Seibo Shen, CEO of VapeXhale, thinks of himself as one of the earliest users of vaporizers – I don’t disagree. He discovered the technology for vaporizing marijuana in 1997 during his time in college after discovering he was allergic to alcohol.
He’s a health conscious guy and didn’t want to mess up his lungs by smoking every day. So, Shen used vaporizers, and he has since built his entire cannabis career around vaporizing.
“We’re not spring chickens,” says Shen. “People get married and are having kids. We need to take better care of our bodies.”
Most of the vaporizers he found and used were cool, but the technology was behind the times, the materials were substandard, and the units were poorly built. You want a vaporizer to be built and optimized for maximum health benefits, but finding one built the right way was beyond difficult.
Like many entrepreneurs, Shen realized that nothing was to be accomplished if he simply sat around and waited for somebody else to fix this paint point. So, he got up and began developing new vaporizer technologies, and that has in turn differentiated VapeXhale from the big time names in the industry:Volcano Vaporizer, Silver Surfer Vaporizer, and Vaporbrothers.
“We concentrated fully on the end-user experience,” says Shen. “We wanted a healthy vape, a vape that gives an extremely potent hits, and is efficient with your cannabis. Regardless of why you’re vaping, you would want to use ours because the experience you get is better than anybody else’s.”
The major technological advantage that VapeXhale has in the health realm is actually not incredibly high tech: glass. Both the air passage and the heating element are made of glass, which is inert and non-reactive, whereas the Volcano – according to Shen – uses an aluminum cartridge heater prone to rust and oxidization over time.
And when it comes to the flavor of the cannabis, Shen assures me that the connoisseur medical patients enjoy the glass because it highlights the taste of different flowers. Run with this analogy: you wouldn’t pour Pappy Van Winkle into a plastic cup; it’s going into a glass. Why would you treat high grade cannabis any differently?
Shen and his team have gone even further though, innovating on the market-standard vaping technology currently used by most players in the industry.
VapeXhale users can choose to inhale softly, or like a vacuum, and the vape automatically adjusts to give the same robust hit to all parties. That is, no matter how hard or soft you pull, you’ll be getting a substantial cloud of vapor.
That’s not something you can do with other vaporizers on the market.
“By building our inhalation technology to adjust for every user, the learning curve for our product is drastically reduced,” says Shen. “But more important is the fact that everybody gets the same user experience.”
VapeXhale has an air path with a lot of turbulence added to it, unlike the traditional straight pathway where the air goes in and shoots out. Shen built in three concentric chambers that compress and expand the air; each pull you get denser, thicker vapor without having to take huge hits.
My personal favorite part is that it’s been validated. That is, VapeXhale isn’t in a proof of concept phase anymore, Shen and his team have shown the world the power of their technology.
“To have that validated by a group of 300 investors who, to be quite honest, don’t use cannabis was amazing,” says Shen. “They were able to see past the cannabis and look at VapeXhale from an investment perspective.”
VapeXhale was also recently accepted into Wearable World, the first incubator for wearables in San Francisco. Specifically, they’ll be looking to integrate their vaporizer into the Internet of Things movement, featuring connected features like remote turn on.
“We think these are the types of things people expect out of thermostat and microwave, why not out of their vaporizer?” asks Shen.
Oh and lest we forget, VapeXhale took home ‘Best Product’ at Cannabis Cup twice. All they had to do was create a device that offered a better user experience that everybody else. Respect. #entrepreneurialmind.