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Whatever Happened To Notehall After Shark Tank?

Plenty of entrepreneurs have gone on ABC's "Shark Tank" to pitch products or companies geared towards students, like the Storage Scholars university storage company or the Lockerbones locker shelving set. Two of the earliest businesspeople to pitch such a company were D.J. Stephan and Sean Conway, creators of Notehall.

Notehall is a website that allows students to upload their notes and study guides for other students to purchase, with Notehall receiving 60% of the fee, and the student receiving the rest. As Stephan put it during their pre-taped introduction, Notehall is meant to help diligent students make extra income, while also helping students who fall behind for any reason.

The duo appeared during the show's first season, with their episode airing in October 2009. Their initial ask was for $90,000 in exchange for 10% of their company. After some back and forth, they considered three offers: $90,000 for 25% from Barbara Corcoran, $90,000 for 35% from Kevin O'Leary, and $115,000 in exchange for 35% from Robert Herjavec. In the end, they took Corcoran's offer. However, after their episode was filmed, Stephan and Conway ultimately walked away from the deal, which Corcoran regretted years later.

Shortly after Shark Tank, Stephan and Conway sold Notehall

Barbara Corcoran talked about the abandoned Notehall deal with Yahoo Finance in 2015. Shortly after they walked away, Stephan and Conway sold Notehall to textbook rental company Chegg.com. As Corcoran put it, "They swore they wouldn't shop it around, but they did. And they sold it for $10 million two weeks later, and I was out of the picture."

That's not quite how it went down. Stephan and Conway officially sold Notehall to Chegg in June 2011, not two weeks after they filmed their "Shark Tank" pitch. Additionally,  according to the SEC filing for the sale, Chegg paid Notehall $3.7 million in equity. So it's not clear whether $10 million is an accurate figure.

However, despite any potentially lingering ill feelings, "Shark Tank" did invite Stephan and Conway back on the show during Season 3 in 2012 to provide an update about the sale. They also confirmed that the sale made both of them millionaires. Chegg also hired Stephan and Conway after the sale. 

It's worth noting that several professors and university officials have criticized Notehall for monetizing studying, and for potentially profiting off of intellectual property. Despite this, Notehall and Chegg continue to sell notes to students today, offering material from classes at hundreds of universities and community college. Considering Notehall had only done about $30,000 in sales prior to "Shark Tank," it's one of the biggest successes in the show's history–even if Corcoran didn't get a taste.