Interview With Michel Weinketz – LogiChem 2023 Dragon’s Den Winner

Interview with LogiChem 2023 Dragon’s Den Winner| The Netherlands | December 2023

1. What inspired you to pitch your business idea on Dragon’s Den, and what were your initial expectations going into the pitch?

I’ve been to Logichem several times already, both as participant and as speaker in my previous role at BASF. So I knew that event not only showcases new ideas, trends and technologies, but also is a great networking opportunity. Key decision makers in the industry – senior leadership in procurement & supply chain/logistics from major players are there.

Resycure is a climate tech startup that is working to help companies secure volumes of Recycled Plastics at better conditions while helping the market to grow, and my main expectation was leverage it to present ourselves to potential clients, connect personally and receive feedback from the experts to help us further develop our idea.

My initial thoughts about the pitch were mixed with excitement and anticipation. I knew the Dragons were known for asking probing questions and having high standards, but I were confident that Resycure’s value proposition would capture their interest.

2. Can you share some behind-the-scenes insights into your preparation for the pitch? How did you ensure you were ready to impress the Dragons?

The audience and Dragons were made of seasoned leaders, which is a challenge but also great, as I knew they were used to many of the concepts and terms I’ve presented. As most startups know, time is the rarest resource – but for this event I wanted to make that we presented our business model in the most effective way – so I prepared well! I guess some of the other passengers in the train trip to the Netherlands were a bit annoyed with my endless rehearsals!

3. The Dragons can be tough negotiators. What was the most challenging moment during your pitch, and how did you overcome it to secure a win?

The most difficult aspect of the Dragon’s Den pitch was the intensive examination of our business model and its impact on sustainability. The Dragons wanted to know in detail how Resycure’s solution tackles the major challenges of PCR (post consumer recycled) plastic supply, and most importantly, how we can work together with the chemical industry. Luckly our team has been working hard with clients, partners and investors and I was prepared for these questions – I guess well enough – the Dragons looked happy with the answers 😊

4. Winning Dragon’s Den is a remarkable achievement. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to follow in your footsteps and make a lasting impression?

My advice to other entrepreneurs is to make sure your message is clear and tailored to the participants profile of Logichem. And also, don’t forget to be passionate and energetic about your solution, as startups dynamism is a great selling point for large corporations.

5. Now that you’ve successfully navigated the Den, how has the experience impacted your business’s growth and future plans?

Winning gave us industry exposure and credibility – directly at the event and afterwards, when we actively promoted our award! It helped us to forge new partnerships and gain new clients. For our current funding round, it is helping us gain potential investors, that we need to accelerate our journey towards driving sustainability in procurement and packaging and reducing scope 3 emissions.

6. As a past attendee of last year’s LogiChem event, what were your impressions of the conference, and what significant insights or advantages did you glean from your participation?

It is hard to find so many experts and decision makers together, in a setup that promotes exchange and collaboration. The networking effect is really impressive – many participants came to me after the award to exchange, and from the presentation sessions I could also learn more about where the industry is going to and what the priorities are now. At the end it brought us two of the most important things for a startup: learning opportunities and clients!