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Origin Story: LumaStream [Audio 26:25]

Margie Manning

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LumaStream Tesla

A cold call – actually many cold calls ‑ landed LumaStream its most high-profile client.

But before LumaStream, a St. Petersburg company that makes LED lighting systems for homes and businesses, signed Tesla for a client, the company reimagined the way lighting systems worked.

LumaStream founder Eric Higgs had raised millions for tech start-ups in Silicon Valley, before he moved to St. Pete in 2002 to pursue a career in sculpture. Just before the banking crisis hit, he was commissioned to do a project for The Element in downtown Tampa and he was figuring out how to light it. The environmentalist in him was appalled by the electrical power required to use traditional lighting, so working with a friend in a garage, he came up with his own innovation — the low-voltage LED lighting system that created the foundation for LumaStream.

Since it launched in 2009, LumaStream has raised $26 million and is in the midst of another capital raise. The company has 22 patents and nine more pending.

George Gordon, a serial entrepreneur who originally was a LumaStream investor, now is the company’s president and CEO, allowing Higgs to continue to work on strategic partnerships.

The company’s latest innovation puts it in the Internet of Things space, collecting analytic data for potential partners, including some of the best recognized retail names in the world.

Hear more about how Higgs turned a passion for sculpture into one of St. Pete’s most successful startups by clicking play below.

 

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