The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) released the winners of this rounds Advanced Industries grant cycle last week. One of the winners was VAIREX air systems (, a boulder-based startup that develops blowers for fuel cells. The company received a $100,000 award to continue developing of their fuel cell specific motor controllers and conduct customer trials.


VAIREX’s award was a second round grant from OEDIT, which awarded the company $150,000 in 2015. The company began developing their motor controller under the first grant but the scope of the project increased, in part due to enthusiastic customer feedback. “It is critical for VAIREX to perfect the first model because the basic architecture, as well as the communication and logic board, will be used to develop a family of products in the future,” commented VAIREX’s CEO, Ski Milburn.


A large part of VAIREX’s customer base is located in Asia where the fuel cell market is showing the most growth. Milburn reported, “The product we are working on is potentially a real game changer that will bring unique and valuable functionality and lower system costs to our customers,” and he is pleased to have OEDIT’s support to expedite the product’s time to market.


Milburn also expressed appreciation for the Fort-Collins based technology accelerator, Innosphere, which VAIREX joined in early 2014, and graduated to their elite Early Exit program the summer of 2015. “Our liaison, Mike Freeman, provided insightful feedback on our first draft of the grant application because he has a deep understanding of the needs of the state and our long-term commercialization plan.”


Innosphere’s Early Exit program gives companies guidance on how to plan and position themselves for a successful acquisition. This includes research on acquisitions candidates, in-depth preparation for sales tasks, and continual assistance from an advisor with experience in the Asian market.



For more information about VAIREX: Ski Milburn, CEO, [email protected]

For more information about Innosphere’s Early Exit program: Mike Freeman, CEO, [email protected]