Rarely has the VOX start-up show been as amiable as this time. Several family duos – a likeable couple with a sweet tooth right at the beginning of the show and a courageous mother-daughter duo from Swabia at the end – made the hearts of the lions beat faster. And yet the harmony was over just as quickly.
Then, when Nico Rosberg caused his colleagues to shake their heads with an at least puzzling spontaneous decision. Georg Kofler lost all patience: he jumped out of his chair with a red face, fumbled his microphone cable from his body and stomped off the stage at a rapid pace. As if stung by a wasp, probably even by a hornet!
One thing was certain: the South Tyrolean would have liked to make the deal with 49-year-old Claudia Eckert and her 17-year-old daughter Leslie from the family start-up “VapoWesp” in Stuttgart. In fact, after the first bars of the product presentation of a smoking station, with which annoying wasps can be chased away in the garden or on the balcony, he let himself be carried away with the fastest offer to date in the history of the “Lion’s Den”.
“This is Swabian inventiveness at its finest. That’s so convincing, you’re both so convincing. I’ll give you the 75,000 euros for 35 percent,” said Georg Kofler. But it didn’t happen that quickly, things turned out very differently.
The imaginative organic solution to scaring away insects – the chemical club is out of the question for the Eckerts in their fight against the stinging pests – also impressed Kofler’s fellow lions very much. “VapoWesp” relies on an old household remedy: smoking coffee grounds. In order to make the fire easy to handle, the Eckerts have developed a decorative smoking station with a safe stainless steel container for the embers. And in order to “perfume” the smell of the smoldering coffee powder, which is also unpleasant for humans, they offer “VapoPowder” in three fragrances.
An all-round convincing concept! And above all presented by very authentic female founders. For mother Claudia Eckert, “VapoWesp” even has a personal background of suffering. She is allergic to wasp stings and had already suffered a circulatory collapse. Garden evenings were previously impossible for her. Now she’s enjoying family life outdoors to the fullest again.
“I am enthusiastic about your brand design”, Nico Rosberg praised the convincing product. “I would love to be your partner,” said Ralf Dümmel a little later. And Judith Williams was also enthusiastic. “You are perfect,” she said to the founders. “Your rating is perfect. I think I’m the perfect partner.” More and more offers kept pouring in – and the face of Georg Kofler, who would have liked to have won the race in a coup, grew increasingly dark.
No wonder that the Swabians seemed happy and initially withdrew through the well-known golden cage bars of the “Lion Tunnel” into the background of the studio for a brief consultation. But then they were followed by Nico Rosberg, a young man who really had no business there. The investor, who did not want to make an offer himself, followed the Eckerts into the tunnel. The rest of the investors looked stunned.
“Just a second,” was heard as Nico Rosberg stepped into the mother-daughter meeting. “Do you want to hear my opinion?” What exactly the former Formula One driver wanted to achieve was then not heard. But how the other “lions” became restless. “Nico, you’re not making a deal,” Ralf Dümmel called menacingly into the tunnel.
But then Georg Kofler literally burst: “Did you want to make a deal outside the ‘Lion’s Den’,” he snapped sharply at colleague Rosberg. He just grinned and stayed silent. “I won’t tell.” Maybe it was this lack of transparency, this audacity that made Kofler freak out. “I’m really angry about that,” complained the South Tyrolean.
The fact that Rosberg’s excursion into the studio background had apparently had an effect did not help to calm his nerves. The Eckerts are flirting – apparently at Rosberg’s suggestion – now with a double investor solution. Judith Williams and Ralf Dümmel, who, alongside Georg Kofler, had previously submitted individual offers on the terms demanded by mother and daughter, also spontaneously joined forces for a combined solution: 75,000 euros for a joint 40 percent stake in the “ VapoWesp” company. Now there were four offers – from three lions!
Claudia and Leslie Eckert didn’t hesitate much longer: they happily chose the Williams-Dümmel duo. Georg Kofler was not only disappointed. He was at the end of his self-control. “You can all slide down my hump first,” he scolded. And he was still annoyed about Nico Rosberg’s special tour. “It’s against the rules of the game,” he said. “You don’t do things like that.” Then he left angrily.
All in all it was the dramatic, but for the family duo Eckert enjoyable finale of a great show. The likeable young couple behind the sugar-free “NiceTarts” delicacies from the freezer had previously secured a deal with Ralf Dümmel.
Nils Glagau won the contract with the beauty start-up “Mijasi”, which wants to protect against premature skin aging caused by the harmful blue light from computer and mobile phone screens. Dagmar Wöhrl and Carsten Maschmeyer came up with the app solution from Aivy from Berlin. In the future, they will support a technology that is intended to use small game applications to determine personality traits in online applications. Clever idea!
This time it was only the professional craftsman Wilhelm “Willi” Frank who had to pull out without a deal. His “Nivilli” nailed clogs, which could be used on construction sites and for lawn care, seemed too outlandish for investors. The pitch performance, however, was a rarity: a real comedic highlight of the show. Willi belongs on TV. There’s a good chance we’ll see more of him soon.
*The contribution “scandal surrounding Nico Rosberg: That’s why Georg Kofler left the Löwen Studio in anger” is published by Teleschau. Contact the person responsible here.