Company Profile

LuminAID

The disaster-inspired startup every Shark wanted a piece of

Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
Chicago, Illinois
Year Founded
2012
Company Size
1-10 employees
Data as of Publication on May 24, 2016
Company Description

In early 2010, during her second year in architecture school at Columbia University, Anna Stork was having trouble focusing on her thesis. A catastrophic 7.0 earthquake had just struck Haiti, and she couldn't get her mind off it. She wanted to help. A few months after teaming up with classmate Andrea Sreshta, the two had scraped together recycled materials and purchased some electrical components from Amazon.com and Radio Shack. They hand-prototyped an inflatable lantern. The following year they filed for patents of their inventions--and with that, set up a company called LuminAid. The product is a rechargeable solar-powered LED lantern that inflates like a balloon, and collapses to become thinner than a deck of cards. The lanterns are made of non-toxic waterproof plastic, and they float. To mountain climbers, it's a handy piece of cool gear (the Packlight 16, which retails for $24.95, can provide 30 hours of continuous light after a seven-hour charge). But to first-responders and victims of natural disasters, it's a lifesaver. More than 50,000 LuminAid lanterns have been deployed across 70 countries, to refugees and in areas affected by such catastrophic events as 2012's Hurricane Sandy, 2013's Typhoon Haiyan, and the Nepalese earthquakes of 2015. The business backing this social mission is strong: It anticipates more than $5 million in sales this year.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

LUMI Organics

To break into the juice business, this startup applied 87,000 pounds of pressure

Industry
Food & Beverage
Location
Charlottesville, Virginia
Year Founded
2013
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on May 24, 2016
Company Description

Hillary Lewis founded Lumi Organics as an MBA student in 2013 after a chance discovery turned her on to the potential of the organic juice industry. The company's name comes from the phrase "Love You, Mean It!" which she and friends had been using as a greeting for years. With a method known as high-pressure processing, Lumi produces 13 flavors of fruit and vegetable juice that are rich in nutrients, low in sugar, and free of harmful microorganisms. The Charlottesville, Virginia, business sells $8 dollar bottles of Belmont Beet, Piedmont Pineapple, and other varieties nationwide at grocery chains, in fitness studios, and through its website. It also has become a favorite in the locker rooms of professional sports teams such as the New York Yankees and the Washington Wizards. Lumi now employs 18 people, almost all women. Lewis's funding has come exclusively from her friends, but she expects an additional investment soon through a strategic partnership. Last year the company generated $1 million in sales.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

MATI Energy

From dinky dorm kitchen to burgeoning energy drink empire

Location
Durham, North Carolina
Year Founded
2012
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on May 24, 2016
Company Description

Five years ago, in a Duke University dorm room, something unusual was brewing. It was tea designed to eke out every bit of caffeine and antioxidants its little leaves contained. The brewmaster was undergrad Tatiana Birgisson, who had an aversion to coffee, but wanted a healthy energy booster. Soon, she was hauling kegs of her concoction in her two-door Toyota Yaris to small local businesses, whose employees preferred it to Red Bull. Over the past few years the half-Icelandic, half-Venezuelan U.S. citizen has turned from dorm-room tinkerer to the chief executive of Mati Energy, the maker of the health-drink-energy-drink hybrid of the same name that's expected to bring in $1 million in revenue this year (the company is valued at $5.5 million). The unique product is a lightly carbonated fruit-juice and guayusa tea blend. It is sold in Whole Foods across the Southeast U.S., and soon will be on the shelves of Kroeger and Costco.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

Neon Roots

The tiny app studio churning out booming startups

Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
Los Angeles, California
Year Founded
2011
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on May 24, 2016
Company Description

When a celebrity, public figure, or company wants an app built, they often turn to an agency. Ben Lee and Drew Harding had worked at one such agency, and knew all its flaws. They wanted to upend the agency model that included billing clients for time, which led to the frequent creation of feature-heavy, clunky apps. In 2011, they founded a tech studio called Neon Roots. While the startup builds apps and does development consulting for companies and celebrities, it more closely resembles a private business incubator. That's because before committing to a project, they bring a client through a two-week workshop process called Rootstrap, which they developed to analyze the market fit and viability of the proposed project, and to hone it before any costly programming begins. Neon Roots has worked with more than 100 clients, including companies such as Spotify and Epson, and celebrities such as Tony Robbins and Snoop Dogg.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

Neurensic

Meet Wall Street's new A.I. sheriffs

Industry
Business Products & Services
Location
Chicago, Illinois
Year Founded
2015
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on May 24, 2016
Company Description

Neurensic's core product uses artificial intelligence to understand and form its own judgments about the massive amounts of data spit out by the futures trading desks of financial companies. It also looks for compliance anomalies such as Michael Coscia's spoofing activity, as well as other market-skewing tactics that may be perpetrated by rogue traders. "Our artificial intelligence is completely self-adaptive and can learn by itself," says co-founder David Widerhorn. If that sounds a tad futuristic, it is. Neursensic is somewhat in the vanguard, in a nascent market for compliance intelligence that is currently worth about $450 million, according to research firm Aite Group, which forecasts the market will grow to $1 billion in the next 10 years. Today, Neurensic has 45 employees and had revenue of 250,000 for 2015. That's not bad for a company that launched officially in the same year, following a year-long pilot. In addition to Widerhorn, co-founders include Zach Watts, the chief innovation officer, Tim Geannopulos, chief operating officer, and Paul Giedraitis and Jay Vohra, both principals.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16