Manufacturer of LED tube lighting takes prize in pitch event
USING PHOTOS FROM COMPLETED INSTALLATIONS, Care Technology Executive Vice President Belinda Wong shows how the company's linear LED lighting system makes a brighter, more inviting environment during the inaugural Get Started Rhode Island startup pitch event, held Wednesday at the Renaissance Providence Hotel. She is lit by a portable linear LED fixture.
PROVIDENCE – Care Technology LLC, a Lincoln-based manufacturer of linear LED lighting, took first prize and a $5,000 telecommunications-technology package in the inaugural Get Started Rhode Island business plan pitch competition, held Wednesday evening at the Renaissance Providence Hotel.
The event, which gave five early stage companies the opportunity to make a brief pitch to a panel of judges, was part of a national initiative of Cox Business (which contributed the technology package) and Inc. magazine, playing off the publication’s mission of writing for and about high-growth enterprises. The Providence event followed others held in California, Connecticut and Oklahoma, with more planned for 2014.
An estimated 80 people attended the session, which included a discussion of following entrepreneurial instincts. That discussion was led by Tim Washer, a comedian as well as the senior marketing manager for social media at Cisco, the networking giant based in California. Other panel judges were: Mark Hellendrung, the founder and CEO of Narragansett Brewing Co.; Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners; and panel moderator Allison Fass, deputy editor of Inc.com.
Care Technology Executive Vice President Belinda Wong emphasized the cost, environmental and health benefits of the company’s daylight-balanced lighting tubes, which can be retro-fitted over existing fluorescent fixtures as well as installed in new placements. The company claims 90 percent energy cost savings over incandescent bulbs and 50 percent or more over fluorescent lighting, as the new LED lights require less electricity for the same lighting output. In addition, with a far more modest heat output, any facility using the LED tubes would require less cooling as well. And finally, since the light is balanced to mimic daylight, there is less eye strain for both commercial and residential use.
Wong noted that the linear-LED market is extremely fragmented, with no large players – unlike the LED bulb market, which has major light makers selling through traditional retail outlets – thus presenting an inviting opportunity to a company that can scale up its production and distribution.
The other companies presenting at the event were:
The Apiary, a residential living and learning community designed to help recent college graduates transition more successfully into the job market, with online coursework and internship possibilities forming a core component of the educational process.
Liberty Looks, a home décor retailer in Bristol that repurposes furniture and other items into singular pieces at reasonable prices.
Momba, a supplier of demand-driven vending machines with unusual products tailored to the placement of the machine and updated with real-time sales data. The company has machines operating already at Boston University, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Westfield State University in Massachusetts. Momba is also in the current class at accelerator Betaspring.
Sitefly, a Web developer that creates the tools for companies to create and manage websites through their Facebook page.
Providence Business News was a sponsor of Get Started Rhode Island.