Robert Milder, the director of Van de Sant Innovations, secured 70,000 pounds for his business on the British television show, “Dragon’s Den”.
Translation by Traci White
RTV Drenthe reports that Van de Sant Innovation creates sustainable chairs and couches that consist of 75 to 90 percent recycled plastic litter from waterways and on the land. The company currently employs four people and is based in Emmen.
The company is planning to use the funding to re-evaluate their business strategy and marketing, but Milder says that appearing on the television show itself was the most valuable part: the show regularly draws in around three million viewers. “It’s about the recognition and exposure that we now have in Great Britain. It’s really important for our British market.”
Milder says that his appearance on the British show went well: four of the five dragons made an offer on Van de Sant Innovations, and Milder walked away with 70,000 pounds (78,627 euros) from Deborah Meaden, who made her fortune on family holiday packages. The episode featuring Van de Sant Innovations aired on Sunday evening.
On “Dragon’s Den”, entrepreneurs make a presentation about their product or service to a panel of five venture capitalists to convince them to invest in their company. The “dragons” grill the entrepreneurs with tough questions about their business, and walking away with additional funding is far from certain. The American version of the show is called “Shark Tank”.
Environmentally-friendly ways to reuse plastic are good for the planet, but well-publicised initiatives to repurpose materials or lower their environmental impact may actually lead to people be more wasteful. In the latest episode of The Northern Times’ podcast, Econ 050, associate marketing professor Jenny van Doorn talks about how no good deed goes unpunished: companies and products that recycle plastics should be applauded, but they may make customers feel more inclined to consume in the first place. You can find this episode and others on iTunes and right here on the Northern Times site at econ050.northerntimes.nl