While on a school trip to Japan, LuminAID co-founders Anna Stork ’11GSAPP and Andrea Sreshta ’11GSAPP, unexpectedly found themselves in the middle of the earthquake in March 2011. Having experienced first-hand how a disaster can negatively impact the lives of millions, they were motivated to start LuminAID a solar light solution designed to fulfill a basic need in post-natural disaster situation. When designing for the most elegant, simple and practical product possible, the team focused on affordable, renewable light because it had the potential to greatly improve the comfort, safety, and survival of disaster victims.
LuminAID’s goal is to make portable lighting a part of the supplies commonly sent as part of disaster relief aid. In addition to food, water, and shelter, light can greatly add to the well-being of victims of a natural disaster or crisis.
Press and Videos
- Financial Times article
- Feature on the Today Show
- Appearance on Shark Tank and #StartupColumbia Festival
- Forbes Social Enterprise 30 under 30 citing, click here and scroll down for Anna’s mention
Anna and Andrea met while studying architecture and design at Columbia. They shared an interest in solar lighting technology and a common belief that design and design thinking can be used to solve problems at a global scale, including improving access to basic resources such as lighting and power.
LuminAID’s goal is to make portable lighting a part of the supplies commonly sent as part of disaster relief aid. In addition to food, water, and shelter, light can greatly add to the well-being of victims of a natural disaster or crisis. Renewable lighting can aid those in situations where batteries are scarce and the electricity grid is disabled both immediately after a disaster and over an extended period of time. Over the past year, the company has put lights on the ground in the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Isaac in Haiti and Hurricane Sandy.
Check out LuminAID’s latest “Notes from the Field” When Anna and Andrea were attaching batteries and solar panels together to make the first solar inflatable lanterns in their kitchen, the two graduate students knew little about how far their lights would go. Five years later, the little idea of the LuminAID light found its way to Malawi in southeast Africa…[More]