On the Brand Wagon

Three Indiana businesses taking on household names.

November 2016Add a comment

Recovery Force

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recoveryforceTaking on: Under Armour

Product: Compression fabric

The Difference

Recovery Force makes the only battery-powered active compression fabric on the market. A tiny lithium battery allows titanium fibers in tights, socks, and sleeves to contract and expand along tired limbs and backs, ridding the body of lactic acid and toxins and improving circulation.

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A-Ha Moment

Cofounder Matt Wyatt developed the fabric to help patients recovering from surgery, and a few months later, his business partner (and triathlete) Brian Stasey had the idea to bring the same technology to sports.

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Numbers

Analysts studying the compression-athleticwear space estimate the company to be worth $8 billion–though “it’s hard to know genuine numbers,” says Wyatt.

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High Point

Its second round of investment is creeping up on $3.7 million.

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Where to Get It

Nowhere yet. Recovery Force is in talks about an exclusive license agreement with several global brands in medicine and athletics—including a multibillion-dollar household name that you might be wearing on your feet right now.


Rent Like a Champion

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rlacTaking on: Airbnb and VRBO

Product: House rentals in college-sports towns

The Difference

RLAC targets markets that are often too small for Airbnb’s and VRBO’s business models (including a lot of college towns, like South Bend, where the company started). Its approach fills a void for rich alums who want to bring a group to a game and need more space—or nicer digs—than a chain hotel.

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A-Ha Moment

The summer before his senior year at Notre Dame, CEO Mike Doyle drove to State College, Pennsylvania, to test the RLAC model outside of South Bend. When he signed up 25 homeowners, he believed he had a winning idea.

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Numbers

More than 3,000 homes and 50,000 guests, including recognizable sportscasters and politicians, Doyle says. Average yearly growth since 2012 is 80 percent.

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High Point

Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca invested on Shark Tank last fall.

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Where to Get It

Homes listed on rentlikeachampion.com cover more than 100 towns, with 21 major markets. Most in South Bend go for $1,500 to $4,000 on game weekend. The Irish host Virginia Tech this month.


Lyssé

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lysseTaking on: Spanx and Not Your Daughter’s Jeans

Product: Apparel with built-in shapewear

The Difference  

Lyssé’s patent-pending four-way-stretch fabric is built into pants, leggings, skirts, and dresses so you don’t have to wear a separate body-shaping layer.

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A-Ha Moment

Before Indy-based E&A Industries acquired the brand, it had secret shoppers contact boutiques and department stores to ask about Lyssé. “Several stores reported being out of stock or almost out of stock because the brand sold so well,” says CEO David Anderson. “That was enough to tell us there was something special.”

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Numbers

Lyssé has gone from 300 boutiques to 2,000 retailers worldwide, including Bloomingdale’s, and its direct-to-consumer arm is a multimillion-dollar business alone.

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High Point

The company’s website crashed after Kathie Lee Gifford mentioned Lyssé on The Today Show.

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Where to Get It

Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Charles Mayer & Co., Details, Delaney’s, and other local stores—see lysse.com for a full list.

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