Who can participate?

Contestants have to be either starting up a new business, are early in the development stages or launching a new product/service but been in business for less than 3 years. It is open to all ages. Participants are expected to be part of and committed to a local church. The organising team reserve the right to approve or decline all applicants to the market validation training and Lions’ Den Night.

Overall, the Lions’ Den is being organised in good faith to encourage business innovation, development and growth along with mentoring and support across the church communities in Auckland. We are celebrating our God given talents in business and seeking to inspire and support each other in this calling through a combined church event.

What’s the process and timeline?

1) APPLY: Complete and submit the Application form. Even if you are not fully prepared, the process is designed to help you move forward. The organising team will confirm your eligibility to progress to the market validation training.

2) WAIT AND WORK: You will be advised on your eligibility to participate based on your application form and video submission. Keep refining your idea based on ideas from the questions. Note down and book in your diary the 4 Market Validation training nights below to help refine and develop your idea/product/service.

3) TRAIN: Attend the market validation and pitch deck training. Be open to feedback, training and guidance from professional mentors from The Icehouse.

4) CELEBRATE: Hopefully you receive notification as one of the 5 finalists selected from the application forms, video and market validation training.

5) PREPARE: Prepare your refined pitch presentation for the Lions’ Den Night.

6) PRESENT: Present your idea to The Lions and attendees. 15 min maximum slot for each contestant. Maximum of 6 min presentation with 7 min questioning and feedback interspersed. There will be an opportunity for the audience to vote which will be considered by the Lions, however the Lions will make the final decision for first place and runner up.

7) CELEBRATE: Winners - Take up prize offerings over coming 12 months as applicable to your business idea. Runners-up - reach out for further mentoring and coaching within your church, whether you win or not we would like to help you succeed.

8) WORK, SUCCEED AND SOW: Succeed in executing your idea! Sow into others, sow into God’s Kingdom.

The 2020 Lions

Murray Thom – Director, Thom Productions.  Murray was named in the Top 10 Entrepreneurs of the Decade by New Zealand Business magazine.  Murray’s productions range from the NZ and Australian songbooks, the NZ and Australian Cookbooks and Birthday cake books through to success outside New Zealand with two of his productions featuring on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the USA.

Andy Hamilton – CEO, The Icehouse.  The Icehouse is a not-for-profit with a vision to enable the success of NZ business owners and entrepreneurs through knowledge, connection and investment. Andy is involved in various business investment forums including on the Board of ICE Angels our Angel Network, being on the investment committee for The Icehouse Start-Up Fund, being Chair of the Angel Association NZ or being Deputy-Chair of the Metro Project - Innovation Group for Auckland.

Bronny Jacobsen – Strategic Growth Director, LIFE Community. Bronny brings a wealth of experience in fashion, merchandising & buying and retailing insights through leadership roles within Pumpkin Patch, The Warehouse and Rivers Australia. Bronny brings a keen eye for what works with customers and potential markets.

Mike Marr – Founder and CEO of TPT Group. Mike has a strong entrepreneurial focus, particularly in technology and security industries having started 8 companies and undertaken 8+ acquisitions through TPT. He and TPT have won multiple entrepreneurship and business excellence awards. Mike is an active contributor to education and charitable sectors in New Zealand.