Jeff Witten of Mamaroneck, New York is the entrepreneur behind CoinOut. It’s a digital tool to turn loose change into “effortless money.” Witten is pitching his business on Shark Tank on February 18. He’s seeking an investment of $250,000 in exchange for 7.5 percent equity. He demonstrates the advantages of CoinOut by pretending to buy a cup of coffee. Everything is great until the woman behind the counter gives him back loose change. “I hate loose change,” says Witten, “It’s filthy!” Robert Herjavec agrees. Witten goes on to declare “getting coins back from cash is a completely inefficient, annoying, and stupid way to transact.” Mark Cuban snickers at the comment, and Barbara Corcoran says “it’s true.”
Here’s how CoinOut works: When you pay for a cup of coffee, you give your CoinOut card to the cashier, punch in your phone number, and chose if you want to just CoinOut the coins or the total change. There’s no app to download, no financial information needed, and no signing required until you’re ready to cash out. If you think it’s a great idea, you’re not alone. Witten came up with the idea while working at Apple and studying at Columbia University. CoinOut’s first investor was Bill Campbell, the late adviser to Steve Jobs at Apple and Larry Page at Google. Campbell was called “Coach,” a reference to his days coaching Columbia’s football team in the 1970s.
CoinOut reminds us ChangED, the app that collects digital spare change to help students pay off student loans, which Mark Cuban recently invested in — $250,000 for 25 percent. Will Cuban see a potential partnership between CoinOut and ChangED? Or will he see CoinOut as a competitor? New episodes of Shark Tank air Sundays at 10pm on ABC. [Related: 27 Favorite Shark Tank Products ]