San Francisco, California, United States: Intelligent Lighting Solution
Staffan Hillberg, CEO
Chris Walker, GM
Håkan Bengtsson, CFO
Chris Steele, COO
Anthony Gilley, CTO
Heliospectra is a public company that specializes in intelligent LED lighting systems for plant science and horticulture applications. Our products are based on a deep knowledge of plant physiology and photosynthesis, as well as unique ways of utilizing modern LED technology. We aim to replace archaic lighting in indoor and greenhouse growing.
Revenue Driver: Lamp sales.
Competitors: High pressure sodium lamps.
Competitive Advantage: Environmental control and energy efficiency.
Business model: We design and manufacture lamps and sensors and sell them via internal salespeople, resellers and wholesalers.
Funding: We have four primary shareholders. We have received numerous grants and we went public in July.
“The last grant we received was from an EU project called the Eden project. It is the push to develop biosystems for living outside of the atmosphere, primarily on Mars. We received a grant to develop a lamp that was appropriate for growing food on Mars.” -Chris Walker
Sales/Marketing Strategy: We go to the right conferences. We are beginning to push into some more aggressive promotion.
“We use multiple channels. There is a very intense focus on the right partnerships. We see the lamp as a piece of the entire system and we can’t live just by lamp sales alone; we need to offer that into the ecosystem of products that allow the grower to control their environment.” -Chris Walker
“If there is a single technology that [growers] are the most reluctant to release, it’s the high pressure sodium lamp. Growers are absolutely committed to that lamp. The downside is that their electricity bills could be reduced by half.” -Chris Walker
“When a grower shifts to the LED lamp, they reduce their energy consumption by 30-50 percent.” -Chris Walker
Target Market: Greenhouse growers and ambitious growers.
“We come from the greenhouse world. Our lamp is designed to work very well in a greenhouse.” -Chris Walker
“We focus on growers that are technically savvy, curious growers that want to continuously improve, growers that see the inevitable electricity bill and growers that are curious about pulling the genetic code out of the plant via the light spectrum.” -Chris Walker
LX601 – The LX601 is premier product for indoor (sole-source) lighting applications. The optical distribution is ideal for the light to be close to the plant – either for higher intensities or due to space constraints – while maintaining a wide, uniform light distribution.
LX602 – The LX602 optical distribution is ideal for greenhouses when the light needs to be mounted in the ceiling at a distance from the plant, while still maintaining a wide, uniform light distribution.
Customer Problem: The grower in a box mentality.
Staffan Hillberg, CEO, earned his MBA from INSEAD and his MSC from Chalmers University of Technology. Hillberg is an entrepreneur who has worked for Bonnier, Apple, founded Appgate as well as worked within the Bure Group. Hillberg has long standing experience as an angel investor and board member as well as having successfully invested in companies such as Mirror Image, Digital Illusion (sold to Electronic Arts) and Spotfire (sold to Tibco). His current company board responsibilities include, among others, Zinzino AB, listed on Aktietorget, and Procera Networks, Inc., which is listed in on NASDAQ.
Chris Walker, GM, performs the role of tactical operator during early stages. With a deep passion for sustainable business models and a BA in Agriculture Economics from the University of Arizona, Chris has performed varied roles throughout his 21 year career: owner, principal, boots-on-the-ground, consultant and employee. At Heliospectra AB, Walker focuses on Controlled Environment Agriculture, and is furthering the drive to replace inefficient, archaic lighting sources found in most commercial horticultural grow operations.
Håkan Bengtsson, CFO, earned his MSC in Business and Economics at the University of Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law. Bengtsson has worked as controller at Telia AB; founder and part owner of Comeva; vice president, CFO and HR manager at Empower AB. Bengtsson also has many years of work experience in other capacities within these companies.
Chris Steele, COO, earned his MSC from the University of Gothenburg and his BSB from Indiana University. Steele works in international business development, strategy, sales and marketing. Steele has previous experience at Klarna, EPIC, Encubator AB, Ricoh and Americas Corporation.
Anthony Gilley, CTO, earned his university education (PPL) at Chalmers University and studied Computer Science at the University of Gothenberg. At Heliospectra, Gilley is the product manager. Gilley has previous experience at Jeppesen Systems, Pilotfish, HIQ and Volvo Trucks.