photo: Sandra Westermann

Women in Tech: Sandra Westermann From Superheldin

With Superheldin, Sandra Westermann has developed a job portal that aims to connect family-friendly companies with women in particular, but also with all other job seekers who are focused on more flexible work models. In our interview, Sandra Westermann, who started her company in 2019 as a solo founder, tells us about her startup experience and how she finances her company.

Munich Startup: What motivated you to found a company?

Sandra Westermann: I found myself in a situation where due to my new family circumstances, I couldn’t find a new employer or job that matched my professional experience or, most particularly, could be organized flexibly. I applied through the established job portals, and even when companies showcased their family-friendly nature to the outside world through their corporate marketing, I quickly realized that it didn’t reflect reality. Why, for example, are women asked about family planning during interviews?

Superheldin, in contrast, is authentic and trustworthy. Companies that post job openings on Superheldin are family-friendly. We’ve now developed a procedure that does a very good job verifying that.

It’s been demonstrated that women look for jobs differently than men. Women look not only for the hard facts about the job, but also for the soft facts, for example about a company’s culture or its values.

Munich Startup: What do you now wish you had known before founding your first company?

Sandra Westermann: There are a lot of things I would have liked to have known beforehand, for instance about IT development. That would have definitely saved me a lot of stress and money.

Diverse group of shareholders

Munich Startup: How have you funded your company so far?

Sandra Westermann: I’m very proud of my diverse group of shareholders. It includes business angels from Germany as well as private investors from Munich.

Munich Startup: When and where do you have the best ideas?

Sandra Westermann: I don’t actually have a specific place. The moment you get too fixated on having to develop ideas, it usually doesn’t work. I’ve come up with many good ideas at night when I can’t sleep or am driving.

Munich Startup: What are your three favorite work tools?

Sandra Westermann: I don’t go anywhere without my iPad. On it, I use the Good Notes app for ideas that I have while on the go and for new to-dos, which are then synced with my Mac. We use Slack for communication, and Canva is also a great asset to us.

Put yourself in the position of others

Munich Startup: What is your top tip for pitching?

Sandra Westermann: Stay focused, be well prepared and as precise as possible. Putting yourself in the position of others is just as crucial. In other words, do the people you’re talking to understand what you’re saying? Are they getting the message you want to communicate? You can practice this really well with friends and partners.

Munich Startup: Do you think now is a good time to start a company? Why?

Sandra Westermann: Definitely! What’s most important is still the idea itself and the problem you can solve by starting a company. Good ideas always find support.

Focus on impact

Munich Startup: What technology or industry would you bank on when founding your next startup?

Sandra Westermann: The nice thing about Superheldin is that I can help so many women with it while doing something to counteract the shortage of skilled professionals. With my next company, I would once again put the focus on improving the world a bit. It’s immensely motivating.

Munich Startup: What do you think could still use some improvement in Munich as a startup location?

Sandra Westermann: I would like there to be a large networking event at some point.

Munich Startup: What founder would you like to meet in person some day? And what would you ask them?

Sandra Westermann: Allison Robinson. She founded the US-based platform “The Mom Project,” and we’re both committed to the same issue. I would be so interested to take a peek behind the investor scene in the US and to see how Allison managed to raise 60 million US dollars.