When we think of our most basic human needs, we often think of food, water and shelter. But when architecture graduate students Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta were asked to design a product to assist post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, they considered the dangerous conditions at night in the tent cities and turned their attention to another critical need: Light.
Now everyone’s getting the bright idea: hikers in Yosemite, backpackers in Whistler, and emergency workers in Nepal alike use LuminAID to light their way. Even the reality investment show ABC’s Shark Tank saw the LuminAID vision irresistible, and invited Anna and Andrea on the show for a chance to premiere their product on primetime.
Andrea Sreshta is a current MBA student at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and co-founder of LuminAID. Andrea previously worked in and studied design and architecture with an emphasis in project management. She also spent time as a summer associate intern at McKinsey and Company. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a Master’s in Architecture from Columbia University prior to attending Booth. She is originally from Houston, Texas and currently resides in Chicago.
Anna Stork is co-founder of LuminAID Lab. She was a 2012 Kauffman Global Scholar at the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship. As a Kauffman Fellow, she was an Operations Intern for the retail start-up Warby Parker. Anna has also worked in product development at the Department of Defense with a focus on developing new technologies for military in remote locations. She completed her Master's in Architecture at Columbia University and earned her B.A. in Engineering and Studio Art from Dartmouth College.
LuminAID's new technology was of interest to ShelterBox due to its compact nature and high energy efficiency as well as its ease of use for the beneficiary. Further, it limits the use of natural fuels for lighting and other resources that can be critical to survival after a disaster.
-Executive Director, ShelterBox
The LuminAID Solar Light is flat-out incredible and I don't impress easily. It's sheer genius! You could charge one up, slip it in your pocket before you leave camp and be assured that you'd have plenty of light to find your way if you didn't make it back to camp before dark. It would also serve as a great light beacon to help others find you if you became lost in the dark.
- Dale A., LuminAID customer
Last night we had a blackout and the LuminAID lights out-performed the crank flashlights and lanterns. Today, I bought three more Give Light, Get Light LuminAIDs because if they could help us overnight, I can only imagine what they can do for children and families who truly need light.
-Albert C., LuminAID customer