LuminAID’s founders built an innovative startup for a brighter future

The future is bright for LuminAID founders Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta—in more ways than one.

The Chicago-based company offers portable, long-lasting, solar-powered lighting solutions. After meeting in graduate school while studying architecture and design, they created their company in 2010 on a shared belief that innovative design can be used to tackle real-world problems. Their hypothesis for LuminAID proved true when they were able to deploy the product to help victims of the Haiti earthquake that same year.

In 2015, the company garnered major buzz after a successful pitch on the investment reality show Shark Tank, during which they generated offers from all five venture capitalists. The cash infusion from their Shark Tank investment enabled LuminAID to start providing emergency relief on a global scale. Recently, they were able to bring their solar lanterns and phone chargers to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Chase spoke with LuminAID founders Stork and Sreshta to find out more about the inspiration behind their products, and how they plan to leverage their success to expand even further.