“Die hohle der lowen”: it’s all just a show? Ex-candidate now unpacks

"The Lion’s Den on Vox is a real ratings hit. About three million viewers tuned in per week this year. But a founder voices criticism.

For more than five years, "Die Hohle der Lowen "* has thrilled German viewers – nearly three million tuned in each week during this year’s season to see what innovative business ideas founders could come up with to win over investors. For the responsible TV station Vox, the founder show is a goldmine – so it became known that the quota with each new season continued to grow strongly.

Still, not all founders can imagine participating in the show. This is the result of a recent survey by the digital association Bitkom: Only about one in four would be willing to do so – two out of three founders even categorically refused to participate in such a format. But what do the founders say, who have already been on "Die Hohle der Lowen" (The Lion’s Den)? have participated?

"Die Hohle der Lowen" (The Lion’s Den) in the crossfire – for many ex-participants only pure "show"

After all, they should know firsthand what goes on behind the scenes of the successful format. An ex-candidate has spilled the beans to Business Insider – and is fiercely critical. Thus he explains:"The show shows a distorted picture of the founders reality." He was allowed to pitch in the show – but in the end he came away empty handed. So he is just bitter? This question remains unanswered.

Instead, he continues to salivate- and accuses that everything is just pure show. On the other hand, a solid investor meeting would not take place. But that’s not what many founders are after, according to the ex-candidate. "It many startups are only concerned with reach, not deals."

The interesting thing about it: At the request of Business Insider, even more former participants have spoken out – and their opinions are divided. While some criticized that here only the entertainment factor would stand in the foreground, others made again good experiences.

"If you participate in the show, you should know what to expect", says Sven Lackinger, co-founder of the parking service start-up Evopark. "That it concerns a show, is clear nevertheless. Nevertheless, our pitch and the investor meeting were very professional. We definitely can’t complain about that."

As fnp.de* reports, the Vox television show "Die Hohle der Lowen" (The Lion’s Den) presented the company to investors Dariusz Salamonowicz from Frankfurt presented a completely new sports device. Was able to convince the lions? And this idea is also causing a stir in the sixth season of the start-up show: a young start-up from Bremen wants to rent out cars for just one euro, as nordbuzz.de* reports.

A lot of attention, even without a deal – for some founders, "Die Hohle der Lowen" is a great success just a springboard

No wonder – at the time of the appearance with the "Lowen", no deal was no deal came about, but A little later, the car manufacturer Porsche offered the founders a million-dollar deal. Other investors, on the other hand, criticize that some pitches are only artificially drawn out in order to gather more material for the show, and so only aim at the entertainment value, what however a Vox spokeswoman opposite on-line portal already vehemently denied. "It’s real investors investing their own money and real founders pitching to the ‘lions’ — that speaks sufficiently for itself,", she explains.

Investors weigh in: "Founder reality is distorted"

However, not only former startups, but also more and more German investors say that "Die Hohle der Lowen the Lost touch with reality has. For example, investor Olaf Jacobi already wrote in a guest article for Business Insider in 2016:"The real pitch is much more about an honest introduction of product and team." His verdict: "The fact is, the evaluations show that the founders are quite clueless and uncoached when they appear before the jury." The show moves"on the threshold of trash TV", Jacobi said two years ago.

The TV station responsible Vox and even "Lion Frank Thelen hold against these reproaches — and point out again and again that the show is a mega-success despite all the resistance and is encouraging more and more Germans to want to start up their own businesses. In the end, that speaks in favor of the show- and their credibility.

The sensation is perfect: A sports superstar becomes a new juror on "Die Hohle der Lowen".

An investor in the show now received a shock diagnosis: Carsten Maschmeyer has cancer.

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