“The Lion’s Den”: Toy inventor inspires investors

“The Lion’s Den”
Toy inventor inspires investors

Investor Dagmar Wöhrl examines a “FlexBricks” bird from Berlin founder Marcel Pasternak

© RTL / Bernd-Michael Maurer

A founder secured a mega deal with his concept of introducing children to the wonders of nature with flexible play building blocks.

In the fifth episode of “The Lions’ Den” (VOX, Mondays from 8:15 p.m., also via RTL+), Berlin founder Marcel Pasternak, 36, secured the biggest deal of the evening. With his flexible toy building blocks, which, unlike Lego & Co., allow dynamic movements, he awakened the child in the man, especially investor Ralf Dümmel, 57, and his interest in entrepreneurial cooperation. Another highlight in the show was a German-Indian founder couple who wanted to make popcorn made from water lily seeds tasty for Germans.

“Mr. Food and Mrs. Branding” invest 100,000 euros in popcorn

Right at the beginning of the show, the friendly founder couple Shweta Pahuja-Markull, 34, and Lars Markull, 36, from Berlin took the lion team on a culinary journey to India. They have already had a successful start on the German snack market with their company “Just Nosh” and their “Water Lily Pops”, and they now want to further expand their range with fresh investor money. As the two revealed on the show, they met while studying economics in France and had a big Indian wedding in 2016. Even though Shweta really likes it in Germany, she missed the much larger spice cosmos of her homeland here. The idea of ​​bringing “a piece of India to Germany” with new snacks was not far off.

During their pitch to the assembled investors, the two scored points by tasting their products. Apart from Carsten Maschmeyer, 64, who generally does not see himself as a food investor, all the other lions got in with bids. In the end, the deal went to Tillman Schulz, 34, and Tijen Onaran, 39, who agreed to invest 100,000 euros as a team for a 20 percent stake in the company. Tijen Onaran said: “Both of us are the perfect fit. Mr. Food and Mrs. Branding, that’s the hottest combination ever.” And the culinary founding couple were also enthusiastic about the “young and fresh blood” coming to their company.

Unsuccessful in the TV studio with Pony Rosa

Founder Konrad Winkler, 59, from Salzburg, who presented his “Clever Horse Clip” on the show together with his favorite pony Rosa, caused significantly less enthusiasm among the lions. Its innovative locking system for horse leashes enables horses to be tied more securely and has the advantage that it opens automatically when the animals react to escape in order to avoid injuries. In order to make his invention standard equipment for horse owners worldwide, he sought an investment of 45,000 euros and offered ten percent of the company shares in return. Despite all the enthusiasm for Pony Rosa and the friendly appearance of her owner, none of the investors ultimately got involved. Dagmar Wöhrl, 70, for example, saw great difficulties in making this “product that required explanation” known, and Nils Glagau, 48, also turned down the offer due to a lack of knowledge of the “horse specialty”.

Wonders of nature made from flexible plastic

With his “bionicToys”, Berlin founder Marcel Pasternak, 36, fulfilled his own childhood dream of toys that can be used to recreate the organic structures and natural movements of the animal world more perfectly than with the already established building block systems of other brands. Thanks to its patented “FlexBricks”, which can be bent and rotated in all directions, this is now easily possible. The assembled investors were thoroughly impressed by the extremely professional presentation of the invention by the studied product designer, but were also visibly shy about the investment amount of 320,000 euros demanded by Pasternak for ten percent of the company shares. Only Ralf Dümmel kept his nerve, negotiated the toy inventor up to a 20 percent stake and then struck with a childlike smile on his face.

Deal for bespoke luxury art

Munich start-up entrepreneur Franziska Scheuerle, 33, presented a promising opportunity to better bring art and buyers together using digital means in the program. On “LOREMO”, the digital platform she developed for customized luxury commissioned art, interested lawyers, dentists or bank directors can commission works of art that perfectly match the interior of their business premises and their personality. Parameters such as painting style, canvas size, material and frame can be flexibly selected on the platform, and the unique pieces are then delivered within six to eight weeks. While some of the investors were skeptical as to whether this concept would prevail given prices starting at 3,000 euros for the surprise works, in the end a team of three made up of Dagmar Wöhrl, Tillman Schulz and Carsten Maschmeyer took bold action and invested a whopping 200,000 euros for 30 percent of company shares.

E-scooter “Fat Albert” goes home without a deal

With his e-scooter “Fat Albert”, the founder Albert Ebenbichler, 56, tried to get the lions’ investment appetite going. With his innovative vehicle, he presented an interesting option for driving into the city on a scooter and conveniently storing all your purchases in the integrated trunk after a shopping trip. As he demonstrated to investors, in addition to a case of beer, it can easily accommodate four more shopping bags. According to the experienced investors, the fact that he ultimately had to go home without a deal was due not only to the planned selling price of around 5,000 euros, but also to the lack of “proof of concept” for Ebenbichler’s suitcase scooter.


source site-16