Who We Are

Momentum R&D is a full-service front-end solution provider with proof of concept building capabilities. We specialize in engineered apparel concepts and advanced material technologies. Our founder, Irena Ilcheva combines subject matter expertise with the ability to deliver proven, cutting-edge solutions.

Our process is a collaborative one. We work closely with you to offer tailored solutions that meet your unique needs. Our experience in high-level product innovation and supply chain orchestration allows us to anticipate and prepare for the inevitable difficulties that arise in the creation of any new product. Solve your most challenging problems with our application-driven technology and customized product development.

Forward-Thinking Design Solutions

Put the Power of the Market in Your Hands

We empower you with innovative products and creative and tactical solutions that drive new growth opportunities. Momentum R&D lives at the intersection of Apparel and Technology. We turn academic research and theory into real world products. Our knowledge of cutting-edge technology can help you create revolutionary designs.

Momentum R&D uses market assessments and strategic innovation planning to push beyond what’s available in the market today, delivering you truly inventive products. Our approach is based on a fundamental understanding of marketplace drivers, human performance and the development/production process. This research allows us to iterate faster and more efficiently, creating a better product that delivers more value to the consumer.

Tap Into Our Network

End-to-End Innovation

Find the connections you need with our strong vendor network alliance. Work with the leaders in apparel innovation and global supply chain. We facilitate new and exciting strategic partnerships for your company, as well as coordinate production with manufacturers both domestically and overseas.

Momentum R&D offers you a full package of apparel creation services from initial concept to commercialization. Our services span from Innovation Roadmap and concept development all the way to design-for-manufacturing, sourcing of materials and components, and production partnerships and coordination.

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”
Zora Neale Hurston

About our Founder

Irena Ilcheva is the Founder of Momentum R&D. With over 25 years of experience in textile and garment engineering, product development, and innovation strategy, Irena understands consumer problems and knows how to find solutions. She has years of experience with major brands like Macy’s and Nike, as well as startups and small businesses, developing everything from fashion and performance apparel to wearable medical devices. Her knowledge of  advanced materials and engineering has led to collaborations with renowned academic institutions like Stanford and University of California San Diego.

As a textile engineer and product development expert, Irena Ilcheva spent 15 years working on cutting-edge technologies for the Nike Apparel Innovation Team. Key projects include the NIKE ACG COMM jacket, an ergonomic communication vest that houses a two-way radio (used by the Portland Ski & Rescue team), as well as the Nike PRECOOL vest. Her instrumental work in developing proof-of-concept prototypes contributed to the creation of corporate vision for new technologies, including Nike Pro Combat Recovery Hypertight, Nike Aeroloft and Nike Aeroreact material technology.

Irena’s leadership throughout her career has resulted in foundational research in Aerodynamics and Thermal Physiology for sports apparel. Her concepts were featured in elite competition apparel for Olympics Swim and Track and Field athletes in three consecutive Olympic Games (Beijing, London and Rio).

In addition to her innovation strategy and product development services, Irena currently provides Tech to Market support for projects under the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E DELTA program in the area of Thermoregulation textiles. An expert in advanced materials, Irena does research and development work for major sportswear companies in the area of new polymer yarn development and evolution of garment construction methods of making.

To find out more about the full range of services offered by Irena Ilcheva and Momentum R&D, check out our 

Who We Work With

US Army