The Innovation Hub’s Lightbulb Moments blog presents: Nura Hashi
Startup: Wayso | Hub program: Launch
About Nura and her startup, Wayso
I sat down with Nura Hashi, a 4th year student in the Industrial Design program at Carleton University, to discuss her business Wayso. “Wayso is a portable and sustainable bidet company,” Nura shares. “It aims to free you from the shackles of public bathrooms without a built-in bidet and allows you to carry your lifestyle needs with you wherever you go”.
For those non-bidet users out there, a bidet is a device to help you cleanse your private areas with water after going to the washroom. It is a common household item in 80% of the world including Italy, Japan, India and Argentina. The goal of Wayso is to add beneficial value into users lives in an ethical and honest way and in a fun way. “It allows users to bring their lifestyle needs with them wherever they go”, Nura says.
What inspired you to start this company?
“I noticed a barrier first within my own lifestyle. The [public] bathroom experience in North America didn’t offer bidets so, for regular bidet users, they would have to use other objects”. The workarounds Nura describes bidet users resigning to are surprising to hear: a watering can, a cup, or an empty water bottle. The variety and creativity with the workarounds speak to the pressing need for a solution. She knew that millions of people in Canada were encountering this obstacle and thought to herself, “Why is there a gap? Let’s fix it”. Ultimately, it was the desire to improve the daily experience of bidet users – while also promoting bidet use as a healthy option for other Canadians – that inspired Nura to create Wayso.
Nura plans to continue with Wayso post-graduation, “God-willing, I hope to really pursue Wayso because I know what it can be and the value it can add in people’s lives [through] changing the bathroom experience and that industry. I hope to work on this and pursue my masters. And I want to travel. Through whatever I’m doing [Wayso] will be there with me”.
Nura’s Lightbulb Moment:
Nura’s lightbulb moment happened a few years ago when she was having lunch with her dad. “He’s a very good listener, we were chatting and I was expressing my frustration. Why do I have to use random, makeshift objects? How can I improve my lifestyle? I couldn’t rely on the outside world, I would have to plan throughout my day and make calculations (which bathroom she could use, how much water she could drink, etc)”.
Her dad was very supportive during that conversation and encouraged Nura to solve the issue herself. He postulated that she likely wasn’t the only one experiencing the same frustrations. He was right. Millions of Canadian around the country shared stories of bidet workarounds and less than optimal bathroom experiences. Hearing her dad’s advice got her gears running – Nura made a commitment to start Wayso and hasn’t looked back since.
Who has been your biggest support system for you in your entrepreneurial journey?
One of Nura’s biggest supports is her faith as well as her close friends and family. She credits her mom for pushing her and believing in her like no one else, “I get such a strong mindset from her, that’s not something you can really teach”. She also says, “my close friends and family have never doubted me. My older sister has heard a lot of my stressful moments and the not so pretty sides of entrepreneurship”.
How has the Innovation Hub helped you in getting your business to the next step?
“I participated in the Launch program in Winter 2023, it was my first time pitching and in the entrepreneurial space so I was nervous.” Nura said the nervousness started to wear off as she realized she had access to industry professionals every week and was able to ask them anything both during and outside of class. She learned how to storytell and translate the skills she had in Industrial Design and apply them to entrepreneurship. “Being around students that were hungry [for entrepreneurship] was nice to see and we were able to learn from each other, everyone was open and encouraging. It was very collaborative”.
Nura encourages curious students to try one of the Hub’s programs, “You never know until you try. See if it’s for you and you’ll leave with something. If you don’t love it, you’ll at least leave with clarity and if you do love it there’s so many more programs to join”.
What advice would you give to build confidence in a student at Carleton who has an idea but doesn’t know if they should go after it?
“Building confidence starts internally with believing in your capabilities. Whether you believe it or not, you have to believe you can”. She also encourages students with an idea to practice pitching. “Put yourself in positions you’re afraid of because you’ll know you’ll grow. It’s never easy but the more you do it, the easier it’ll get. Have a strong mindset and know who you are”.
Nura is a prime example of how finding your passion space and putting in the effort can propel your business forward, and we were honoured to have her participate in the Winter 2023 Launch program. We’re happy to announce that Nura will be joining the Innovation Hub team as the Ideas program facilitator for the Fall 2023 – Winter 2024 school year!
Written by Monika Hutchings, Communications Coordinator at the Innovation Hub. If you would like your story to be edited, updated, or removed please email firstname.lastname@example.org.