JTI, a leading international tobacco company that owns both Winston and Camel, and Plug and Play, a global innovation platform from Silicon Valley, have partnered to run Vapetech.
In addition to JTI’s tobacco products, they have been developing e-cigarettes and heated tobacco since 2011. Vapetech hopes to improve the vaping experience while also making it healthier.
“With the rapid rise of vaping products, the dynamics of innovation in our industry have changed drastically,” said Daniel Torras, JTI’s senior vice president of reduced-risk products. “In addition to our own R&D, Vapetech will allow us to explore and develop consumer relevant features for the next generation of products and services. It will also extend our network to new sets of entrepreneurs offering disruptive ideas to empower a future of choice in the vaping sector.”
Plug and Play and JTI hope to select 20 startups each year to find ways to make vaping a more enjoyable, healthy experience. These startups will need to enter an application process and have either new devices or technology around subjects like biometrics and data. Those that advance will have three months to develop the technology with investment and corporate partnerships.
"At Plug and Play we are always interested to support innovation in new industries,” said Saeed Amidi, founder and CEO of Plug and Play. “We believe vaping has the potential to reduce the health risks from smoking. Our goal is to identify the next generation of products and services, and by connecting them with JTI and others, we will continue to push forward innovation in this industry.”
The first run of Vapetech startups launched on March 11.