Ski Milburn is founder and CEO of VAIREX air systems. VAIREX air systems, based in Boulder, Colorado USA, is a leading manufacturer of proprietary fuel cell compressor systems. VAIREX hascustomers in 23 countries, with sales offices in Tokyo, Japan, Seoul, South Korea,and Shanghai, China.
VAIREX’s China journey started in 2017, when they first started looking at the Chinese market, but without the slightest idea of how to approach entering thecountry. Eventually, VAIREX received its first order from China and after making $20,000 in sales from the country, settled on an experimental business model.
2018, the year VAIREX decided to participate in the InnoSTARS competition became a watershed year for the company. After viewing just one of Ski’s presentations in the United States preliminary competition, a judge made a $100,000 investment in VAIREX. The judge later became a partner and consultant for Chinese expansion strategies as the relationship grew. Through a great deal of hard work and effort, VAIREX made it to the 2018 InnoSTARS grand finale and won the “Best Business Model”. Ski has attributed his recent gains of $100,000 in sales to China in a large part to fame and credibility garnered through participation in InnoSTARS, remarking:
As of the present, VAIREX has already customized product lines to fit Chinese Electrical Vehicle needs, with big inroads into the delivery truck and urban bus portions of the market. As a part of their long-term strategy, VAIREX plans to open their first office in Shanghai this November, with the ultimate goal of setting up a manufacturing office in Suzhou. Despite all challenges, and thanks to help from InnoSTARS, 2019 may prove to be an even more promising year than 2018 for VAIREX, with some Chinese subsidiaries of European-based manufacturers providing joint venture offers, and the VAIREX sales department planning for an increase in sales to $200,000, a whopping 10 times the amount thecompany made before starting on their InnoSTARS journey in 2017.