Frore Systems’ VP of Business Development, Brandon Jung, explains the nuances of bringing a completely new technology to market.

Frore Systems’ VP of Business Development, Brandon Jung, explains the nuances of bringing a completely new technology to market.

The Frore Systems Blog caught up with the company’s VP of Business Development, Brandon Jung, to explain the sometimes tricky dynamics of selling innovation in a startup environment.

FS: You’ve been with Frore Systems for a couple of years, well before they came out of stealth. What were you and the team doing before the product launched?

Jung: I joined Frore Systems in January 2021. It was a leap of faith, leaving a VP GM role at Samsung for a startup, but I knew the founders well, the vision for the company was so impressive, and the problem they were solving was so ubiquitous, that it didn’t take long to understand the immense scale of the opportunity.

Initially we were very focused on solving the challenges facing the Notebook industry, so I was focused on engagements with the big OEMs, understanding their needs and their criteria for reliability. These findings really accelerated the evolution of AirJet into the incredible product it is today.

FS: Laptops are a huge market, but AirJet is now appearing (or about to appear) in many other products? Why the shift in focus?

Jung: The focus definitely hasn’t shifted, we remain very focused on and engaged with OEMs in the Notebook space. Our market has definitely expanded though. As soon as we launched AirJet at CES in we were inundated with literally thousands of enquiries from market segments we hadn’t initially prioritized:  Mini-PCs, Tablets, Smartphones and SSDs, companies targeting the approaching tsunami of IOT devices; doorbell cameras, WiFi access points and LED lighting, through to markets as diverse as the Datacenter and Automotive industries.

We also discovered that some of these markets, particularly Mini-PCs and SSDs could integrate our technology and bring products to market faster than some of the traditional Notebook OEMs. This also gave us the opportunity to expand our manufacturing in Taiwan, enabling us to pressure test our processes. This has worked out perfectly, we are now completely confident we are ready for the large-scale expansion we have in works for the industry’s biggest players.

FS: The world seen a lot of great ideas die before ever reaching market? It’s great to see AirJet getting so much attention in the market.  Why is AirJet different?

Jung:  That’s where a great idea isn’t enough.  We have brilliant engineers and a groundbreaking product but getting that product to market takes a whole different skill set.  Fortunately, Frore Systems was founded by two brilliant, and complementary, leaders who deeply understand this.

Surya Ganti, our CTO was the visionary behind the concept of AirJet.  He and a team of extraordinary engineers brought the concept to life.  AirJet is the world’s first solid-state active cooling chip and the degree of innovation in such a tiny product is stunning, everything from the design, materials, and manufacturing, right through to testing is completely new.  

Seshu Madhavapeddy, our CEO, is one of the most focused individuals I have ever worked with. He has an incredible knack of setting insanely challenging goals but breaking them down so teams can move forward confidently at an accelerated pace. With his business savvy and market understanding, he is the driving force behind the company’s strategic direction.

I think I can humbly say, having an experienced Business Development leader like myself, has been critical in introducing the technology to customers and of course, we also have a great marketing team… (Side note: We are confident this last comment was not just made for the interviewer’s benefit ☺)

FS: How does a Startup scale to meet the needs of such a huge demand?

Jung: Bringing such a new concept to market, changing the industry, is never easy – especially as a startup.  It takes vision and uncompromising focus, the ability to keep on plan, but also to be flexible when circumstances demand it… knowing when to dodge and weave really is a science.

We always need to be focused on the end goal. Taking the next step that will enable us to meet our milestone targets, so we can continue to grow and realize the company’s full vision. This inevitably means we can’t be all things to all people – at least not initially. 

One of my biggest frustrations, as a business development and sales leader, is that I can’t engage with everyone who reaches out. The sheer number and variety of companies that have reached out to us wanting to test AirJet has been incredible.  There is absolutely no doubt that the high level of interest has validated our confidence in a bright future for AirJet.

FS: You say you can’t engage with everyone, why not?

Jung: Many people mistakenly think AirJet operates like a fan, that it is simply a question of replacing the existing fan with AirJet. As with any modern and effective technology, it really isn’t that simple.

At Frore Systems we have engineers with decades of experiences, who sometimes came in a little skeptical Of course, once they saw the potential and as they understood how the AirJet works, they became complete evangelists., AirJet is completely different from the thermal industries historical experience with fans, heat sinks and vapor chambers. It inevitably takes a while to understand the technology and become an expert at integrating it into devices. 

As a startup we have a team of brilliant engineers who know exactly how to integrate AirJet into almost any device, but that level of expertise has been established over time. At least for now, it isn’t a plug-and-play device. We need to have our engineers collaborate with the  OEM’s engineers to integrate AirJet into the design to get the highest possible heat removal.

Our goal right now is to work with customers with product applications that can either unlock new markets quickly, leverage an existing application, or provide the level of demand we need to really scale.  When we are getting thousands of inbound queries, we must be disciplined in prioritizing our engineers' time to the programs that can help us meet our near-term goals.  That discipline will enable us to grow and see AirJet integrated into every product that needs it.

FS: What about the companies that need to wait?

Jung: Well I am hoping some of them read this interview and get a deeper understanding of where we are at as a company and why we simply haven’t got the team size to respond to every query we receive or integrate AirJet into every product that could benefit – as much as I would like to.  

We are actively working on an evaluation kit that companies can buy to test out the product and gain the confidence that AirJet works as advertised. It is a good step towards that goal of enabling all companies to integrate AirJet into their final product.

We will have this evaluation kit finalized and ready for purchase in early 2024. 

I am sure this will be announced on the Frore Systems Blog when ready… so watch this space. I can’t wait to start shipping it.

FS:  What do you see as the future for AirJet and Frore Systems?

Jung: Wow, that’s a big question. It is hard to imagine the full potential for the company.  Our engineers are innovating constantly, improving the performance of our product, and envisaging new applications for it.  We have won every technology award we have submitted for, the latest being three innovation awards at CES2024 including their coveted “Best of Innovation” Award, so industry certainly agrees that AirJet is something really special. 

Our entire team, the folks who know the product best, are excited for what seems like the unlimited potential for Frore Systems. I know, as a business development leader, it is special to have a product that has never existed before and brings so much value to solving such a massive problem. Seeing people’s eyes expand and light up as the potential for the product hits them is something I will never get tired of watching.

About Brandon Jung – Frore Systems VP of Business Development
Brandon has deep experience in business development, systems engineering and product management. Having worked at technology giants like Samsung and Texas Instruments, Brandon is well aware of the thermal challenges facing the industry and the potential for AirJet to solve these challenges.

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