How a Porsche engineer founded a vintage product start-up

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  • Carina Hader studied aerospace engineering and dreamed of becoming CEO of Porsche.
  • Due to a personal problem all this changed and she decided to start her own business.
  • She founded Nayca, which makes a heating pad that relieves period pain, with her father Bruno.

At one point in her life, Carina Heidi Hader’s main aspiration was to be the first woman to become CEO of Porsche.

“It was my goal for a very long time, it was etched into my brain,” she told Insider.

Hader really enjoyed working as an engineer at the automaker and felt she had what it took to be a leader.

“I got promoted a lot at Porsche and liked it there, but deep in my head I was always like ‘what if I do something completely different?’” She said.

Over time, that thought matured in the back of his mind. Finally, the aerospace engineering graduate decided to found her own startup for period products. She did it with her father Bruno, a marketing expert with years of experience. He was also looking to do something new after quitting his corporate job. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to start a business together.

When Carina Hader told her father about her idea of ​​making a reusable, technology-powered heating pad for women with period pain, he was surprised and was initially silent.

“It’s not a topic you usually talk about with your father, although even before we started the business we had virtually no taboo topics,” said Carina Hader.

But after some market research, Bruno Hader realized that there was great market potential, and he was quickly convinced.

Presale sold out within 24 hours

The engineer herself suffers from period pain, which is not really convenient when you work a lot as a consultant and travel frequently.

“You can’t just take out the hot water bottle in a meeting and ask for a kettle,” she said.

That’s where she got the idea. She decided to create a discreet heart-shaped heating pad called Nayca that you can place directly on your stomach between your underwear and your pants or skirt. It heats up at the touch of a button and is always ready to use.

The suppliers and producers have already been found by the father and daughter’s business, which they named Cebeha2 GmbH.

The pre-production phase is currently underway. The online store has been officially open for a few weeks and customers can now pre-order the heating pad. However, there is currently a 12 week delivery time left. But that doesn’t seem to have bothered customers. In July 2021, the Haders launched a presale in which all planned heating pads were sold within 24 hours.

“It was our proof of concept and confirmation that customers really want our product,” said Carina Hader.

Last year, she said, Cebeha2 GmbH has already generated five-figure sales, without a product being able to ship.

At this time, the small business does not advertise.

“We can’t do too much right now because we’re primed,” Hader said.

Bootstrap funding means the startup has a very tight budget and limited resources. The goal is to avoid expenses while maximizing income.

The product impressed judges in start-up competitions

With her concept, as well as her cheerful charisma and practical mentality, the engineer has really impressed in startup competitions.

In 2019, she participated in Grace Summercamp, an acceleration program for female startup teams.

As recently as November 2021, she won the Douglas “Beauty Futures” startup competition in the “Beauty Brand” category, beating 196 startups from 23 countries.

Industry leaders such as Douglas CEO Tina Müller and digital manager Vanessa Stützle, as well as investor Lea-Sophie Cramer were excited about Hader and Nayca after her pitch.

Hader won the chance to sell his product on the Douglas platforms.

Currently, Hader is in negotiations with Douglas over what a collaboration might look like.

“For us the cooperation with Douglas is a great opportunity, but also a great challenge,” she said.

Because we are primed and working on a tight budget, we have to grope and we cannot supply all the stores at the moment, ”she added.

Both parties hope that sales through Douglas can begin next year.

The founders work on an equal footing

“Bruno has never played the father’s card – nor I the daughter’s card; we work absolutely on an equal footing,” said Carina Hader.

“Of course, we also chat a lot and have difficult conversations as co-founders when it comes to strategy or buying, for example, but it’s always on a level playing field,” she added. .

Since Hader co-founded with her father, rather than passing it on, she doesn’t see her business as a family business in the classic sense.

“But if I were to pass the company on to the next generation at some point, I might think about it again if Porsche came to strike with the CEO position,” said Hader.


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