The sustainability weeks at the RTL broadcasting group amazed investors in the eighth episode of the 14th season of "The Lions' Den": exciting solutions and courageous entrepreneurial spirit for a more sustainable future were presented. Although not all founders were able to convince with their ideas, some of them woke up even the most cautious lion.
The team Doris Diebold and Morris Kurz from "hey circle" want to draw attention to the waste problem and have a clock running in the pitch backdrop: It shows the packaging waste in kilograms that is generated in Germany every second - 50 kilos. Ralf Dümmel is shocked by the rapidly growing number, which already shows 3,000 kilos after one minute. The mother of two Doris Diebold makes the number imaginable: "In Germany, 3,600 football fields of forest are cut down every year just for packaging!"
The two founders want to counteract this situation with their company and developed their patented shipping bags in various sizes made of recyclable polypropylene. The shipping bags can be reused 50 times. A deposit system ensures the return of the packaging. Founder Doris Diebold assures a current 90 percent response rate.
The founding team wants 500,000 euros and is offering ten percent to establish their sustainable reusable shipping bags in all online shops in the next step. Investor Tillman Schulz is skeptical: "The valuation is too high for me, that's why I'm out."
The duo points to the growing potential: four billion packages are sent in Germany every year. Lioness Jana Ensthaler wants to accommodate the duo, but demands 25 percent. But the founders don't want to sell more than 12.5 percent, so the deal falls through.
Investor Dagmar Wöhrl is particularly impressed by the next founder: the young mathematician Dr. Michelle Luckas skipped a grade in school, received her doctorate in mathematics a few weeks ago and founded her company at the same time. When the young woman reveals that she is celebrating her 26th birthday today, the other lions are also happy and quickly sing her a birthday serenade.
The idea for her start-up "peas of joy" - a crunchy muesli mix made from legumes in three flavors - came to the founder after a change in her diet. Legumes are important sources of protein, especially for vegan diets. Together with her mother, Michelle developed the lentil muesli in her home kitchen, founded a GmbH and already has a large sales partner who sells her mixtures in retail stores. With 90,000 euros and 20 percent of the shares, Michelle now wants to take her young company to the next level.
Dagmar Wöhrl enthusiastically offers herself as a confidant to the young entrepreneur. But Carsten Maschmeyer gets in her way. "I would help you with marketing," he announces, with "celebrities from the show and sports world...". Michelle is torn. On the phone, her friend advises listening to your gut feeling and Michelle decides on Maschmeyer. Dagmar Wöhrl is visibly disappointed: "I think she would have suited me better! We could have done great women's power!".
The next pitch gets a lot of laughs from the Lions. The first gag is the work of Ralf Dümmel and Carsten Maschmeyer, who spontaneously dress up as vampires. The pitch for “Tonis Schimmelschock 4.0” (now “SchimmelSchock 5.0”) is very entertaining. The founder, master painter and varnisher Sandro Heindl and his PR expert Peter Richter chose a Halloween decoration for this.
In the family business, Heindl and his father developed a mold spray that does not use chemical additives, encapsulates and dries out the mold and also covers it with paint. According to Richter, mold is a problem in "twelve million households in Germany" and, despite the bad news, he gets a laugh when he plays scary screams on the tape.
The two are offering 200,000 euros for 25 percent. Half a million in equity and 15 years of development have already flowed into the product, explains Heindl. Ralf Dümmel is thrilled: "You totally flash me! I have to do it with you!", he accepts the deal.
And Tijen Onaran makes Peter an immoral PR job offer, wants to poach him for her company: "I'm a bit in love...", languishes and says: "You're sensationally good!" If the other company no longer works, he can come to her.
In 1996, Bilal and Cihan Dalgic's father opened his kebab shop with a loan. And the whole family pitched in. The loan has now been paid off long ago and the young sons from back then are seasoned businessmen themselves. They developed their sustainable packaging system "Haepsi" - Turkish for everything - which not only protects the environment thanks to biodegradable materials, but also leaves the packaged kebab crispier.
The Dalgic brothers are already selling their invention in 1,500-piece packages at several kebab chains. And in the second year of the company's founding they achieved a turnover of 65,000 euros. In addition to the paper bags for kebabs, they now also offer many other products such as salad bowls. For the next level and more sales, the two lions need power, offering 15 percent for 200,000 euros.
But a deal doesn't come about. None of the lions see themselves as competent in the packaging business. Bilal Dalgic doesn't hold back his disappointment: "I'm already broken... This know-how would have been brilliant." Ralf Dümmel is still confident: "We don't have to worry about them! They will go their own way!".
Founder Sven Jungals has decided to combine computer games and environmental protection. His game “Zeedz” donates ten percent of sales and 50 percent of profits to global climate protection projects. The highlight of his game: It integrates current climate data into the game. The players learn more about climate zones, weather and CO2 reduction. You can earn up to 2,000 euros for game objects with collector value through in-app purchases of less than one euro.
When he calls up the numbers, Jungals quickly convinces the lions: "In Germany alone, 34.4 million people gamble." Over three billion people gamble worldwide. Junghals already has a turnover of 1.5 million - he put most of it into building the company. The founder knows how to inspire the lions: "If we make 'Zeedz' big together, we can change the world a little bit." And suggests a deal: 600,000 for a ten percent stake to turn the mobile game into an environmentally friendly cash cow.
Investor Dagmar Wöhrl comes up with an idea. "The boy knows exactly what he's talking about," she clarifies and calls for a joint consultation. Shortly afterwards all the lions stand next to each other in the gallery. Record: All five investors want to strike together! However, there is a small catch. Tillman Schulz summarizes: "Everyone wants five percent!" Jungals calculates the deal on the phone with his finance colleague. And comes to a positive result. The founder is happy: “Now comes a lot of work, but good work!”.