Meet ilumi.co; a Shark Tank alum with backing from Mark Cuban. They recently announced their second generation of smartbulbs that are now available for preorder exclusively through KickStarter.
The new and improved A19 and BR30 lightbulbs offer improved Bluetooth Smart mesh wireless connectivity which will allow users to connect up to 50 bulbs wirelessly across a potential range of over 150 feet.
“We wanted to provide more than just a Smartbulb that has a million color options,” said CEO and cofounder Corey Egan in a statement. “With ilumi, consumers unlock the power of lighting in ways they have never thought of. Our enhanced features provide a transformational experience, allowing users to be a Michaelangelo of their own home.”
In light of their recent announcement, we had the opportunity to ask the ilumi founders some questions about their journey thus far.
What was the most surprising challenge, or what has been the most gratifying win, on your startup journey so far?
Everyday we get new surprises, challenges, and wins. That's the journey. Of late, a surprising challenge has been dealing with a Typhoon in China that hit our packaging manufacturer. Fortunately no-one was hurt. In terms of wins, launching our second generation Smartbulbs is a huge gratifying win for us. We had a lot of feedback from customers with our first generation Smartbulbs, and it's extremely gratifying to now be able to check-off the list of what people wanted.
What unique challenges does your startup vertical present to your team or to founders like you?
ilumi sits at this crazy intersection of Connected Home (IoT) and LED Lighting that are growing rapidly. It's good that it presents an amazing wave of disruption and growth that we can take advantage of, the bad is that it is moving ten thousand miles an hour and we just have to work harder and smarter to stay on top of it.
How important is community management/social media communication to a startup?
I think that community is what's important to a startup and that has to be the focal point. If you do social media or community management just to do it, then you're not really connecting and receiving the value of what a community can provide. It's about listening, learning, engaging, and delivering.
Since launching your site on .CO, does it make you feel like you're part of a particular community?
Yeah, there's definitely a sort of startup and tech feel to having a .co URL. We went to Tech Cocktail Celebrate in 2013 and .co was not only there but made an effort to support us. That definitely hooked us.