HBS-born Zorpads is Taking On the Odor Elimination Industry

Zorpads manufactures odor-eliminating shoe inserts using patent-pending and NASA-tested technology.

Shoe odor is embarrassing. You’ve probably experienced it yourself: that moment when you walk into a dinner party or friend’s home, are asked to take off your shoes, and hope no one will notice the odor. Yikes! Whether it’s you or your friend, 85% of individuals worry about shoe odor, yet 67% have never tried any products to fix it. Existing solutions are expensive, ineffective, messy, and inconvenient. Still, the smelly feet market totals $530M annually in the US alone.

HBS students Taylor Wiegele and Sierra Smith founded Zorpads to fix this very problem. Zorpads is an odor-eliminating shoe insert based on patent-pending, NASA-tested technology. The one-size-fits-all Zorpad insert consists of a moisture absorbing liner, an odor absorbing carbon layer, and a no-residue adhesive. Each Zorpad costs just $5/pair and lasts over 60 wears. In initial tests, 100% of users found Zorpads to be better than current solutions.

Taylor and Sierra met as section-mates at HBS. Leveraging their classmates as a community of beta-testers, the two iterated upon feedback from the handmade samples they crafted using a heat sealer and dried baby wipes. Zorpads was a finalist in Harvard’s New Venture Competition where they received feedback from their user base on these handmade samples, their beta product. They learned there was huge latent demand and that the market needed a solution.

At Zorpads, Taylor leads product, brand, and design. His experience includes working on the product team at Clorox, and as an engineer on the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems team at SpaceX. This past summer he worked as a senior buyer intern at Target to better understand how products actually get into stores.

Taylor (L) and Sierra (R)

Sierra leads operations, legal, and finance. Before HBS, Sierra worked as director of strategy for a large healthcare organization and chief of staff to the organization’s CEO. This past summer she worked at the luxury retail e-commerce start-up, Plan de Ville, to understand how a company builds and executes e-commerce sales.

HBS has proven a hugely valuable resource for the team: Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Christopher Stanton, has been a close mentor. The startup was also accepted to the HBS Venture Incubation Program, a 12-week incubation program, which they participated in this past spring. They also leveraged learnings from entrepreneurial classes like Entrepreneurial Finance and Founders Dilemma to accelerate their growth.

Zorpads will officially launch this summer. Stay tuned for updates by joining their mailing list or following them on Facebook.


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