"The Lion's Den": Even Joey Kelly can't sell everything – and sometimes a lion is better than three

The third episode of the now thirteenth season of "The Lion's Den" starts with a medical device and an all-male group.

"The Lion's Den": Even Joey Kelly can't sell everything – and sometimes a lion is better than three

The third episode of the now thirteenth season of "The Lion's Den" starts with a medical device and an all-male group. Jaqueline Schaupp and Simon Greschl already felt sorry for their fathers when they were students and wanted to invent something that would relieve the tinnitus of the two men when they fell asleep and at the same time not disturb anyone - "Tinus One" was born. The pillow is able to transmit music via a liquid. So you can only hear it when you lie on it. Brilliant idea, think the investors. But then the numbers shock: the founders charge 799 euros per pillow, so far only tiny amounts have been sold to participants in a clinical study.

Full of praise, Nils Glagau and new lion Tillmann Schulz get out. 350,000 euros for ten percent seems too much to them. Unsurprisingly, Ralf Dümmel agrees – in his opinion, no one buys it for the price. But Carsten Maschmeyer and the Regal Regent agree - the pillow can do something! The lions put their heads together and ask if you could get the pillow from the luxury niche and produce it for far less money. If so, they offer 350,000 euros for 25 percent. Surprisingly, the founders throw the concept overboard and believe it is possible to make a mass product out of it. But: The lions only get 20 percent if they achieve certain sales targets with the start-up. Grinding your teeth, you agree: Deal!

Change of scene: Nils Glagau, Ralf Dümmel, Judith Williams, Carsten Maschmeyer and new lioness Janna Ensthaler should buy bicycles – made of wood, optionally with an electric drive. It's about the Austrian company "My Esel". This builds tailor-made bikes out of wood, if desired also with an electric motor. Prices start at 2,000 euros, and investors have the opportunity to buy 15 percent of the company's shares for 675,000 euros. All Leos like it at first, but all have a reason not to invest. It doesn't help that extreme athlete and family bard Joey Kelly gives the donkey bike top marks and even considers it suitable for competitions.

Ennsthaler pushes other manufacturers that are already in their portfolio - competition. Dümmel has a logistical problem: bicycles don't fit well on department store shelves. Out. Williams signs off due to a lack of expertise, Maschmeyer ponders the longest. Unfortunately, he's had bad experiences with bikes, so he's out too. But the founders don't have to leave empty-handed: Maschmeyer promises to buy seven donkeys for his employees. Anyway.

The lions experience probably the biggest surprise with the third deal. As a viewer, it seems clear after a few seconds where the journey is going. With Ensthaler, Wöhrl and Williams three women are sitting in the cave and it's about cosmetics - what should happen there anyway big. Even the valuation is not astronomical: The start-up "Viva Maia" is ready to cede 20 percent of the shares for 150,000 euros. The young company is a manufacturer of Mexican natural cosmetics with an indigenous touch. Most products are so-called "solids", i.e. solid products that dissolve in water. This should reduce waste and packaging material.

Williams is immediately smitten and literally yells at the audience, "This isn't soap!" Background: It looks like soap and, according to the expert, it has not yet entered people's minds that there is more to it than that. The founders reveal the figures and the lion ladies quickly put their heads together - of course they are interested. While there is whispering in the background, Nils Glagau notes that this could also be of interest to men. He means himself, but gives priority to the female investors. First they want to hear what the men would pay. Dümmel advances: 25 percent and the required sum is clear. Then Glagau: The studied ethnologist loves the Maya and has been to Mexico several times. He wants to give the founders what they ask for - no arguments. The three women want the same thing, but together. Concentrated female power or a passionate lone wolf? It will be difficult for the founders. After some back and forth, the founding couple started the race with Glagau. The lionesses are clearly stunned.

The founder is also struggling to keep his composure in the fourth pitch. Raphael Seiler presents the lions with "Stack", a self-made grill for mobile use in parks and when travelling. (stern editor Anna Scheibe tested the Stack combi-grill. Read the article here.) For 80,000 euros he would give up 20 percent of the shares. After the taste, the lions are initially impressed - but despite the bite, no less snappy. "The grill is all well and good, but it's not good as an atmospheric light, it's a tin box, it's not romantic," complains Maschmeyer - "Stack" is supposed to serve as a kind of fire bowl after the grilling. In the pitch, Seiler states that his grill costs 250 euros, the production probably amounts to 130 euros. Second case knacksus: "That's not a margin," complains Dümmel.

Meanwhile, Dagmar Wöhrl, visibly stressed, is struggling with the many individual parts - the "stack" turns out to be quite a complex product. Too complex for Wöhrl. After the frustrated clatter of the metal parts, she gets out. Glagau follows when he hears the low sales targets, and Maschmeyer is no longer hot for the grill either. Mr. Regal Ralf Dümmel stays. But you know him: At 250 euros, it's far too expensive for his purposes. He wants to change that and offers 80,000 euros for 30 percent. The founder agrees and tearfully rejoices. Apparently that already had an effect: The grill now costs less than 100 euros.

At the beginning of the last performance, a look at the calendar: What year is it? In fact, Bubbletea follows at the end. You read that right, because some are assuming a renaissance. "Kylies Bubble" also claims to have found a new approach for which you need 200,000 euros and give up 15 percent of the shares. This startup wants to combine the alleged second spring of Bubbletea with a subscription. Every month there is a box with which you can prepare five different drinks at home. Price point from 25 euros per box - or 5 euros per tea.

It's time for the tasting: "I love bubble tea," says Judith Williams happily. "I hate bubble tea," counters Ensthaler. Nevertheless, all lions give it a try. Ensthaler sticks to it: No bubbles, please. The rest like it. No wonder: With 7.5 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters, the tea is of course primarily sweet. When discussing the boxes, the topic of rubbish comes up – because Glagau notices that a lot of junk is left behind after the teas have been prepared. The founders promise that this will change. Unsurprisingly, Ensthaler is the first to get out. Too much rubbish and it certainly doesn't help that she doesn't like the product itself. Wöhrl and Williams think - "Children love it". Meanwhile, Dümmel logs off. Online sales only - unimaginable for him. Glagau, who was quite passive the whole time, doesn't believe in the trend and doesn't want to either.

Then the shock: Williams doesn't invest either, the tea is too expensive for her and she doesn't see the difference to the shop on the corner. Wöhrl remains honest and gets out because she doesn't know the product. No deal, "Kylies Cuppa" has to go without having accomplished anything. The mountain of rubbish from the five teas that have been mixed remains in the studio.

This article contains so-called affiliate links. Further information are available here.