Plug and Play, a global leader in technology incubators, is partnering with Japan Tobacco International to run Vapetech, a program aimed at bringing together innovators and data experts to develop technology that improves the experience and health benefits of vaping.
In a note posted on its website, JTI said this global program would operate from Silicon Valley and launch with a first batch of selected start-ups on March 11, 2019.
“At Plug and Play we are always interested to support innovation in new industries,” Saeed Amidi, the founder and CEO of Plug and Play was quoted as saying. “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 JTI note said that, through a global application and sourcing process, Plug and Play, supported by JTI, would each year select about 20 start-ups who would ‘develop ideas and solutions for a more enhanced vaping experience’. ‘Start-ups with new devices or technology applicable to IoT (Internet of Things), Biometrics, Data, and Lifestyle will enter a three-month program to develop their product and services and have access to investment and corporate partnerships,’ the note said.
Daniel Torras, JTI’s senior vice president, reduced-risk products, said that with the rapid rise of vaping products, the dynamics of innovation in the industry had changed drastically. “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,” he said. “It will also extend our network to new sets of entrepreneurs offering disruptive ideas to empower a future of choice in the vaping sector.”