Not long ago, there was an interview between Fashion Post and wavewear CEO Jo Na-yeon.
Today's fashion post article is on Naver's main page!
▲ Go to the wavewear interview article ▲
"This Startup Now" by Jo Na-yeon Wave Company.
<Sports Medical Startup Startup History>
I first learned about the brand WaveWear made by WaveCompany in November last year.
It was through an event called Style Tech Demo Day 2020 seen through YouTube Channel Live.
On Demo Day (presentations and networking events to attract investors and collaborative partners),
Among the 2nd companies in the StyleTech Prospective Company Growth Support Program hosted by the Ministry of Industry and the Korea Design Promotion Agency,
Founders and developers from 10 selected companies stepped up.
Among them, Wave Company was particularly eye-catching because it was a rare "manufacturing" company for tech-based startups. The same was true of the first companies, and most of the 17 startups in the second were B2B or B2C solutions and platforms using AI and big data.
Among them, Wave Company launched finished clothing with its own fabric and technology.
It was the only company that started selling consumers.
It is not easy to implement ideas and development capabilities for any high-tech technology as a finished product.
Development costs are also development costs, and the most difficult part of manufacturing companies in the early stages of their start-ups is before securing fixed markets.
Isn't it a burden to start with inventory?
In addition, the company, which made the announcement in the first order, could not help but stand out.
First, to briefly explain Wavewear, a brand of Wave Company,
Find the best efficiency that the taping and compression combination can produce,
Based on that data, I used the raw materials that I developed.
It is ergonomic sports taping performance wear.
- Please introduce "Wavewear".
"In a big category, the concept of the sports medical field is a brand that provides a healthy and safe lifestyle for those who like and enjoy sports.
The first item is performance active wear. It is a protector and clothing that provides both performance and recovery by applying wave-patterned adhesive bio-silicon inside the fabric.
BI has also been decided to mean that we can meet a new wave of technology and design.”
- How did you get interested in sports medical field?
There must be a lot of related items, so is there a special reason for choosing items as clothing?
"After graduating from college, I started a business in 2010 to import and sell sports medical supplies.
My undergraduate major was Life Environment Engineering, and above all, I'm a big fan of Liverpool FC (smile). At that time and now, I have a lot of affection for EPL (English Professional Football Premier League), so game broadcasts or
So I ended up selling related contents. Of course, I was interested in the players.
I found out that they use sports taping a lot. It's amazing.
I got interested in business."
In other words, being a fan has become a job. Since there aren't many domestic products, I imported sports medical supplies.
It started. The main item is kinesiology, an epidemiological study of physical exercise.
In the field of physical education, it is used for record improvement, technical analysis, ergonomics, etc.) Tape.
The demand was higher than expected, and most of the products did not include Korean instructions.
As such, there have been many inquiries about the use.
CEO Jonahyeon said, "I thought consumers needed kindness.
CEO Cho himself wrote and drew on how to tap the kinesiology tape and what to be careful about.
Mini brochures explained in an easy-to-understand manner were produced and enclosed to buyers.
With good products, reasonable prices, and kind explanations, the number of fixed customers naturally increased.
At first, it was imported and sold only in retail, and then expanded to wholesale, and now it has expanded its scope to manufacturing.
Wave Company is co-founder by Jonathan and CEO Lee Sang-chul.
Now, CEO Jo Na-yeon is in charge of overall management,
CEO Lee Sang-chul is in charge of technology development, and it is operated under each representative system.
- Are you still in the import business?
"I've made money from the import business and poured it into R&D". Fortunately,
It's stable on that side, so it's possible to develop or prototype it.
Q: I was a little surprised to see him do PT on Demo Day.
Among style tech startups, it is rare to develop their own fabric and manufacture clothing.
"As I started selling a lot of legwork here and there to find a good sports medical product, I thought about making it myself in 2011.
"It was also the field I studied, and I guess I was confident that I could do it with our skills."
- How was the development process? I don't think it would have been easy.
"I really had a hard time." It took more than six years to develop the product.
First of all, it was difficult to set up development personnel in the beginning. While CTO CEO Lee Sang-chul was serving in the military,
I had no choice but to stand for a while. It was settled around 2015.
At that time, developers are still together, and now 30% of all personnel are research personnel.
The teamwork is so good that the average number of years of service for employees is more than four years."
"The hardest thing about management is that it's a small company, so development and production costs are the biggest burden.
No matter how good materials and technologies are applied, the market and consumers must be finished.
I thought I could make them understand, so the investment period until commercialization was extended.
Maybe because I worked hard for a long time, I was determined to watch the finished product.
- He participated in ISPO Munich in Germany with a prototype in 2017.
He said he felt a lot at this time.
"Young people in the Orient are explaining with fabric samples,
Thankfully, they showed interest (smile.
But there was a limit to explaining the expected effects with just the fabric.
There were people who thought it was a converter.
That's why I decided to make more finished products.
A big company asked me to buy OEMs and suggested buying ideas and technologies.
"I didn't want to do that because I thought it wouldn't be the main item and would be consumed as an event."
Before we make clothes, we decided to test the market with sleeves. In 2018,
It introduced the first product of the "Wavewear" label, calves and elbow sleeves.
And the fabric that I developed 2 months ago and bio-adhesive silicon are combined.
The first clothing line was born.
<Photo WaveWear CEO Jo Na-yeon>
The new 2021 S/S product is crowdfunding in collaboration with outdoor "Eider".
Platform Wadiz is holding a launching event.
Through collaboration, the processes and strengths of leading outdoor companies
It was an opportunity to see and learn from the side.
Wavewear' is a taping clothing that is sustainable for a long time and easy to wear.
Kinecology taping and compression wear are made into a single product.
Sports medical experts need to take the time to proceed,
The disadvantage of sports tape is that you can only use it once because it's disposable.
It is a product based on solving it.
CEO Cho said, "Wearing wavewear correctly reduces fatigue and improves athletic ability,
You can get the sports medical effect of preventing injury."
Minimizing muscle tremors is a key technology to reduce muscle fatigue.
A technology that applies moderate pressure and bio adhesive silicone to the inside of the fabric (BWAS™) is lactic acid.
It effectively decomposes to relieve pain and improve exercise ability, he explained.
As the functionality of the fabric is the key, I was curious about the durability of the laundry durability.
CEO Cho said, "This is the most frequently asked question. If I borrow words from the person in charge of the experimental institute,"
I was looking for a point in time when bio-silicon's function was deteriorated in the iron bead washing experiment.
The fabric is 'dissolved first', and dry cleaning will restore to the level of a new product, he said.
- How did you produce it?
We need to apply new technologies and it's our first time manufacturing them.
I don't think it would have been easy to get a factory.
"Developing a fabric that meets the functionality standards required for a product"
It is in strategic partnership with one of the large domestic fabric companies.
In fact, it took a long time to develop the fabric and then actually produce it.
To find a factory that can implement the production environment and standards we require.
When you make it in a laboratory with good technical conditions for commercialization,
The expected performance value comes out, and if it doesn't, it's a failed technology."
"It took a year to connect with the current factory in Vietnam due to the overlapping Corona Pandemic."
The Vietnamese factory mainly seals luxury brand products.
Thank you for encouraging us a lot and understanding that our samples are "excellent, growth potential" and even working on improving the environment so that we can have a partnership and produce silicon materials.”
Currently, Wave Company has Vietnam as its main producer and is conducting domestic production at the same time.
Vietnam's production is sending all of its raw and subsidiary materials and sewing them locally.
Supply and demand of raw materials, processing, sewing, inspection, packing and transportation of finished products, and delivery date to domestic arrival.
About a month. Depending on the supply and demand situation of raw materials, it is possible to deliver at least two weeks.
In Korea, spots and small orders are being made.
Although it has been difficult to produce due to the Corona Pandemic, securing domestic and foreign markets is smooth.
Recently, I heard quite a lot of good news. On the 29th of last month, L20 Compression, top and bottom, and sleeves.
The approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Medical Class 1 for a total of four products and
The acquisition of a sales permit. Wave Company is the European Union (EU) medical product sales certification.
It also obtained "CE Medical" certification.
- Is the export route wide open now that it has crossed the most difficult gateway?
"That's how it's going to be now (smile). It is encouraging that a number of technology and product inquiries are received from overseas from brands that are just in the process of releasing finished clothing and preparing for promotion.
French sports brand Decathlon is interested in BWAS.
I got a call, so I'm consulting with another French sportswear brand.
I'm consulting with an electronic room. Sleeve items were being exported to Japan, Taiwan, and Germany.
Clothing orders are underway, too. I can't tell you the team name, but recently, among the Bundesliga club teams,
We said we'd use compressive leggings in one place.
If wavewear is recognized for its performance, it could be an official supplier, right?”
- Wow! It's time for our efforts to shine.
Where will Wave Company's next step go?
"The direction of brand development is to produce a small number of varieties.
The technology that adheres bio-silicon to the inside of the fabric and gives proper elasticity and pressure.
The same goes for fabric development, but the development of clothing patterns that can best enhance the function of actual wear.
I put a lot of effort into it. So, I applied the high-quality pattern according to the wearer's purpose of activities.
We are planning to release professional cycle wear and swimsuits.
Technology development took a long time, so I'm going to speed up."
"We are planning several styles of coordinator tops and bottoms so that you can wear them as daily clothes."
I think Wave Company's vision lies in a highly scalable technology.
It can be widely used in life, sports, and medical fields. In addition to that, not only fashion,
As the issue across all industries is sustainability, that part is also an important value.
We're going to develop and plan products."