Meet Dave Marver, Co-Founder of VICIS
CEO, CO-FOUNDER OF VICIS, DAVE TALKS ABOUT HIS MOTIVATION FOR FOUNDING THE COMPANY AND WHAT HIS ASPIRATIONS ARE FOR THE FUTURE.
VICIS: Tell me about your experience in the medical technology field. What drew you into it?
DM: “I joined Medtronic, the world’s largest medical technology company, back in 1994 when it was relatively small. They gave me a lot of responsibility early in my career. I had the opportunity to be creative and aggressive, figuring out how to launch products and grow businesses. Later, I ran a publicly traded medtech company with 600 employees. I think I was drawn to medtech because it offered me a chance to work with bright people who were motivated to do something good with their lives.”
VICIS: What was the motivation to create VICIS? Was there anything in particular that drove you in that direction?
DM: “Before the initial concept was formed, I was drawn by the opportunity to work with Sam and Per. Once I realized the enormity of the problem and the scarcity of historical innovation in the helmet space, it was clear we simply had to create VICIS. I felt an imperative to do something…to make a difference.”
VICIS: Throughout the helmet/head trauma community, how is the ZERO1 perceived?
DM: “Everyone has been generous and encouraging, particularly the equipment managers and athletic trainers who work to protect athletes every day. They spent countless hours helping us discover how to build a new and truly differentiated helmet. We could not have done this without them.”
VICIS: Why do you think it has taken so long for this new technology/science to be implemented? Do you see any new changes on the horizon?
DM: “Capital does not historically flow to this industry. There’s too much product liability and IP litigation. That’s the reality. Many companies have exited the space, including Rawlings as recently as last year. With limited competition, there isn’t the imperative to innovate. We are different. We will catalyze change. We’ve also been fortunate to raise significant capital and have an investor base who believes in our mission and will support us going forward.”
VICIS: What are some of the biggest challenges you face on the business side of VICIS/ZERO1?
DM: “Our most significant challenge today is building enough helmets to meet demand. We still use small batch manufacturing methods. In the coming months, we’ll transition to scale manufacturing. That will both increase our capacity and reduce our costs. It’s an important transition that will enable us to serve more athletes at more levels of the sport.”
VICIS: What is next for the brand? Are there any plans for expansion into other sports or other equipment categories?
DM: “Absolutely. But first we need to do a phenomenal job with the ZERO1. Football comes first.”
VICIS: After years of planning and work, the ZERO1 is about to make its debut on the field this season. What are your thoughts on everything it’s taken to get to this point?
DM: “I’m immensely proud of our team. We have a wonderful group of people who genuinely like one another and enjoy working together. They are passionate about our mission. They want to build something special together. It’s remarkable to consider we started with just a sheet of paper a few years ago and now we have the support and engagement of some of the best football players ever to walk the Earth.”