“The Lions’ Den”
Founders offer 50 percent of their shares
Despite some criticism from the Lion, there are some lucrative deals. A start-up offers 50 percent of its company shares.
In the seventh episode of the current “Die Höhle der Löwen” season, the founders are again promising a “revolution” in their respective industries. But this time the investors are hardly impressed by it.
A man in a gorilla costume sits in the lion’s den. “It’s going to be awesome”, concludes Carsten Maschmeyer (62) with the usual astuteness. “Scooper” has nothing to do with animals. Instead, the brand of Patrick Fuchs (43) and Michael Gueth (46) should very modestly revolutionize the market for energy products.
“Scooper” celebrates its world premiere in “Die Höhle der Löwen”. Unlike most of the inventions presented in the program, it is not yet on the market. The founders would like to have 150,000 euros for a generous 50 percent. But what is so revolutionary about “Scooper”? These are caffeine bags that you can stuff into your cheek pouches and that are supposed to get into your blood faster than energy drinks.
Why the founders chose a disguised gorilla and not a hamster as a heraldic animal remains a mystery. For the lions the product is not as revolutionary as it is for the inventors. But Dagmar Wöhrl (67) has mercy and strikes.
Meat substitutes divide the lions
Alternatives to meat products have often been seen in the lion’s den. The problem that amateur chef Bernd Sell (61) and his wife Nicole (48) discovered is that the meat alternatives usually don’t keep for a long time. The solution is said to be “Early Green”, a dry powder made from the wheat protein seitan. Mixed with water and oil, it can be used to form vegan burgers, steaks and gyros. The couple, who hold hands all the time, want 100,000 euros for 20 percent of the company shares.
For meat fan Maschmeyer, the result doesn’t feel meaty enough, Judith Williams (50) is skeptical because seitan is made from gluten. But two lions bite. Ralf Dümmel (54), who wants 30 percent, and Nils Glagau (45), who would be happy with 20 percent. But the founders absolutely want to go with Dümmel, they are trading him down to 25 percent.
Nils Freyberg (29) and Tiado Janis Pieperhoff (21) have “Asphaltkind” on their sweaters, and that is also the name of their start-up. The young men want to portray the good old, now discredited “car in a more positive way”. Their invention for this mission: a lightweight, aerodynamic roof box made of flax fibers. They have developed the fabric cropfiber from natural fibers, which is said to be a sustainable alternative to carbon.
Only when asked more precisely do the lions find out that the asphalt children are not interested in the roof boxes, but in the material itself, from which various things can be made, especially in the automotive industry. Of course, Nico Rosberg (36) starts right away. The Formula 1 world champion teamed up with Carsten Maschmeyer, the two of them raised the required 230,000 euros, but gave the founders 25.1 percent instead of the 15 offered.
“Dream Lion” strikes
The next product is called “Soapflaker”. The name initially poses problems for Ralf Dümmel. He has probably never heard of cornflakes, with which his colleague Maschmeyer helps out as a translation aid. As the name suggests, these are soap flakes that come from a kind of pepper mill. The solid soap dispenser is intended to be an alternative to environmentally unfriendly liquid soap and unsanitary bars of soap. For his market novelty, Stefan Hinüber (46) would like 120,000 euros for 10 percent. For most investors, the product is not practical in everyday life. But Stefan’s “dream lion” Ralf Dümmel of all people is interested, but wants 30 percent. The product designer suggests anyway.
Matthias Schadhauser (26) and Philipp Kramer (26) also want to revolutionize something, this time the school. Her goal is to make something “cool, fun” out of the penne. Matthias is a tutor and is annoyed by the chaos of his students’ notes. The digital solution should be the “Wryte” tablet app. This allows the students to take handwritten notes, which are automatically assigned to the correct subject via a timetable feature. The founders run into open doors with lions like Judith Williams, who are annoyed by homeschooling. But nobody wants to pay 300,000 for 10 percent of the start-up. The tenor: the world is not ready yet. Everyone gets out.