It started with a cold call: an e-mail in July to the billionaire investor Mark Cuban, asking him for money.
The company seeking the financing, HourlyNerd, had a payment due to its development firm, so it ruled out applying to appear on “Shark Tank,” the venture capital reality show starring Mr. Cuban, because that would take too long.
To the surprise of Robert D. Biederman, a co-founder of HourlyNerd, Mr. Cuban responded about 15 minutes later. He was in.
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