Each week we highlight entrepreneur’s in the cannabis industry so our viewers can learn who is behind the team of the upcoming and leading businesses, organizations, and non-profits in the industry.
This week we would like to introduce Seibo Shen, CEO of VapeXhale.
Seibo is an active leader in the vaporizer community. Seibo works closely with VapeXhale’s product team to shape the technology behind the company’s products. VapeXhale’s flagship product, the EVO, was Seibo’s original concept which won five best product awards its first year on the market.
Seibo is also dedicated to promoting his cause for allowing professional athletes to use cannabis to treat sports-related injuries. After seeing first-hand the benefits that cannabis can have for athletes with chronic pain, he has connected with other well-known athletes who have had a similar experience. From MMA fighters, Denny Prokopos and Jake Shields, to retired NFL player, Eugene Monroe, Seibo continues to make friends in both the sports and cannabis industries, propelling his advocacy for cannabis forward. He recently partnered with Monroe with this exact idea in mind.
Prior to VapeXhale, Seibo worked as an integral part of the sales team at four successful companies in the Silicon Valley, including Jigsaw, SuccessFactors, E2open, Yammer, and Fliptop. Seibo received a Bachelor of Science in Ethnic Studies from University of California, Los Angeles.
In our interview we asked Seibo a variety of questions sharing about his experiences, he had some insightful information and advice to share with each of you.
DCN: How did VapeXhale come to fruition?
Seibo Shen: In 1997, after a series of injuries as a stuntman, I was introduced to vaporization technology as a way to manage my pain. I was fascinated that you could get all the benefits out of your herbs without any of the combustions but something was lacking. Vaporizing just did not have the same satisfaction as combusting.
I quickly began researching all the different types of vaporizers and I began to buy one after another. While I enjoyed using my various vaporizers for health purposes, I had trouble converting my friends from smoking to vaping. After trying some of the more conventional smoking methodologies, the objective side of me had to admit that smoking was more enjoyable than vaping, especially anything that involved a water pipe or moisture conditioning. The inhalations were denser, the effect seemed stronger, the only thing that was bad was what it was doing to your lungs. I then had an epiphany, what if someone could combine the convenience and power of the water pipe with the healthiness of a vaporizer?
In 2010, I started a thread on famous vaporizer forum to create the “world’s best vaporizer” and had over a million hits in our first year. Our criteria was to build a vaporizer that was not only healthy to use but produced an extremely positive and pleasant experience for the end user. We knew that we didn’t have all the answers so we asked the vapor experts what they wanted in a vaporizer and the consensus was that it had to have the following:
- Deliver cool, tasty vapor
- Produce extremely dense and potent vapor
- Be extremely efficient with expensive herbal materials
Based on this feedback, we are proud to present the first example of our technology, the EVO. The EVO was designed for those that want the best flavor, maximum potency, and the most efficient vapor production engine in the business, a true, no-compromise product for the home.
DCN: I am a bit familiar with the image you have chosen as your logo, however, can you share with our viewers the tale of the Monkey King?
Seibo Shen: Coming up with a name and logo for a company is always a difficult and challenging exercise. I wanted our logo to represent my core values and that is why I chose the Monkey King. The Monkey King is a Chinese folk hero who transports himself from place to place on his trusty cloud. He is quite often, very mischievous but he also has a heart of gold. The Monkey King was derived from the Hindi god, Hanuman, the god of healing. We thought this was the perfect logo to symbolize what VapeXhale stands for, to be healthy, to laugh, and to maximize one’s potential.
DCN: Any advice that influenced your entrepreneurial journey.
Seibo Shen: I grew up thinking that in order to be a successful businessman, it required a certain killer instinct and sociopathic behavior. As I gained work experience under several successful CEOs, I came to realize that many of them were trying to help people and solve problems and that was their motivation versus just generating revenue. Seeing other entrepreneurs have this type of mindset gave me the confidence that I could be a capitalist but still be conscious of helping others and that they weren’t mutually exclusive.
DCN: How do you stay balanced? Any hobbies outside of your work?
Seibo Shen: I pretty much gave up working out in order to focus all my energies on Vapexhale. I got burnt out on a poor diet, bad sleep, and lack of exercise. Now, I work out like a demon after I activate and I found that the mental exhaustion from work coupled with intense physical workout results in the best night of sleep. I also have been meditating for a few years now so that I can balance my mental and physical sides with something that is more ethereal and not tied to any specific goal.
DCN: What is the best piece you can give to others looking to launch a company in the cannabis industry?
Seibo Shen: Do your homework and prepare like this is the toughest industry to make money. I see too many people thinking this will be easy money and then fold at the first sign of resistance. This industry is not for the weak at heart as there are still many federal uncertainties.
DCN: Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur?
Seibo Shen: Just how many good people in this industry that are willing to help you whether or not if positively affects their bottom line.
To learn more about VapeXhale, you can learn more at www.vapexhale.com.
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