In 2014, Robbie Cabral was down on his luck.
"I was working my normal job and, sadly, I got laid off," he tells CNBC's "Halftime Report." "The same day I got laid off, my daughter was born."
Then, a simple idea turned his situation around: While at the gym, he wondered "how come there is not just a lock that you can open with a fingerprint, but also with a traditional key," he recalls. It would be a convenient and safe upgrade from commonplace, analog locks, he thought.
That idea led him to invent Benjilock, a patented product that does just that.
He took his invention, which won accolades at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, all the way to ABC's "Shark Tank," where he landed a $200,000 investment from Kevin O'Leary in exchange for 15 percent equity in the company.
O'Leary says the ingenuity of the product made it an obvious choice to back.
"The first thing I thought is, 'How come someone hasn't done this already?' and 'Why don't the lock companies have a patent on this brilliant technology?'" O'Leary tells CNBC about why he snapped up the deal, out-negotiating other interested sharks. "Obviously we went nuts on 'Shark Tank' because you can just see that this product is a destined patent to lock companies for a royalty deal."
But "Shark Tank" was just the beginning of Cabral's success.
Royalty deals — which are something of a specialty for O'Leary — became the game plan for Benjilock. And Friday, Cabral began to see a payoff from his and O'Leary's efforts to license the product.
After seeing the lock on "Shark Tank," Kim Kelley, the CEO of Hampton Products International, which specializes in hardware and security, became interested in the idea. He reached out to O'Leary, who then helped broker a deal.
Now Hampton owns the rights to the product in North America.
"The intellectual property, the patents that you've got on this product, is really extensive," Kelley tells Cabral. "We're looking forward to helping you leverage that."
To show his enthusiasm for the deal, Kelley stopped by CNBC to hand deliver a $100,000 check to Benjilock's founder. Upon opening the check, Cabral broke down in tears.
"The 'Shark Tank' episode and Kevin's investment in your dream was the missing link for us, and we're really excited," Kelley continues. "We're going to make this work."
For Cabral, the deal is another landmark in the pursuit of his dreams.
"It is basically the American dream for me," he says. "Hopefully, now I can actually provide for my family and bring jobs too — that is the goal for me. I'm extremely happy."
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Disclaimer: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."