The first in the “Lion’s Den” was Carl Heinze. With Carryyygum he presents what is probably the smallest luggage rack in the world. With the rubber band construction, smaller items should be quickly clamped onto the bicycle handlebar and transported safely: “My useful bicycle gimmick fits almost every bicycle handlebar and weighs only 33 grams,” says the founder. So far, the Munich native has only devoted himself to his startup as a part-time job. To change that, he is looking for a strategic investor and is demanding 150,000 euros for a 20 percent stake.
15 years later on the bike
After a very pleasant and confident pitch from the founder, retail expert Ralf Dümmel was allowed to participate in the demonstration of the product and go for a spin in the studio. The judge’s two-wheeled comeback after 15 years without pedaling almost ended in a fall. The demonstration object, a long baguette, survived the test without flaws.
It was remarkable that Heinze transparently identified his patent process on the product packaging – while it was still running. He wanted to deter others from copying his carryyygum. Media investor Georg Kofler called “smart”, while ex-Miss Germany Dagmar Wöhrl found it exciting.
Not a strong product?
Kofler had a fantasy problem to think of this small product as one that generates sales of four or five million euros. CEO Nils Glagau said that Carryyygum is not useful for larger transport services such as a “shopping bag”. The founder affirmed this, but said that his use case would be spontaneous completion, such as borrowing a book quickly or packing up the jacket.
Everyone out except dumbbells
Wöhrl and Kofler were the first two to say goodbye. Multi-investor Carsten Maschmeyer had considered that the market was too small. He would also miss a certain fire at the founder. He was out too. Glagau followed and left Dümmel.
Demanding “Lion’s Den”
The lion saw it again, as is often the case this season, differently from the rest of the lions. He believed in a large target group and thought he knew what the founder needed. However, it offered 150,000 euros for 40 percent. He saw the company valuation as too high and would have to put a lot of work into the startup, he explained. Deal for carryyygum.
Training concept with coaching app
The next in the “Lion’s Den” was Fritz Grünewalt. With FitterYOU, he brought a training concept into the show, which represents a combination of motivation, personalized training mat and coaching app, which is intended to make the personal trainer concept affordable for users.
Individualized training intelligence
An individualized training intelligence pays attention to injuries, sitting habits, practiced sports and more in order to play out the right training for every user. For this purpose, the founder developed the so-called “Mat”, which – coordinated with the body size – indicates whether the execution of the exercises shown is effective – i.e. feet, knees, hands are in the correct positions.
Soccer world champion Schürrle as an investor
The founder was supported by the German soccer world champion and investor André Schürrle: “I tested the app and the mat for a long time and just noticed that I was extremely happy to have a new individual program every day,” reports the soccer team -Professional via video transmission. The demand: 500,000 euros for ten percent.
4.5 million euros invested in the startup
After the presentation, Nils Glagau took part in a training session of the start-up, in which the founder had already invested 4.5 million euros, as he revealed. The FitterYOU team has generated sales of 160,000 euros in three months.
Schürrle says “Hello”
Wöhrl and Maschmeyer were bothered by the lack of feedback from the mat, which did not really correct the practitioner. In addition, Maschmeyer said he disliked the previous handling of money – for the amount you would have to be much further. The founders then tried to make up for the negative mood with their Schürrle video message. It didn’t help with Dümmel. He got out like Woehrl. In the end, after Glagau and Maschmeyer were gone, only Kofler remained. But getting started was too risky. No deal for FitterYOU.
A Viennese in the “Lion’s Den”
The Viennese Barbara Gölles created a label called Margaret and Hermione. And explains: “I do swim and sports fashion. But not any. The bikinis, swimsuits and sports parts are made of plastic waste, ”she says. Especially the old, lost fishing nets, also called ghost nets, float in the oceans and thousands of them are fished from the oceans every day.
Expansion in mind
“A special process processes this waste into a yarn and the material for Margaret and Hermione is then made from it,” explains the Viennese woman, explaining the peculiarity of her production method. Their models are tailored to the different body shapes and should offer a high level of comfort. Due to the seamless processing, there is no narrowing and cutting. The designer wants to expand with her company. It demands 120,000 euros for a 20 percent stake in the company.
Not enough sales for Thelen
After the pitch and the appearance of demonstration models, Wöhrl praised the processing of the swimwear. Thelen thought the plan to fish plastic from the sea and use it for other purposes was great, but the hoped-for turnover of 60,000 euros was not enough for him. “We won’t be able to employ 100 people with it,” he said, getting out due to the product’s lack of scalability.
Focus on swimwear
Ralf Dümmel also said goodbye as a potential investor, while Judith Williams asked about expanding the product range. For the time being, the founder would concentrate on one section, swimwear, later on other things could be remembered.
Change of target market?
Then Georg Kofler surrendered to the difficult bikini business and was the third investor outside. Williams enumerated all sorts of problems she knew in the swimwear industry and suggested that the company concept be reconsidered. Clothing for everyday life, so her advice.
Yet another offer
Dagmar Woehrl remained. And actually made an offer: 120,000 euros for 25 percent. Barbara Gölles accepted. Deal for Margaret and Hermione.
Return of an old acquaintance
For Jörn Gutowski it is already his second appearance in the “Lion’s Den”. In 2016 he presented his “Try Foods” concept and was able to convince in the program. Even if the deal with Frank Thelen could not be implemented at the time, he would like to win the investor back. Together with Zeevi Chaimovitch, he presents a new food product to the lions: Kofu.
Alternative to tofu
It is a vegan, gluten-free and simple alternative to soy-based tofu. It consists exclusively of water, chickpeas, salt and spices. You can roast, bake or cook kofu in soup. The founders offer the lions twelve percent company shares for 150,000 euros.
Praise for the product in the “Lion’s Den”
The founding duo served the lions their three types of kofu, falafel, smoky and pure, and said they had sold over 10,000 pieces of their product in four months. After the tasting, the jurors dropped words like “great consistency”, “tastes like pressed mashed potatoes” and “crispy”.
The fatal company structure
Thelen noted that the founder’s first startup, Try Foods, was not scalable. The founder would have understood this with his new startup. Everything went well until Gutowski revealed that he held 14 percent of the company, that Chaimovich was the initiator, 59.5 percent, and that a tofu producer had 26 percent.
Thelen explained that he was actually about to invest, but now he couldn’t. For the second time in the season, the jury brought the termpoison pill“Came into play and said that one of the most important things for a company would be to keep production cheap, scalable and high quality. Surrendering this component to a partner would be a conflict of interest.
Exodus of investors
Maschmeyer said that if you wanted to build this company, you would not be able to put out a call for tenders, because the shareholder could prevent this with a veto. After that, all investors were very concerned about the third partner. Thelen, Glagau and Dümmel got out.
Cold chain as another problem
Maschmeyer followed suit. This was left to Judith Williams as the last possible investor. She had another problem and was bothered by the product’s required cold chain – this would minimize the market. It was out. No deal for Kofu.
Sole with spring steel core
With Fleximed, Peter Mucha and his brother Werner have brought an insole into the “Lion’s Den”, which is based on the advantages of walking barefoot and is thus intended to strengthen the natural function of the foot. The pressure of the body weight is distributed evenly over the entire foot and thereby reduces high punctual loads on the forefoot. The sole can be moved freely in the longitudinal direction of the foot, so that the normal unrolling aisle is supported. The integrated spring steel core provides stability so that the forefoot can no longer break through
Overall, Fleximed is supposed to relieve the strain on the entire musculoskeletal system and improve the posture in a way that is easy on the joints. The founders’ offer to the Löwen: 140,000 euros for 20 percent of the company’s shares.
Three CEOs on the treadmill
After the pitch, Glagau was asked to do a “running experiment”. He walked without shoes on a treadmill that measures and displays the pressure distribution when walking. The lion repeated this with its own footwork and finally one last time with the Fleximed sole. The result: relief in the bale area with much smoother movement.
Stability in high heels
After that, the rest of the lions were tested. Dagmar Wöhrl said that she was more stable even in high heels. However, Nils Glagau got out of the car shortly thereafter, 5,000 pieces of Fleximed sold in two and a half years were not enough for him.
Fighting founders in the “Lion’s Den”
Maschmeyer said that the product had to be “explained” too much and also said goodbye. The founders did not give up and focused on online marketing and video testimonials. That didn’t help much at Wöhrl – she also showed no interest in the product. Social media expert Georg Kofler, however, sympathized with the startup. And offered 140,000 euros for 33 percent.
Make two out of two – and again two
Ralf Dümmel saw much more interesting markets compared to the online area. Teleshopping and drug stores, for example. He also made the same offer. However, instead of making a decision, the founders had a different idea: they wanted both lions and each offered 24.5 percent shares. Kofler declined, he feared too many coordination problems with teleshopping. Hence the deal with Dümmel.