ZEDRA’s Bart Deconinck enters the Lion’s Den

06 Feb 2018

ZEDRA Deputy Chairman, Bart Deconinck has entered the lion’s den; or to be more exact, has joined an esteemed panel of other four judges on the television show 'Leeuwenkuil' (Lion's Den), which launches on the VIER channel in Belgium tonight. Taking the well-oiled concept from the BBC’s Dragon’s Den (which is now entering its 15th season), the basis of the show is the same.

Entrepreneurs must start the meeting by stating their name, the name of their business, the amount of money they are pitching for and the percentage of equity they are willing to give away in their company.

They must follow this with a pitch of up to three minutes. If it exceeds three minutes, the judges (the Lions) can stop entrepreneurs at any point but they cannot interrupt the initial pitch.

Entrepreneurs' time in the Den is over after all five Lions have declared them 'out'. Each Lion is working as an individual investor. The Lion’s can invest as little or as much of their own money as they want. It is up to the entrepreneur to persuade them to match the required investment or pledge to invest a portion thereof.

“The first three minutes of a pitch are the most important,” says Bart. “A strong personality is often decisive. But you also need to know your numbers. What are your margins, who are your customers, what is a realistic estimate of your cash flow? A good idea does not make you a good entrepreneur. You also have to be able to bring that idea to the market. And don't even try saying to me 'I have no competitors.’ ”

Bart continues, “As in the Lion’s Den, at ZEDRA we foster a work culture that encourages the enthusiasm, vision, and problem-solving skills that are essential to entrepreneurial success. After all, innovation is what keeps companies competitive and growing.”

First launched in Japan, the show’s concept is now an international brand with versions airing in countries across the globe. Early indication shows that 'Leeuwenkuil' has already been confirmed for a second series.