Coming from the small town of Munster in Germany, and having studied business and finance, in 1996 I moved to the big smoke of Emsdetten and took a job at Waeco as CFO. Six short years later the founder of Waeco, Theo Waehning, gave my family and I the opportunity to move to the sunny Gold Coast of Australia to assess the current business opportunities of the local market. Somehow a ‘short’ three-year stint to examine the local market ended up as a life-changing experience.
In early 2016 I decided to call it quits. After 20 years of working in the 4x4 and lifestyle industry, it was finally time for me to find my next adventure … retirement. As one can only play so many rounds of golf before becoming the next Tiger Woods, retirement proved much slower than I had thought. Over a few quality German beers, Theo also let slip that he was struggling with retired life, and he too needed a project, so we thought we would let our passion for the RV and 4x4 industry fly once again.
We both knew our expertise was in one specific area, so we decided to give it our all and started discussions about building a new portable fridge/freezer that would be packed with innovative features – and so myCOOLMAN was born.
Having been off-roading on Fraser Island a fair few times, camping with our kids at horse events, and fishing out at sea with the family, I envisioned something that was durable, functional and, most importantly, innovative. We thought of any and all possible features that people would look for and want in a portable fridge – something where power shorts are no longer an issue and, of course, a bottle opener. I am many things but skilled at opening a beer with a teaspoon is not one, so a built-in bottle opener was definitely a top priority!
We wanted a portable fridge that could handle anything you could throw its way; one that’s tough and rugged for the Aussie bush. But most of all we wanted to change the way people used their portable fridges – our thinking was, ‘how can we revolutionise the industry?’
It was this thought process that led to the birth of the newly released myCOOLMAN Power Pack, which is by far the most exciting product design and development process I have been involved in over my entire career. It has given way to a whole new range of opportunities in the 4x4 industry. Finally, adventurers can truly explore off the beaten track and not be dependent on their vehicle or a heavy cumbersome product for power and, most importantly, for a cold one at the end of the day.
4x4 Gear: myCOOLMAN fridge and power pack tested
Without a doubt, myCOOLMAN has become everything I’ve ever wanted in a camping fridge. Having Theo’s unwavering knowledge of compressors and all things technical has enabled myCOOLMAN to build the best compressor and fridges the market has ever seen. Together with our years of experience, we were able to create and release an entire range of portable fridges in one hit (which no one has ever done before) – seven fridges in the beginning, to be precise, which has now quickly become 10.
Releasing our very own fridge onto the market was one of the most nerve-racking and exciting few months I’ve ever experienced, but, having the continuous support of lifelong business partners who have become friends, the business and our products have been met by the local and global industry with open arms.
We hope you love and enjoy our myCOOLMAN products as much as we do. Happy adventuring!
Meet the Expert
Name: Andreas Bischof
Role: Director, Leisure-Tec
Experience: More than 24 years