63 F
Fort Worth
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
- Advertisements -
Technology UT Dallas alumni survive, thrive in ‘Shark Tank’

UT Dallas alumni survive, thrive in ‘Shark Tank’

Other News

Wall Street posts solid gains after surge in corporate deals

By ALEX VEIGA and DAMIAN J. TROISE AP Business Writers Wall Street kicked off the week with a broad...

Tarrant County ranks low in work-from-home study by NAR

North Texas ranks pretty high in the “Work from Home” category, according to a just-released study by the National Association of Realtors....

Commentary: Universities and COVID-19: Charting turbulent times

Ray Perryman As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged this spring, college campuses across the United States swiftly sent students...

Linear Labs introduces electric motor that will fit inside a pocket

Leading the new wave of electrification, a Fort Worth-based technology company has built an electric motor that can fit inside one's pocket,...
Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Robert Francis rfrancis@bizpress.net


Two former students at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Naveen Jindal School of Management Full-Time MBA Program went into the Shark Tank and not only survived, but emerged with a $350,000 deal with Mark Cuban. Ilumi co-founders Corey Egan and Swapnil Bora braved the sometimes nasty waters of Shark Tank to present an investment opportunity for their company to Cuban, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary. For the uninitiated, Shark Tank is a reality TV show that features entrepreneurs making a pitch to five potential investors – the “sharks” – to support their product or idea.

Plano-based ilumi is a series of color tunable LED Smartbulbs controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth using an app for iOS or Android. According to the company, ilumi lighting systems are seven times more energy efficient than a regular light bulb and will last for up to 20 years. The outcome was great, said Lisa Shatz, Jindal School assistant dean of MBA programs and director of the Full-Time MBA Program. “This is absolutely as good as it gets,” she told Egan and Bora shortly after the programed aired on April 18. “You guys rolled up your sleeves. You did not give up. You kept going… We are so incredibly proud of you.” UT Dallas alumni Egan and Bora met at the school as students.

“Swapnil and I were actually classmates at UT Dallas, where we came up with the idea,” Egan said. The Shark Tank victory is not the former students’ first success in a competitive venue. Ilumi won the 2010 UT Dallas Business Idea Competition. Egan and Bora, who worked with entrepreneurship professors, earned their MBAs in 2010. The Jindal School encouraged Egan and Bora and other students and alumni to audition for Shark Tank last year. It’s not the first investment success for the company. Ilumi’s appearance on Shark Tank comes on the heels of successful Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns where the company raised over $200,000 total in crowd funding. During the program, Egan explained that users can program lights to create a sunrise effect, romantic candlelight or even a post-Dallas Mavericks game celebration. The latter is exactly what they did during the program. “Mark, represent your team and ours by lighting it up blue and green on game day,” Egan said. “After the Mavericks win, let the celebration begin.” Then, Egan and Bora danced as the lights changed colors during the ABC primetime program. Dancing with the Stars may not be in their future, but the pitch worked: After some negotiation with O’Leary, Cuban offered the funds for a 25-percent ownership of their company, which has patents pending and aims to ship its product by the end of the year. “Mark’s just going to be just like fuel on the fire,” Egan said in an interview on the show. “This thing is going to spread like wildfire and ilumi’s going to shine across the world.”  

- Advertisements -
- Advertisements -

Latest News

Randstad US to bring 1,100 remote customer service and call center jobs to Texas

Randstad US (Https://www.randstadusa.com) has announced that it is hiring for 1,100 remote customer service representative jobs in Texas....

New measurements show moon has hazardous radiation levels

By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Future moon explorers will be bombarded with two...

Breach at software provider to local governments, schools

By FRANK BAJAK and JAKE BLEIBERG Associated PressDALLAS (AP) — A major provider of software services for governments and schools across the...

Apple debuts discount watch, but no new iPhones … yet

By MICHAEL LIEDTKE AP Technology Writer SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Apple introduced a cheaper version of its smartwatch,...

Q&A: What does a deal between TikTok and Oracle mean?

By ZEN SOO AP Technology Writer HONG KONG (AP) — ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the popular video-sharing...