From 4 April to 30 May 2022, millions of viewers watched the eleventh season of the German VOX startup show "Die Höhle der Löwen" ("Dragons’ Den" in the UK and “Shark Tank” in the US) every Monday! Not a single episode went by this spring without Ralf Dümmel investing in at least one startup. In total, Ralf Dümmel, CEO of DS Group and Chief Product Officer of The Social Chain AG, made ten new deals with talented founders and their young companies. These are all the startups from the last season with their innovative, problem-solving products – welcome to our House of Entrepreneurs!
Smart founders, smart innovations: Our deals from the eleventh season “Die Höhle der Löwen”
fairtye hair bands and scrunchies – gentle on your hair and the environment
In the first episode on 4 April 2022, Fabian Frei and Wolfgang Schimpfle pitched their sustainable hair ties and scrunchies, which even tame lions’ manes: the founders gave the investors wigs so that they could test the product for themselves! fairtye is just as stylish as the “lions” looked with it in their wigs: The hair ties and scrunchies offer a strong hold in everyday life and are suitable for a wide variety of hair types – from thin to thick hair, straight or curly, to dreadlocks. In addition, they convince with their simple design in trendy colors. The scrunchies are made of an organic cotton and natural rubber mix and are available in black, grey, pink, and mint. The hair bands are available in sets of three in black, brown, and pink and are made from a mix of organic cotton and natural rubber.
Smooth, water-free and vegan: natural cosmetics by SHEA YEAH
With SHEA YEAH, the second episode on 11 April 2022 continued with Dümmel deals just as beautifully and smoothly where the first episode finished. The Swiss founder Sandra Fischer has had a passion for herbs since her training as a farmer in a nunnery. During a trip to Ghana, she came up with the idea of combining them with shea butter: when she had a sunburn there, she discovered the benefits of the rich vegetable butter and combined it with the herbs she knew from home. SHEA YEAH is water-free and therefore particularly highly concentrated and economical. The vegan creams provide moisture and leave a nice, soft feeling on the skin. Providing an all-round smooth feeling: SHEA YEAH is available as a classic body butter with a wonderful orange scent, regenerating lip care, hand cream with a fruity scent, nourishing lavender tattoo balm and soothing belly butter – suitable for all skin types, not tested on animals and with ingredients from controlled organic cultivation.
Perfectly crisp barbecue results with the BBQ Rescher
On 19 April, the two BBQ experts from Bavaria, Alex Feilen and Tobi Daniel, ventured into "Die Höhle der Löwen" and provided the investors with "reschen Wammerl" – Bavarian for "crispy strips of bacon" from the grill. With their multifunctional grilling tool, the BBQ Rescher, these bacon strips get crispy on the outside and remain juicy on the inside. Thanks to its special shape, the food to be grilled is fixed at the ideal angle and excess fat can drip off. This not only creates delicious bacon strips, but also tender spareribs, nice fish, crispy chicken drumsticks and crunchy BBQ skewers! The high-quality stainless-steel holder is durable, easy to clean and can simply be put in the dishwasher after the BBQ. Thanks to practical side handles, it can be easily removed from the grid and carried with potholders or gloves. This new, indispensable tool for the barbecue season will delight everyone at the dinner table with perfectly cooked, crispy grilled food!
For strong and longer-blooming plants: Lucky Plant
Lucky Plant is just as essential in spring and summer as the smart barbecue tool – the new must-have in every garden, on the balcony, terrace and all lawns! Lucky Plant is a plant strengthener, available as a tablet or a powder. With the power from plants for plants: Lucky Plant supports healthy root growth, a longer blooming period and optimal nutrient absorption based on herbal extracts. The founders are familiar with the botanical world: Dr. Thomas Hüster and Bernhard Unger are experts in the agricultural sector and their close friend Michael Ballack spent years as a player in the German national soccer team on grass pitches in numerous stadiums. Because he himself had been looking for a natural product for the lawn on the soccer pitch and for his own garden, he was convinced of Lucky Plant and got involved in the startup. The three founders created a buzz in the VOX startup show and are now happy about the deal with their favored investor Ralf Dümmel.
More freedom of movement and fun on the bike – with freibeik
In the fifth episode of the eleventh season on 2 May 2022, things got sporty on the VOX startup show: Iris-Sabine Langstädtler and her daughter Carmen presented their smart bicycle innovation: The freibeik saddle joint can be mounted on almost any bicycle saddle and makes it moveable in any direction at an angle of 15 degrees. It sits between the bicycle frame and the saddle and increases the mobility of the pelvis when riding – the saddle moves with the body in a controlled way. Riders can turn their heads even further back when riding a bike without twisting their necks uncomfortably. It expands the visional range and makes it easier to look over the shoulder and ¬– for a completely new, free and flexible riding experience! With this problem-solving product, the mother-daughter duo was able to convince two investors: Carsten Maschmeyer and Ralf Dümmel made a joint deal with the startup.
Hans Ranke: Delicious, balanced and quickly prepared dishes
Story time in "Die Höhle der Löwen": On 9 May, founder Torsten Schuh enchanted the viewers of the sixth episode with the story about “Hans und die Bohnenranke” ("Hans/Jack and the Beanstalk"). This fairytale inspired the name of his food startup: the basis of the delicious Hans Ranke meals is couscous with red lentils and chickpeas. Large pieces of vegetables and fruit as well as delicious herbs and organic spices round off the vegan pleasure perfectly – a wholesome filling meal and a source of protein made from balanced, organic ingredients! The quick and easy preparation of Hans Ranke meals is almost magical, too: simply boil water, add to the dish in a recyclable packaging, stir and allow to sit for about three minutes. Once the water is completely absorbed, the meal is ready! The three flavors Mediterranean, porcini mushroom and mango curry are all vegan and do not contain any artificial additives or flavor enhancers.
VapoWesp keeps wasps away naturally
The seventh episode on 16 May 2022 was all about summer: Thanks to VapoWesp, you can enjoy your afternoon cake or late-night dinner outdoors undisturbed, even on warm days! The invention of founder Claudia Eckert and her daughter Leslie keeps wasps away naturally – with the help of a tried and tested household remedy: burning coffee. The resulting smoke signals danger to the insects and they instinctively stay away. To make this particularly easy, they designed VapoWesp – the convenient kit for burning instant coffee! It consists of the VapoBox, a smoking box with a sliding lid, and the VapoPowder for a subtle, fresh scent. Simply mix some instant coffee from home with VapoPowder in the VapoBox, light it up, let it glow – and enjoy relaxing hours in the garden, on the balcony or in the restaurant!
Ready for summer – with NaschNatur!
The second deal from the seventh episode also gets you in the mood for summer: The delicious "NiceTarts" from NaschNatur consist of a crunchy almond and date base and a sweet fruit or nougat ice cream filling. Andrea Schlumpp and Markus Smarzoch are an unlikely couple with different tastes: She loves sweets, while he as an athlete tries not to eat any sugar at all. This gave the two the idea of creating a delicious and light snack with no added sugar that they could enjoy together – NaschNatur was born! The small, frozen tartlets contain 100 percent natural organic ingredients, are vegan, lactose-free and contain no artificial additives. The wonderful taste comes exclusively from the natural sweetness of fruit – a deliciously light and refreshing snack for the summer!
ImagiNew Playhome: Creative fun for children
The lockdown in March 2020 turned father Roman Römmich into an inventor – because that's when he had the idea of a playhouse for creative painting and gluing. His own children already love his ImagiNew Playhome and now the founder wants to bring their joy to many more families. Children can paint, glue, and rediscover the ImagiNew Playhome indoors and outdoors every day and just as they like – there are no limits to their imagination! With the supplied colored pencils and stickers, you can create your very own fantasy worlds on the UV-resistant, durable material – and the ImagiNew Playhome can simply be wiped off afterwards and redesigned next time. Whether as a farm, grocery store, castle or a small town – thanks to practical Velcro fasteners, the individual elements can be flexibly connected to one another or even to a second playhouse!
The clever way to transport furniture – with ROLLYZBERG
Geza Lakatos and Jan-Hinrich Northoff rounded off our deals in spring 2022 in the ninth episode on 30 May with their clever invention ROLLYZBERG. The small and robust transport rollers are ideal for moving, transporting, or rearranging heavy boxes, bulky objects, and pieces of furniture. They are versatile and can be attached in three different ways: simply screw, fasten or glue – and roll off! For full flexibility, they can also be permanently fixed under pieces of furniture and thus become a trendy eye-catcher in the room. Just roll it instead of lugging it around – whenever you're moving, spontaneously rearranging, or transporting furniture.