Nico Rosberg gives Maschmeyer a rebuff in the “Lion’s Den”.

TV column “Lion’s Cave”: Suddenly Rosberg hisses at Maschmeyer – and then rebuffs him

Tops, flops, investor quarrels and a leap in the air from the ex-Formula 1 world champion. For a long time it looked as if Nico Rosberg had put on the handbrake and lost interest in start-up ideas. But in the penultimate show of the current “Die Höhle der Löwen” season, he finally gave full throttle.

They are obviously very comfortable luxury armchairs, on which the “lions” sit neatly lined up on the studio stage of the VOX start-up show. But they are intended as observation posts, as platforms for predators to boldly jump up again and again, hunt and strike. As far as Nico Rosberg was concerned, it seemed as if the young family man was using the time in front of the television cameras to rest.

He intervened less and less at all – and he hardly invested any money in the past shows. On Monday evening – of all things in the penultimate show of the current twelfth season of “Die Höhle der Löwen” – that should change. Rosberg seemed changed. And sometimes almost a little brushed on riot.

This time, the 37-year-old in a beige big game hunter suit even hissed a cheeky declaration of war, of all things, in the direction of star investor Carsten Maschmeyer. “If you make the deal with Carsten today, that would be a very, very big mistake,” said Rosberg. He then murmured “respect” and “sorry, Carsten”. But the announcement was clear: the ex-world champion was finally back on course to overtake.

“The Lion’s Den”: Investor with yacht experience wanted

However: the topic he jumped on this time is really not a product for normal consumers. Nico Rosberg warmed to the “enteron” water purification system presented by Thomas Logisch and his children Josephine, Leonard and Jonas.

As with the processes in the human intestine, to which the ancient Greek-inspired company name alludes, the “enteron” module is about cleaning processes and a kind of biological sewage treatment plant on a small scale. And that on sailing boats or yachts. As I said, not a commonplace topic! And yet a solution to a problem that not only affects oligarchs in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, but also excursion skippers on German bathing lakes. Wastewater from toilets on boats is usually collected in tanks, which are also mixed with chemicals.

Unfortunately, their contents all too often end up in the water unexplained. A problem that requires a “sustainable” solution. With their invention, the Logisch family cleans waste water on board – so that clean water can be fed back into the environment. A module for the cleaning of dirty water by two to four people should cost around 10,000 euros to purchase.

It quickly became clear in the “Lion’s Den”: The topic is not as “yuck” as it first sounds. But “enteron” is not a classic investment case either. So Ralf Dümmel, the man for the shelves in retail, quickly dismissed the idea. Just like Nils Glagau and Dagmar Wöhrl, who honestly discussed any ship experience.

Nico Rosberg does not want to work with Maschmeyer

And so Carsten Maschmeyer (“I’m totally fascinated”) with his global contacts, which he says he likes to emphasize, even in the yacht-owner scene on the Californian coast, and Nico Rosberg stayed in the running. The ex-racer from the tiny seafaring state of Monaco had just bought himself a yacht – an eco-catamaran. And such a sustainable wastewater solution could of course be ideal for him. “That would be really great.”

So it was time to negotiate. The wishes of the Logisch family were comparatively modest: 25 percent of the company shares for 150,000 euros. In any case, the possible investor should above all bring in networks for global expansion, less mere financial resources. Both Maschmeyer and Rosberg agreed, but each demanded a wafer-thin blocking minority of 25.01 percent.

Wooing for the founders: “I am 100 percent the perfect investor for you!”

And the yacht freak Rosberg started fighting: “Please don’t make a decision yet,” he begged the “enteron” developers after Carsten Maschmeyer promised money. And he just mentioned the “very, very big mistake” that had to be avoided. Because, according to Nico Rosberg, bursting with self-confidence: “I am 100 percent the perfect investor for you!”

The family seemed almost baffled, withdrew and, after brief consultation, presented a counter-wish: How about the two lions joining forces for a double offer? Now Nico Rosberg reacted unexpectedly snotty. “Unfortunately, I can’t imagine that,” he said. “I need your trust.”

Carsten Maschmeyer would have liked to get involved in such a deal. But the Logischs had the last word: And they chose Nico Rosberg. Alone. Finally a shop! Nico Rosberg enjoyed his rare victory: He launched into a furious jump. Nothing like this had ever been seen in the “Lion’s Den”. Moderator Amiaz Habtu cheered behind the stage: “Of course the Logisch family gets a deal!”

Formula 1 nostalgia: “Where were you five years ago?”

In another pitch presentation, which actually would have seemed to Rosberg’s taste, he didn’t go along with it again. Then, when Martina Kühn and her son Alexander Jens presented their apparently tasty, vegan “fish” salads with “Taste Like”, in which aubergines are cooked instead of sea creatures from the increasingly overfished waters. Rosberg waved it off. The (difficult) business – Attention, cold chain! – made Dagmar Wöhrl.

Only at the very end of the show did Rosberg appear 100 percent present again. The likeable, nerdy costume fan Marc Opletal presented the ventilation systems he had devised himself, with which cosplay fans, for example, can ventilate their stuffy disguise helmets from the inside.

“Where were you five years ago?” the Formula 1 driver asked with a lot of verve. Back then he would have paid a lot of money for a breath of air under his racing helmet, which was completely sweaty from the inside. “That’s exactly what I was looking for.” And Nico Rosberg actually had a fantasy hero helmet put on – much too tight. But then reason broke through in him again – and Rosberg pulled the handbrake on again: No deal – by the way, not from one of the fellow lions either!

In the overall balance, the “OPLE Props” hobbyist Marc Opletal joined the half-Spanish Sabrina Döbler, who received some recognition for her curious “BrunchBag” invention – a combination of women’s handbag and cool bag got no money. With a commitment from Carsten Maschmeyer in combination with Ralf Dümmel and Georg Kofler, who was not present this time, the “TRIGGid” founders left. They are the inventors of physiotherapeutic treatments with self-attachable contacts at so-called trigger points on the body. A good idea, a good deal.

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