Originally posted Friday, October 5, 2018 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Atlanta entrepreneur Brad Ruffkess will be on the 10th season of "Shark Tank" Sunday to promote a product he hopes will reduce package theft outside people's homes.
Introduced nationally this past July, BoxLock allows delivery people to scan the package's bar code to release the lock. The driver can then place the package inside whatever box you have, say, on your porch or hidden by the side of the house.
The lock, which retails for $129, makes it far more difficult for thieves to just grab and go.
It's an obvious problem. In a 2007 survey, nearly a third of Americans say they've had packages stolen outside their home.
Ruffkess, 39, said he moved to Virginia-Highland in late 2016 and worried about packages being stolen off porches, he sought a good solution. He couldn’t find one - so he created his own.
What differentiates his product from others, he said, is that all major delivery carriers can access the lock using standard bar scanners, he said. That includes the United States Postal Service, FedEx, UPS and Amazon.
“It’s a win win win for delivery carriers, retailers and consumers,” Ruffkess said.
The early challenge, he said, is ensuring delivery drivers use the lock rather than just leave the package willy nilly. But he said once more people have Boxlocks, it should become normalized. (In fact, most of the complaints on Amazon on the product had nothing to do with the product itself but delivery carriers actually using it.)
Once Ruffkess had his idea, the former Coca-Cola executive tapped his connections and received seed funding from former and current executives from Coke, DHL, Nike and Samsung, to name a few.
Hopefully, a boost from a “Shark Tank” investor will help him grow even faster, he said.
The timing of his appearance on “Shark Tank” is perfect, he added, just in time for Christmas season.
His offices are in Cabbagetown.
“Shark Tank,” 10 p.m. Sundays, ABC
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