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.