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MSU student Brendan Wang set his entrepreneurial path with one goal in mind: to help people live healthier lives. Wang, a senior in MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business, not only created a solution to help end to the nation’s vaping epidemic, but his product has officially hit the marketplace.
Wang created a device that mimics a traditional vape pen, minus the smoke, nicotine and other harmful chemicals. After nearly two years of hard work and determination, CAPNOS Zero® is off to a promising start. Through resources at the MSU Innovation Center, along with the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, CAPNOS Zero is now being sold to users across the country both online and in stores.
“We conducted so much research and development along with our manufacturer, engineering mentors and our team to then bring together what we have today,” Wang said.
CAPNOS launched to the public in mid-September. Users can go online to order the CAPNOS Zero. Within three days of announcing the official product launch date, CAPNOS received over 40 additional pre-orders with $1,050 in revenue. On the day of their first in-person launch at East Lansing party store, Jonna’s 2 Go, CAPNOS sold half of its stock in-store and delivered over 320 CAPNOS starter packs.
Going into their product launch, CAPNOS prioritized three major fields: customer experience, operational excellence and relationships with their partners to continue growing as a company.
“We want to make sure we are providing the best service that we can to ensure the best possible customer experience,” Wang said. “We are making sure we can fulfill and deliver on time to not only our consumers, but also our retail partners and other partners alike.”
Wang was inspired by his own personal experience as a former vape user. He wanted to create a product that could help people beat their nicotine addictions and lead healthier lives.
Wang was the 2020 recipient of the Ian Gray Scholarship, awarded through the MSU Innovation Center, which provided funding to help accelerate Wang’s idea. Ian Gray, for whom the scholarship was named, spearheaded the creation of the MSU Innovation Center and served as vice president for Research and Graduate Studies at MSU until his retirement in 2012. The scholarship is awarded to an MSU student each year who exhibits qualities of an entrepreneur.
“When I first found out I received the scholarship, I felt gratitude and disbelief. I’m just grateful for everyone, and I’ve been so inspired by the entrepreneurs around me,” Wang said. “I’ve looked up to my peers pursuing their academic careers as well, and I just thought, ‘wow, out of so many extraordinary people, I am so grateful to receive this award.’”
The scholarship provided Wang with $2,000 per semester to help with educational expenses, freeing up resources to help with CAPNOS development expenses.
“As soon as I met Brendan – I knew that our team had picked the right person to receive this scholarship,” said Charles Hasemann, MSU’s assistant vice president for Innovation and Economic Development. “Brendan not only has the passion and drive to bring a product to market that will really make a difference in the world, but he has the winning attitude and exceptional people skills that will serve him well as he ventures into his professional career after college.”
Wang plans to expand his product line with hopes that CAPNOS will continue to grow around the world.
“The primary vision that I have for CAPNOS is to see that we can become a global company,” Wang said. “Seeing CAPNOS in obscure places in Europe or Asia, building more products, building our service line to combine tech with the physical aspect are all the major initiatives that I would like to see for CAPNOS over the next five years.”