Kajnok-Gründerin Sonja Zuber in DHDL - © MG RTL D / Bernd-Michael Maurer

Super pasta from Hamburg featured on "Lion's Den"

Three lions offered investment - events taking surprising turn after show

“The super 'kajnok” brand of pasta is vegan, free of fat, sugar and gluten and has only eight calories per 100 grams – less than a slice of apple. People who eat my pasta can lose weight,” according to the inventor Sonja Zuber, 37. However, despite intense rehearsals, her introductory speech to the “lions” did not go smoothly. In an interview with Hamburg News before Tuesday’s show, which is recorded in advance, she said: “Unfortunately, I forgot it completely when I went through the cage.” The founder, who hails from Hamburg, hit on the idea for her “slimming pasta” company in 2013 after a friend showed her pasta totally free of carbohydrates that she had bought in London.

But Zuber had worried for nothing…three “lions” on the show offered her an investment of EUR 200,000 in return for a 10 per cent share of her company. The founder even left the studio with a deal for EUR 400,000 and a 26 per cent share offered by the “guest lion” Georg Kofler. The investors Dagmar Wöhrl and Ralf Dümmel had also tried to seal a deal for “super thing” with the “great woman”. Naturally, Zuber was delighted with the unexpected praise.

However, events took a surprising turn in the two months after the show and the deal fell through, Hamburger Abendblatt and Gründerszene reported Wednesday. Differences had emerged during meetings with representatives of Kofler’s Glow Media Group. Zuber said: “I found it hard, but one has to stick to personal values. The corporate culture was not quite suitable,” Hamburger Abendblatt quoted her as saying. The decision was amicable, according to Kofler.

Zuber told Gründerszene: “The synergies were not quite as expected…. at least not enough to give the investor shares of my company.” However, the TV pitch was not unsuccessful and the founder is likely to benefit from ideas learnt there, she said. “We have invested our own money (meanwhile) and can implement what was discussed during the show. We have improved our online presence and are now working with an agency,” she added.

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