Mincemeat the Money in the Etre Dragon's Den

Posted by Mike Magee in Paris, France

 If anyone of you has seen the BBC TV series the Dragon's Den, you'll be aware of the format.

Would be people with great ideas get exposed to a gang of very rich people who then proceed to interrogate the guys who want investment.

This isn't an original idea, however. Alex Vieux pioneered the idea in 1994 at his Etre conferences. Sacrificial victims have precisely one minute 30 seconds to make their pitches, and are then exposed to a bunch of VCs and industry people who ask them one or two questions each.

At the end of that, the interrogators are asked to say whether they'd invest in the man and his company, that'd be a yes or a no.

Alex Vieux


This is a ruthless affair and today here at the Etre conference the first idea guy got very short thrift indeed.

At the end of his little pitch, and after being asked one or two questions, Alex Vieux "asked the audience" if they'd understood the pitch at all. The majority of attendees just said "no". Vieux told the hapless victim that he had no chance at all of getting investment for his idea. "You've just wasted 800 minutes of peoples' time," he said.

The hapless victim walked off the stage - his head held high. He didn't look like he was afraid of the dark. We have a vid of this and will try and put it up at some point.