Let's face it, we love our shoes. We love them because they look good, (hopefully) feel good, can be stylish and help us do the activities we want to do.
How do we thank our shoes for protecting our feet while getting from Point A to Point B? We sweat in them, day, after day, after day...we show them no love and are grossed out when they smell, when they're wet or when we think about what's growing inside them. SteriShoe 2.0 changes this:
The Inspiration for the SteriShoe 2.0:
Like many people, my father (an inventor and entrepreneur too) had a case of intractable foot fungus. When his podiatrist told him that his favorite footwear could be harboring the fungus, he invented a way to sanitize the inside of shoes using ultraviolet light technology. I decided to build a business around his invention. After many trials and tribulations the first generation SteriShoe sanitizer was born!
Over the years, I learned a lot about running a business, including product design, engineering, manufacturing, production, logistics, fulfillment and customer support. Now that we've got a proven product and a streamlined business process, it's time to improve on the original SteriShoe sanitizer and make it available to more people.
We've been able to fund the design and engineering of the SteriShoe 2.0 sanitizer and deodorizer and need your help to transition into mass production. Our designers are the same team we used before, Middlecott Design based in Detroit, MI, USA. Our engineering team, Mdesign, is based in Singapore and they have a long history of engineering products. We've used our manufacturing support team (read more about this under risks) to help us find a new manufacturer outside of China; our new manufacturer makes products for top consumer product companies.
We've already spent a lot on the design, engineering, and the start of our tooling. We need your support to complete on our tooling and ramp up production of the SteriShoe 2.0. We're a small business with only a few employees and we have great partners that help us get everything done. So please, become one of our many partners and help ensure that we hit this next milestone and bring the SteriShoe 2.0 to market.
- Ultraviolet C light ("UVC") has been used for decades in hospitals and water treatment systems to kill germs. The SteriShoe 2.0 uses this technology to kill up to 99.99% of the microorganisms in shoes, using a 5W UVC lamp to expose the entire shoe interior. (Our previous product used a 3W lamp and only exposed the front of the shoe to the UVC light.)
- Since fungus thrives in damp dark environments, we added a fan to help dry the inside of the shoes for 15 minutes after the UVC lamp turns off. There’s also an option of running for the fan for an additional 6 hours to dry very wet shoes.
- Safety features that prevent people from looking at the UVC light include a compression switch on the bottom of the SteriShoe 2.0, which will turn the light off if it's pulled out of a shoe while the light is on, and a light sensor to ensure the sanitizer is inside a shoe before turning the UVC light on.
We wanted to improve the user interface from our current product. The good folks over at Middlecott design wanted a clean, simple solution with minimal buttons that fits comfortably in your hand. At 80mm in diameter, a one-touch operation activates the sanitizers and fan, LEDs shine through the controller cover as status indicators, and other buttons allow the the fan and sanitizers to be controlled independently.
Risks and challenges
Every business and new product has unexpected challenges. In 2010 we experienced an issue with our supply chain. In order to overcome this challenge, we added resources to oversee our production, switched electronics and part of our manufacturing, provided customer support to doctors and end users, replaced product when necessary (at our expense), and weathered a storm that would have put most other businesses out of operation.
Any risk spelled out has at least been considered. These include delays due to component availability, shipping delays, or an unforeseen design flaw, tooling taking longer to make. The risks that are not considered become the real challenges.
Our history with our first product, working through supply chain issues, and adding resources where necessary are why we are qualified to overcome the risks and challenges with completing this project and delivering the SteriShoe 2.0.
Help make the dream a reality…
We’re poised for success: a professionally-endorsed first product, a new product design that incorporates critical consumer learnings, and our production partners in place. All we need is some support with final tooling and ramping up – which is where you come in. Please consider making a pledge, even a small one, to show your support (and in the process help rid the world of fungus-filled shoes).
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