What an amazing night! Our Cofounder and Director, Gemma, just came out of an amazing pitch at this year's Dragon Den, organised by the Institute of Directors. All Dragon's agreed: Gemma's was the best pitch of the night.
But how did we get into the finals? It's been a tough and competitive road! There were more than 200 applications to this year's event. Let this sink in! More than 200! And only 4 companies made it into the final. Proudly, Moving Beans was one of them.
The Dragons of the night were Jenny Campbell, Paul Daniels and Angelica Morrone. All very seasoned entrepreneurs, and very seasoned Dragons. Yes, Jenny Campbell from the BBC’s original Dragon Den was among the panel of judges. We were very afraid of tough questions, just as you would see on TV, but the night took another turn :).
Now, the preparations and being part of the Dragon Den’s event taught us some invaluable lessons, which we are sharing below. Notably, on sustainability, competition and innovation.
1. Great Resonance With Sustainability
Through Q&A with the Dragon’s we understood very quickly that there is a huge appetite in sustainability and social responsibility among investors. That is a great shift which has happened over the past years. Not even 10 years ago, it was unthinkable that an entire panel of expert investors would agree that doing something about sustainability is as important as making the business profitable.
2. Serious Underdogs To Nespresso
Every dragon voiced their concern that in the grand scale of events, we would struggle to come even close to the performance of larger brands, such as but not only limited to Nespresso. We were told this at every turn of our business but continued executing. As a result, and against all odds, we have been keeping a very steady growth over past years. Having said this, only consumers can help brands like ours to grow; consumers who feel that the waste created by Nespresso is not justifiable anymore in the light of the existence of sustainable and compostable coffee pods like ours.
3. Innovation Is King
We all know that in a perfectly competitive market, any products eventually turn commodity. The Dragons thus kept asking about our innovation as they felt this was the only chance we stood to grow significantly. Now, with three innovators on the founding team, that was an easy question to answer and Gemma had done a stellar job highlighting our credentials in all aspects of innovation, whether material science or digital innovation.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we would like to thank the Institute of Directors and the Dragons for having chosen us among hundreds of companies. The gentle and truly curious engagement by the Dragons surprised us (positively) and we hope to be on a Den soon again.
In the meantime, we will continue innovating, continue growing Moving Beans, and continue serving our customers and society at large with our truly sustainable coffee pods.