Featured Startup Pitch: iShuu Tech has released a ‘smart shoe’ aimed at high-tech fashionistas
By WALLEN MPHEPO, ISHUU TECH CO-FOUNDER
Lithuania-based iShuu Tech was founded in 2014. Our first release, Volvorii Timeless smart shoe are fashionable high-heel shoes with embedded changeable e-ink panels, controllable by Bluetooth using the iShuu phone app. E-ink wearables thus far have been predominantly a wrist worn tech affair with added words to describe them as fashion products. With Volvorii Timeless smart shoe we hope to provide you a glimpse of what that future of truly fashion wearables holds.
Our product is the Volvorii Timeless smart shoe. This is a different take on wearables as it puts fashion first. Essentially it is a smart shoe whose colors and design patterns can be controlled via a smartphone app to match the user’s outfit, atmosphere, or situation.
I come from a new direction of product designers. Usually, startup founders for design or fashion products tend to come from either purely design backgrounds, or design background with a dabbling in tech. I on the other hand come from a purely natural sciences background and have dabbled a bit in design. I focused on an obscure discipline called Electronic Information Display Technologies for my graduate studies. Somewhere along the way, I started building aesthetically infused electronic information display technologies and applications, the latest of which is the Volvorii Timeless smart shoe technology. While the smart shoe is the beginning, I believe that there is a lot more to come from the aesthetically infused electronic information display road.
iShuu’s marketing strategy is simple. Work with a proven marketing firm, in our case we chose Publicize, a startup PR company. This way we can stay focused on delivering where we have the competitive advantages while we let the professionals handle the marketing and PR.
The market for footwear is ~$200 Billion dollars per year. Currently our direct competition comes from other footwear brands that can allow shoe customization e.g. Nike ID, Mi Adidas, Puma Factory, Shoes Of Prey, Milk and Honey. However it has to be noted that all these companies can only allow the user to customize their footwear before they purchase, not after. The consumer would have to purchase a new pair of shoes if they want the same shoe style in a different color or with different design patterns. However with our technology, all they have to do is click a smartphone app button to change them at any moment they desire.
On another note, we cannot disclose names yet as discussions are still underway, some of these above listed global brand competitors have already reached out to us for possible partnerships so we can implement our technology in their products.
HOW WE’RE UNIQUE
We differentiate ourselves from our competition by going beyond what any of them is capable of doing. We allow the consumer to customize their footwear both before and after the purchase in as effortless manner as simply clicking a smartphone app button. From a consumer’s perspective that changes everything.
Current plans include the following:
- License the technology directly to footwear producers/designers/brands
- Partner with footwear vendors/producers/designers/brands so that we focus on the technology aspect and the partners focus on their areas of expertise. This way we think we would be able to produce even more robust and more impressive fashion pieces.
- Produce limited editions of the product from collaborations with top designers/celebrities/athletes
- We also plan farther down the road to provide the shoes under our own brand. However we do realize that building a brand takes time and resources, so we will try to focus on partnerships with already established brands so we can produce a synergy in the wearable fashion products we collaborate on.
Beyond footwear we are also going to integrate the technology in bags, coats, neckties, etc.
Our current needs are fashion brands partnerships to implement our tech in a variety of fashion products, and investors to enable us to quickly bring to market the next generation of technology that we are currently putting together.
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HEADQUARTERS: Vilnius, Lithuania
FOUNDER: Wallen Mphepö
YEAR FOUNDED: 2014