Valeria Weingardt is currently in the tenth grade. In episode three of “The Lions’ Den” (VOX, 8:15 p.m.), the 16-year-old student presented the lionesses and lions with her plastic alternative in the form of toothbrush cases made of birch bark. The young entrepreneur from Konstanz not only broke the age record for female founders in the “Lion’s Den” – she also secured a deal with lion Ralf Dümmel (57).

“I’m 16 years old and I have a wish for how I want to live in this world: with zero waste.” This is how young entrepreneur Valeria started her impressive presentation. At the age of twelve, the student was already concerned with the question of how planet Earth could be saved and waste avoided. Especially when she was traveling, she was annoyed that she couldn’t find an environmentally friendly way to store her toothbrush. With birch bark she discovered her alternative and her founding idea: “Birch bark is naturally antibacterial, water-repellent, breathable and very easy to care for.” So she founded Betula Natura and developed her first product, a toothbrush cover made of birch bark. Valeria offered 20 percent of her company shares for 60,000 euros. The lions were then full of praise for their idea and their courage. However, they gradually backed out of the potential deal. Only investor Ralf Dümmel diligently wrote down and actually: he offered her a deal. “We can’t let you go here. I would give you 60,000 euros and would like 25.1 percent.” After a short consultation with her “telephone joker”, her mother, she decided: “We think this is a very fair offer and would like to accept it.” This means that the world is open to Valeria and her idea.

“We are here today with a valuation of only ten million euros.” The founders Christof Schlindwein (35) and researcher Aziz Cayli (58) entered the “Lion’s Den” with such self-confidence. They presented the result of 25 years of cell research in the form of the Nutriomix nutrient optimization software. Their insight: “A food should contain all 58 known nutrients in a balanced ratio to one another. Only then can it produce up to five times more energy and live twice as long.” Mathematician Schlindwein used this knowledge to create the Nutriomix software. The founders’ vision: a full shelf with Nutriomix-optimized foods. The business model: cooperation with large food manufacturers, optimization of recipes and revenue sharing. They offer five percent of the company shares for an investment of 500,000 euros. After the founders had no previous sales, the lions became suspicious. The mention of their company shares and their statement about doubling their lifespan through Nutriomix further irritated the lions: “You’re kidding yourself. That’s not a vision, that’s an illusion,” said Carsten Maschmeyer (64). Just like him, all the lions got out one after another and didn’t invest.

Whether tight leggings, jumpsuits or high-waisted trousers – they can all cause unwanted and uncomfortable marks in the crotch. Founder Maria Mueller from Munich has a recipe for this: “I have developed a thong that not only avoids pulling into the crotch, but is also extremely comfortable.” Her ByeByeToe is reinforced in the middle with a soft padding and is more flexible, robust, durable and therefore more sustainable than the competition, according to the founder. Your seamless panties don’t slip and therefore don’t chafe. She wants to revolutionize the underwear market with her product. For an investment of 100,000 euros, she offered ten percent of the company shares. Tijen Onaran (39) saw a “perfect match” with Maria in terms of her network and market experience and offered her the deal. And since the other lions dropped out, Maria happily accepted the offer for her new business partnership: “This is the right investor at the right time. It couldn’t have turned out better.”

In the fall 2023 season of “The Lion’s Den” Anika Schmidt and Lena Pieper were able to win over Tijen Onaran as an investor with FreeMOM, a freelancing platform for working mothers: “We now have 3,000 registered freelancing moms, over 200 companies and “We have already successfully completed 70 projects in the last few months,” says Anika Schmidt’s interim report. Her lioness accompanies her on this path and, in addition to the investment, she supported the founders with her network: “I made a lot of contacts in the business world and gained a large network of mothers,” says the lioness. Together with the two founders, she is working on her goal: “FreeMOM will be the platform that brings mothers back to work.”

Heavy packages become lighter when carried together. The founding trio peers. from Aachen offers psychological online group courses, where like-minded people are brought together using AI-based matching and accompanied by experienced psychologists. The reason for the three founders Julia Maria Hautumm (31, CEO, business economist), Sophie Schürmann (32, CEO, psychologist) and Max Kirschning (29, CTO, engineer): Those affected by psychological diagnoses all too often find themselves with few available appointments and bureaucracy and long waiting times of an average of nine months. To close this supply gap, they have the digital platform peers. founded and want to provide quick and unbureaucratic help in the form of therapy groups. The trio was willing to give up ten percent of their company shares for 400,000 euros. The lions were extremely open to the difficult topic. Carsten Maschmeyer: “We can say this very openly: I was addicted to pills and depressed for two years.” Together with Dagmar Wöhrl (69), he showed fundamental interest in an investment. However, both were “torn back and forth,” said Wöhrl. “That doesn’t happen to me that often.” However, both wanted more percentage points from the founding trio. At 400,000 euros for 16 percent, the three Wöhrl and Maschmeyer got on board with peers.

In the opening broadcast of the 14th season of “The Lions’ Den”, the then 20-year-old Max Schlensag presented Futurized and won Carsten Maschmeyer as an investor for management software based on AI. “Max and Futurized have developed really well. They had completed almost 60 projects, now they have over 200 projects. They had a turnover of 250,000 euros, now they have a turnover of 1.5 million euros and that will be the case by the end of the year Much more this year.” Next goal: In addition to its use in the administration of banks, Futurized will also ensure leaner and faster processes in insurance companies and local government in the future, and will also cooperate with Microsoft.

Markus (44) and Sajda Kindler (43) love avocados and they are not alone. “It is incredibly popular worldwide because it is the epitome of healthy eating,” says the founder. However, there is no offer for finished avocado products – so far. The founding couple want to create a diverse world of products with the start-up Avoocadoo: from smoothies to cold-brewed avoccino for coffee and tea lovers to avocado desserts with coconut and almond or fruit drops made from avocado, mango and ginger fruit puree. To do this, they need the support of a lioness or a lion and offer 15 percent of their company shares for 150,000 euros. Tijen Onaran, Nils Glagau (48), Carsten Maschmeyer and Ralf Dümmel didn’t like the product or the deal and got out. Tillman Schulz (34), a food expert among the lions, also saw too many obstacles to a deal and was the last to get out. So Sajda and Markus couldn’t find a deal partner.