Startup Showcase: How Ane Swimwear is Designing the Future of Swimming
Would you be surprised if we told you that headwear for swimming has remained essentially unchanged since 1883?
One of our alumni startups, Ane Swimwear, hopes to spark innovation into swimming with the hopes that her swim gear encourages new people to dive in.
Trish P. Miller, CEO of Ane Swimwear created her company from a very personal place. When she was younger, she had a near-drowning experience and developed a passion for creating a product that helps people learn to swim safely. “Ane swimwear exists to eliminate every single barrier that keeps people from enjoying the water. It provides a fully waterproof barrier that allows you to have dry hair once you finish your water activity,” Miller says.
Innovation is helping advance Miller’s work, but at the end of the lane, it’s about making a sport inclusive for everyone.
“This product will change the world because it will bring a whole new diversity of swimmers. It will allow for those who ordinarily would not be able to enjoy water activities or enjoy the sport because they had to think about what they were going to do with their hair,” Miller says.
We recently chatted with Miller about where her company has been going since they graduated from our accelerator program.
You joined our accelerator program during a global pandemic, one of the most challenging times in modern history—what did that teach you about yourself and the work you’re doing as a startup founder?
Joining an accelerator during a pandemic certainly had its challenges, but one of the most rewarding parts was gaining a tribe during a very isolating time. I had decided to leave my full-time job six months before the shutdown, so I was terrified as to what this may mean for my business. I’d already risked so much in taking this leap, so I was determined to keep my business afloat in spite of what was going on around me.
Was there a moment in the program when you realized that joining the program was not just a good decision but a significant shift for your business and momentum as a startup?
Yes. There were many great moments during the accelerator; however, when we were paired with our advisors, I saw first-hand the commitment of the accelerator to ensure the success of our businesses.
What aspect of the program did you enjoy the most? What was the hardest part for you? What surprised you?
Though we were in a virtual environment, I enjoyed the camaraderie among the cohort. Everyone was willing to help and share their networks and celebrate everyone’s wins. It was a significant amount of work on top of running my business; however, all of the activities were useful to our personal growth and the growth of our businesses.
You’ve had a few months since you’ve finished the program. Tell us about your traction since – media coverage, new customers, milestones, growth, and investments?
We’ve had great media coverage and opportunities since the accelerator! I recently was selected for a docuseries called “Founders In Color;” had an interview on “Good Morning America,” was on a Lifetime TV show called the “Balancing Act,” and been featured in several magazines and have developed a successful prototype that has proven to keep hair completely dry while enjoying water activities. We are currently filming a commercial for our product and crowdfunding launch. We’ve also had several meetings with potential investors and potential opportunities to license our technology to industry leads.
That’s a lot of wins. With all of that success, what advice do you have for our next class of SportsTech startups?
Trust the process! I encourage the next cohort to make clear milestones that they would like to achieve at the beginning, middle, and end of the program and to work with the Comcast team to work towards them. It’s your business, and only you truly know your needs.
Please feel free to share any additional information you would like us to know about your company or fun insights about you, your team, or your business!
This will be one of the greatest experiences and platforms ever!
Innovation Propels Swimming Forward
Since the beginning of competitive swimming, design has primarily focused on modesty over performance. Only recently has the advancement of textile technology and innovation allowed designers to understand how to create suits that are built for speed. Along the way, swimwear caps have been forgotten in the shuffle—until Miller started using her deeply personal backstory as a way to help positively change people’s relationship with water. Be sure to follow Ane’s journey on their website and Instagram.