Sommersemester 2021 / Student Start-up
An Austrian survey has shown, that around a quarter of bikers say their most common reason not to use the bike, is the lack of showers at the destination. So sweating is a major issue for active commuters. We came up with a simple solution for this problem: an undershirt that can be worn under your normal work clothes and can be undressed without having to strip down.
In our team we started with creating our target customer profiles to get to know more about our problem and solution. After this we did some research regarding the fabric and how we would implement our idea. We then started to sew our own prototype-version which first did not turn out as we wished it would and we then knew on which parts we have to concentrate even more. Before we got it professionally sewn we did some interviews with tailors to get some more information on costs and the sewing process.
We did a lot of interviews to gain more information on the customers, on costs and the sewing process. For that we interviewed tailors, bike retailers, bike enthusiasts and one textile start-up founder. These interviews where very helpful at gaining more information on creating our Magic Undershirt. We also got amazing feedback from people we interviewed in Vienna on Mariahilferstraße, many really where interested in our idea.
Business Model Canvas:
We also started our Business Model Canvas, we verified that we can tailor our pads ourselves and do not need to buy them premade. Advancing our physical prototype, we saw that it is possible to craft a fully functional shirt including exchangeable pads. Furthermore, we verified that in the beginning we will produce our shirts locally at Viennese tailors. However, we found out that this will only be possible to a very limited extent due to high production costs in Austria by interviewing tailors and industry experts. We found out that one shirt needs more time to produce than expected. Lastly, we falsified that producing one shirt locally will cost 21,75€.
Regarding our Financials we calculated our TAM, SAM and SOM (over 6.5 Mio. €). We then did a competitor analysis, it has been carried out with our three main prospective competitors in the biking Shirt and sweat reducing industry. GribGrab and GORE Wear are established biking equipment producers and FETZERL is especially targeting sweat on the back and is therefore seen as a competitor as well.
The first physical prototype was created from an old cotton T-Shirt. The main purpose of this prototype was to test the functionality of the zippers, comfort of the zippers and the sweat absorbency.
For the testing, the shirt was worn below a shirt while inline-skating with a backpack, it was found that the zippers definitely need a layer of fabric beneath them to avoid uncomfortable friction on the skin. It needs to be mentioned that the first test was performed without sweat pads, to test if the shirt itself could absorb the sweat. The results from this testing part were, that the shirt had not enough capability to absorb the sweat on the backside of the shirt and the clothes above were showing sweat stains.
We then got it sewn professionally with the pads included and tested it again. It worked out great the sweat was absorbed by the pads and smelling was avoided.
All in all, we learned a lot while doing this project and one of our most important learnings was to test hypothesis carefully and to communicate as a team.