No matter what path you travel in life, there are sure to be bumps and curves in the road along your journey. In a more literal sense, the uneven pavement of life will especially impact your journey if you’re wearing a pair of heels. Fortunately, Toronto Founder Institute portfolio company Krippit has built a solution for stilettos that matches all your favorite shoe designs.
Led by Founder & CEO Melissa Chung, Krippit is a 3D fashion technology company bridging the gap between fashion and necessity with custom 3D printed heel protectors. The patent-pending 3D printed protector is designed to reduce injuries for all those who wear high heels.
Dual Priorities: Safety & Style
The protectors feature two basic components: a soft insert to protect the heel, and an external fashionable shell designed to increase mobility and stability of the wearer. In the future, the company is looking into a color match solution that would make it easier for stiletto wearers to have a custom solution made for their favorite shoes.
This innovation comes at a time when the footwear industry has reached a $207 billion dollar market size. The relatively affluent fashion consumers who buy stilettos and high heels often spend upwards of $250 per pair, tend to own at least five pairs of similar types of heels, and yet are mostly unaware of the solutions out there to protect their shoes. This is just one of the reasons that CEO Chung and her co-founder created Krippit. According to Chung,
High heel related emergency room visits have doubled over the last decade. When I was at a friend’s outdoor wedding, they had made heel protectors available to guests who were struggling to walk in the grass without sinking. I was intrigued by the devices, but immediately saw that improvements could be made to the design. I took a few home to study further and over time came up with my own 3D printed design, which is now what we know as Krippit!
Prior to launching Krippit, Chung spent more than a decade working as a financial advisor. During that time she worked with high-net-worth investors to help grow their revenue. After hitting her early career stride in finance, she later joined Cornell’s MBA program, where she met her co-founder in Krippit. More recently, Chung continued her education by completing the University of Toronto’s Innovation, Law, and Technology program. She adds,
When I was in the [Founder Institute] accelerator, we had to know so much about legal and IP. I was scrambling trying to read all the stuff myself and understand it. Right now, the [Univeristy of Toronto] program completely ties into what we learned. So many of the topics are very relevant, which makes me more educated on the decision making.
Krippit was a recent pitch finalist placing in the top five at EnrichHer Spark, a competition of a Georgetown incubator – it was here that Chung and the team landed their first big subscription client. Krippit was also selected to pitch at the New York Venture Summit. To date, Krippit has successfully closed its seed round of $100k. CEO Chung outlines her look towards the future, saying,
My plans for Krippit are to continue to expand our product line offering, and continue to grow our customer base. I want to work closely with manufacturers to provide other makers the opportunity to manufacture their unit ideas, and to add new made in America products to our shelves.
Graduates of the Founder Institute are creating some of the world's fastest growing startups, having raised over $900M in funding, and building products people love across over 185 cities worldwide.
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