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How Wave Company addressed concerns related to smart apparel comfort and durability during R&D

The core products include ElecSuit that can administer electrical stimulations and haptic feedback and WaveWear that combines compression and kinesiology.


“Our Startups series looks at companies and founders who are innovating in the fields of athlete performance, fan engagement, team/league operations and other high-impact areas in sports.”


World’s shortest elevator pitch:

“Wave Company is a smart apparel company driving the future of tech-enabled recovery and movement.”


Company: Wave Company


Location: Seoul, South Korea


Year founded: 2015


Website/App: https://www.wavecompany.net/; https://wavewear.cc/


Funding round to date: “Series A.”


Who are your investors?

“We have received grants from the South Korean government and have a U.S. sports VC - Stadia Ventures - as an investor.”


Are you looking for more investment?

“Yes.”


Tell us about yourself, CEO Nancy Cho

“After earning my degree in 2010, I began a business importing and distributing sporting goods in South Korea. My enthusiasm for Liverpool FC and the English Premier League led to a fascination with the taping used on futbol athletes, ultimately transforming my passion into a profession. During that period, the South Korean market was untapped in terms of kinesiology and sports tape, prompting us to concentrate on producing comprehensive, Korean-translated brochures and guidelines to bridge the knowledge gap for local consumers. As time went on, my personal use of kinesiology tape to alleviate back pain sparked an idea: What if the functionality of this tape could be integrated into clothing? This question marked the beginning of an extensive R&D phase for WaveWear in the following years. We plunged into the innovation and creation of our first silicone-based textile, leading to our WaveWear product release in 2018.”



Who are your co-founders/partners?

“Sangchul Lee is co-founder and CTO. With his major in business, he played a crucial role in the foundational stages of our company, starting with the import and distribution of sporting goods. He leads all research and development endeavors at Wave Company, driving innovation and growth within our company.”


How does your product work?

“At the core of our service is the research and development of advanced silicone textile technologies, which we leverage to engineer sportswear and smart apparel designed to optimize human movement. WaveWear is our specialized sportswear line that combines compression with integrated kinesiology taping, utilizing our proprietary BWAS (Bio-Waved Adhesive Silicone) textile. This innovation allows users to experience muscle fatigue relief and improved stability and performance during their physical endeavors. The WaveWear range includes everything from leg and arm sleeves to supportive leggings and upper wear, all incorporating our unique compression technology. ElecSuit employs our conductive and stretchable ElecSil (Electronic Silicone) textile, standing out as smart wear that can administer electrical stimulations and haptic feedback, while also gathering accurate biometric data. Its applications are diverse, spanning the fitness, healthcare and wellness industries, and when combined with VR it unlocks multi-faceted experiences for education, training and gaming. Our latest innovation, TracMe, revolutionizes smart fitness with knee and elbow sleeves that feature TracSil (Tracking Silicone) motion-tracking sensors. These sensors meticulously capture detailed exercise data, integrating effortlessly with the TracMe App to enhance workout effectiveness and precision. Together, these products form a comprehensive ecosystem, utilizing cutting-edge technology to enhance and support active lifestyles in various domains.”



What problem is your company solving?

“At Wave, we’re committed to revolutionizing personal wellness and performance technology by tackling three common hurdles in active lifestyles: the challenge of finding effective clothing that provides support and injury prevention during exercise, the scarcity of quality and affordably priced biometric apparel and the absence of easily accessible fitness analytics. Our solutions are threefold: WaveWear addresses the first challenge. As an enthusiast facing similar issues, I innovated apparel integrating reusable adhesive silicone taping, offering users the dual benefits of compression and built-in kinesiology taping. This eliminates waste and the struggle of self-application, ensuring protection, comfort and sustainability. ElecSuit is our answer to the second (problem). We’ve developed smart apparel compatible with existing biometric devices, capable of transmitting diverse data like ECG, EMG and EEG, while also providing electro tactile feedback. This high-quality, cost-competitive technology lays the groundwork for the future of smart wear. Finally, with TracMe, users gain access to personalized workouts and in-depth analysis, removing the guesswork from today’s complex fitness landscape. This user-friendly and efficient TracMe system simplifies the fitness journey by delivering customized workouts and invaluable insights, guiding users effectively toward their health and wellness goals. Together, these innovations form a cohesive ecosystem, addressing distinct yet interconnected challenges faced by individuals dedicated to health, wellness and peak performance.”


What does your product cost and who is your target customer?

“WaveWear prices vary by product. The Compression Taping Knee Sleeve K2 is priced at approximately $36, while the Compression Leggings with Knee & Calf Taping L20 are available for around $110. For ElecSuit, the cost of the top and bottom set ranges from $400-$800, depending on specifications. Collaboration pricing is flexible and negotiable. The TracMe Sleeves and AI analysis are priced between $90- $150, with options for both Pro and Lite versions. The TracMe app is available for free download. Our target customers range from fitness enthusiasts to individuals experiencing bodily discomfort, those on the path to recovery or beginners in physical exercise. Essentially, we cater to anyone seeking enhanced movement. While WaveWear and TracMe are geared toward direct-to-consumer markets, ElecSuit is designed for business-to-business partnerships, spanning diverse sectors including fitness, healthcare, wellness and even extending into education, training and gaming.”


How are you marketing your product?

“Our marketing strategy is multi-faceted and dynamic, reinvesting our import business profits into R&D and WaveWear. We actively engage our target market by participating in local and national marathons and triathlons, showcasing the practical benefits of WaveWear. Collaboration is also key. We partner with athletes, our friends from diverse sports like baseball, football, climbing, skating and BMX, to use and share their positive experiences with our products, highlighting the support they receive during training and competitions. Furthermore, we’re expanding our global footprint by featuring our innovations at international exhibitions and events such as ISPO, REHACARE, FIBO and Viva Tech, aiming to broaden our distributor network and forge new business partnerships.”



How do you scale, and what is your targeted level of growth?

“At Wave, our scaling strategy is rooted in strategic partnerships, technological integration and market expansion, with a vision to extend our global footprint. For WaveWear; we’re currently anchored in South Korea, with direct-to-consumer channels in the U.S. and distribution in Malaysia. Our scaling strategy hinges on global expansion through forging relationships with distributors worldwide who share our confidence in the product’s potential. With ElecSuit, our focus is on diversification and expanding its applications. We are actively seeking partnerships with organizations capable of integrating ElecSuit’s technology into a wide range of sectors and use cases, including education, training, military applications, gaming, fitness and particularly the medical field. For TracMe, our immediate goal is a successful launch of the app and sleeve in the Korean market, followed by a global rollout. We’re initiating our journey with home-training exercises, with plans to scale by extending our offerings to equipment-based exercises. Our collective aim is not just product-specific growth but an integrated expansion where each product complements the others, contributing to a holistic ecosystem dedicated to health, wellness, and performance enhancement.”


Who are your competitors, and what makes you different?

“What truly sets us apart from the competition is Wave’s proprietary stretchable silicone textile technology. This innovation ensures exceptional integration with clothing, optimizing comfort during physical activity. For WaveWear, while most athletic brands concentrate solely on compression, we’ve pioneered a unique approach by merging this feature with kinesiology taping. This combination isn’t just novel – its effectiveness is backed by rigorous testing from accredited laboratories and affirmed by customer feedback. Furthermore, the textile technologies underpinning ElecSuit and TracMe are grounded in WaveWear’s BWAS, solving several challenges that competitors face in the smart wear arena. We’ve successfully addressed concerns related to garment comfort, durability, washability, and manufacturing costs, giving us a significant edge in the market.”


What’s the unfair advantage that separates your company?

“Our competitive edge lies in our unique technology – a distinctive branch of material technology seamlessly compatible with textiles, which is our stretchable silicone. Years of dedicated research and development have allowed us to continually enhance its qualities, including the restoration of stickiness after washing. Our safeguarding extends beyond patents – we also meticulously control the formulation of materials. In addition to our pioneering technology, our exceptional team is unwavering in its commitment to growth and innovation.”


What milestone have you recently hit or will soon hit?

“We’ve not only scaled out by broadening the WaveWear product line – extending from sleeves to full garments and even sport-specific gear like cycling bib shorts — but we’ve also scaled up. Our unique stretchable silicone textile technology has evolved, paving the way for an expansion into the smart wear sector.”



What are the values that are core to your brand?

“At the heart of our brand lie core values deeply rooted in enhancing our customers’ quality of life and promoting health. We commit to innovation that supports a spectrum of needs, from daily comfort for the average individual to advanced support for fitness enthusiasts. Our dedication extends beyond mere comfort, aspiring to revolutionize well-being and active living through our diverse product range. Whether it’s facilitating recovery, encouraging new entrants to exercise or aiding high-performance activities, we’re here for every step of the journey.”


What does success ultimately look like for your company?

“For us, success is being recognized as a practical innovator that enhances the lives of individuals across the activity spectrum, from the everyday person to the fitness enthusiast. We strive to be a constant source of support, providing comfort and alleviating pain, whether during daily routines, intense physical activities or recovery periods. Our goal is for our products to become essential, trusted tools that improve movement and overall well-being, standing out for their innovative contribution to active lifestyles.”


What should investors or customers know about you — the person, your life experiences — that shows they can believe in you?

“Investors and customers should know my dedication to expanding and elevating Wave stems from a deep, personal commitment to growth and improvement. I welcome constructive criticism and am always eager to learn from diverse perspectives, understanding that every piece of feedback is an opportunity for enhancement. My approach is proactive. When I encounter innovative tools or ideas that have the potential to refine our operations, I don’t hesitate to introduce them to our team and initiate change. My life’s journey has instilled in me a resilience and adaptability that I bring to my leadership role at Wave, ensuring we’re always evolving and striving for excellence.”


Are there certain demographics that Wave Company and its products appeal to the most?

“While our product demographics vary somewhat across our product lines, a common thread unites them. Our primary appeal is to individuals aged 25 and above, encompassing both sports enthusiasts and those intrigued by innovative technology.”



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