From childhood friends to business partners
Koala Babycare's founders Emil and Giacomo met in the halls of their local high school in Pesaro — a small city on Italy's Adriatic coast.
As often happens, they lost touch after graduation until they stumbled into each other while working at the same company and reconnected over their shared dreams of using their engineering degrees to make a positive impact.
Getting creative with science
As luck — or fate — would have it, Giacomo became an uncle around this time.
Meanwhile, Emil's partner, who worked at a nursery school, often shared stories of flat-head syndrome — a condition in which infants' heads flatten because they spend too much time lying on their backs.
This sparked an idea.
And after months of exhaustive research and experiments later, Emil and Giacomo had in their hands the prototype of the first-ever pillow designed specifically to gently cradle infants' heads and preserve their natural shapes.
The wrong kind of attention
By May 2017, Emil and Giacomo were ready to launch.
There was just one problem.
While imitation might be the highest form of flattery, it's bad for business and unacceptable when it comes to the safety of a child.
Research has found that 58% of parents worry about product authenticity when they’re shopping for baby care products. And 72% would stop buying from a brand if they read that there were counterfeits on the market that could be potentially harmful to their little ones.
After all their hard work, this was something Emil and Giacomo could not risk.