Louis-Victor Jadavji, 24
Co-founder, Wiivv Wearables Inc.
Evaan KherajLife Story: After attending high school at St. George’s School in Vancouver, Louis-Victor Jadavji studied international relations at Claremont McKenna College, a small liberal-arts school near Los Angeles. But the Quebec City native had other interests: he built a business importing natural-gas compressors from China and printed 3D plastic auto parts for people restoring vintage cars.
During a trip to the pedorthist’s office in late 2013, Jadavji wondered why the orthotics he was prescribed were so expensive and didn’t fit properly. He realized what he really wanted to make: custom insoles. Jadavji dropped out of college and convinced Shamil Hargovan, a key player in Hewlett-Packard Co.’s 3D printing business, to join him as a partner in Wiivv Wearables. The two figured out a process that would let customers use a smartphone app to photograph and map their feet. The company would then make personalized insoles in a San Diego facility and deliver them in a week, for US$89 (a fraction of the traditional price). Following a crowdfunding campaign that raised US$250,000, Vancouver-based Wiivv went live last May.
“Our vision started with insoles because it’s kind of like a Trojan horse into the footwear market,” says Jadavji, who has since moved on to a new venture. “We want custom for the masses.”
The Bottom Line: In its first seven months, Wiivv delivered 10,000 pairs of insoles. The company, which has raised more than US$10 million from investors like U.S. venture capitalist Alan Meckler and MAS Holdings, now employs 30 people in Vancouver and San Diego.