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  • Ventureheat CEO Eddie Chen Loves To Play In The Snow

    His company sells heated clothing and heat-therapy products.

    While the East Coast battles yet another snowstorm, Eddie Chen, 36, is sitting in his sunny Huntington Beach, California, office thrilled about this winter’s seemingly endless series of punches.

    As CEO and founder of VentureHeat, this is his busiest season.

    That’s because his company sells heated clothing and heat-therapy products to the tune of $3 million in annual revenues.

    Leveraging a family connection in technology, Chen—an avid athlete who does everything from snowboarding to kayaking to skiing to soccer—wanted to find a way to stay warm while actively enjoying winter sports. “Even though I live in a warm climate, I’m sensitive to cold. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, all of us on the West Coast put our coats on,” he says. “I recognized the value in having a light, stylish line of clothing that lets the wearer stay active no matter what how cold it gets.”

    The concept seems simple, but it has years of Air Force research and private-sector engineering behind it. The clothing carries a lithium battery, which can plug into a charger similar to those used for cell phones. The coil-free innovation ensures that the apparel is lightweight but can stay warm through every activity the average outdoor enthusiast may be into.

    It was not easy for Chen to get started in an industry dominated by such brands as North Face, Columbia, and a host of smaller outfits all vying for a share of the cold-weather-apparel market. North Face actually tested out a prototype collection last year, but it was quickly pulled, and Columbia uses a version of heated-apparel technology mostly in its outerwear.
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    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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