarter, greener collaboration tools.