Der kleine Knick in DHDL © Maurer

Hamburg-based "school cone" business to go on "Lion's Den"

Johanna Kettner and Tobias Otto to offer 20 per cent share of company in return for EUR 50,000 investment

Every year, children starting school across Germany look forward to a colourful “school cone” full of all goodies to celebrate their new life phase. Tobias Otto, 35, und Johanna Kettner, 37, who have a son, wondered why the goody bag is always cone-shaped. Now, the couple have come up with goodie bags shaped like animals. Their Hamburg-based company “Der kleine Knick” offers the dinosaur-shaped Schulrex, the dragon-shaped Dragobert and a unicorn-like goodie bag called Emma. The couple are set to appear Tuesday on VOX TV’s “The Lion’s Den” show for start-ups in the hope of an investment of EUR 50,000 in return for a 20 per cent share of their company. Hamburg News interviewed the couple before the TV show.

Hamburg News: Mrs Kettner, Mr. Otto, what prompted you to go on “The Lion’s Den” show?

Otto: The “lions” are real role models for us. The opportunity to talk to these well-positioned companies who have reached their standing by going the extra mile, who have not given up and have developed their personalities, is our chance to meet really great mentors and to get qualified feedback.

Hamburg News: How have you prepared for your TV appearance?

Kettner: Our preparation was very intense and disciplined. We have improved our company, designed new products and developed new business strategies. We used every minute to get the best out of our business idea. But we also worked hard on ourselves. We have studied entrepreneurship, read biographies of big “doers” for inspiration and listened to motivating speeches. That was a great, fulfilling phase during which our corporate philosophy “We love what we do!” emerged.

Hamburg News: If one of the “lions” decides to invest, how would you use the funds?

Otto: Gaining a “lion” as a mentor would be super. He or she could bring our company forward with their knowledge. We are very open to new paths and structures in our company. Extra funding would help us to increase production considerably.

Hamburg News: Which “lions” do you prefer?

Kettner: At first, we preferred a “lion” that seemed particularly likeable. However, after intense research, we realized that every lion is encouraging. They all have business know-how worth its weight in gold to us. We are very open.

_Many thanks for the interview! _

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