How A Stolen Coat Turned Into A Multi-Million Dollar Idea

From this incident was born the idea of Coatchex, a simple, yet innovative system of checking coats at bars, restaurants and other venues that is hassle free and safe for the customers and business owners alike.

Derek Pacque is the founder of Coatchex and Hearpreneur asked a few questions about the origin of his business, his partnership with Gerry Hays and his experience on the popular TV series “Sharks” where he first pitched his idea to a nationwide audience. Here is what he had to say about promoting his business idea.

It’s vital when pitching your business to have a few things down pat first:

  • Know Your Business: This means knowing your business model and industry completely.
  • Get the Right Partner: Are you looking for money or a business associate? Be sure to arrive at a fair split of ownership.
  • Present your Business: Be clean, efficient and a little flashy. You want to stand out without losing your professionalism, but being enthusiastic helps tremendously.

Know When to Turn Down a Deal

When deciding on whether to take the offer from Mark Cuban, my partner and I came to the decision that while it was good, it was simply not good enough. That judgment was based on knowing our business inside and out and understanding that Cuban’s offer was simply not enough to cover the costs. Had we not been as educated about our business, it would have been really difficult to turn him down.

This means that we knew what we wanted, how much it was going to cost and what the potential benefits were going to be. Going on “Sharks” was a no-brainer in that 7 million people got to see our business idea, but the offer was just not enough. Still, being on the show got us offers and hundreds of requests from around the world which helped us establish our business. Companies like ESPN, Maxim and even the Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis have used Coatchex.

Inspiration Can Come from Anywhere

The idea for Coatchex was born when I was decided whether to wear a pricey coat to one of our local bars, knowing that I might lose it because there was no coat check system. After asking around, I found that the liability was simply too much for many restaurant and bar owners to be bothered with so I started my own local Coatchex business. I made a great deal of money, but the ticketing system I used didn’t work very well.

Thanks to my business partner, Gerry Hays, I began the ticket-less Coatchex system, a turn-key business that allows for coats to be checked conveniently without having to use tickets. This meant that the process is hassle-free, uses simple, yet advanced technology and is very secure so people can check their coats without worry. Today, Coatchex is being used worldwide and is still expanding.

Derek Pacque is now enjoying a fantastic amount of success that stemmed from a single unfortunate incident. The power of being an entrepreneur is knowing when to pursue your ideas and make the right choices for your future.

This post is from a contributing writer to CEO Blog Nation. 


CBNation helps entrepreneurs and business owners succeed with visibility, resources and connections. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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