IU Graduate Pitches Coat Check Business On ABC Reality Show

Derek Pacque appeared Friday on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ to pitch his coat checking business plan, but rejected Mark Cuban's offer to invest in the company.

Derek on Shark Tank

Photo: Courtesy of Indiana University

Derek Pacque poses with the equipment used in his coat check system.

Updated September 17

Derrick Pacque took a theatrical approach when pitching his business, CoatChex, to ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ on Friday, demonstrating the need for his business by throwing thousands of tickets up in the air and dragging a fur coat by a leash.

Pacque asked the panel of investors to pay $200,000 for a 10-percent share in CoatChex, valuing the company at $2 million. But because Pacque had not sold his coat checking system to any businesses, the panel of judges said his pitch was premature.

When all other investors turned Pacque’s offer down, IU Alumnus Marc Cuban countered Pacque by offering $200,000 for a 33 percent share in CoatChex. Pacque rejected the offer, saying he would further test his system and prove CoatChex’s worth.

Published September 14

A recent Indiana University graduate is pitching his business tonight on a network reality show.  Derek Pacque, who will appear Friday night on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ is pitching his business idea called Coatchex.

Pacque says his idea came from his own experience at Bloomington bars.

“One day I lost my coat and that really just set me over the edge. I was like this is stupid. These bars need to have coat checks,” he says.

Coatchex is a ticketless coat checking system where QR codes and user pictures are used for coat pick-up identification.

“What we did was make this system that takes a picture of both the coat and the person so that now at the end of the night our attendants can see a picture of you and your belonging to make sure they are giving it back to the right person,” he says.

Donald Kuratko, one of Pacques’ professors, says Pacque got experience pitching his venture while at the Kelley School.

“We want to make sure that students were getting a realistic perspective of trying to put an idea and a plan together so we bring in actual investors that they have to pitch in front of, much like ‘Shark Tank,’” he says.

Pacque can’t reveal what happens on tonight’s show, but he says it was a thrill to pitch to fellow IU alumnus Mark Cuban, who is a panel investor on the show. If Pacque wins over the judges, he could receive money to expand his business.

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