LuminAID is Named Up-and-Comer Winner at 13th annual Chicago Innovation Awards

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The LuminAID light has been named one of the Up-and-Comer winners of the 13th annual Chicago Innovation Awards.

The LuminAID light has been named one of the Up-and-Comer winners of the 13th annual Chicago Innovation Awards.

The winners were announced at an event held at Chicago’s Harris Theater on Thursday, October 30, with nearly 1,500 business and civic leaders attending. The Chicago Innovation Awards, celebrating its 13th year, is the Chicago region’s foremost recognition of the most innovative new products or services brought to market or to public service each year.

The LuminAID light is an innovative solar powered, inflatable light that can be charged in the sun during the day and provide up to 16 hours of LED light at night. It is the brain-child of Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta, two architecture graduate students, who invented the light as a class project to assist post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. They considered the dangerous conditions at night in the tent cities and turned their attention to a critical need: light. They designed the LuminAID light to be easily distributed in times of need by packing and shipping flat. Weighing just under 3 ounces, it is an ideal light source for recreational use outdoors, emergency aid, or in the home or garden.

“Chicago is an innovation hub with talented business leaders who have the vision to see things differently and set themselves apart from the competition,” said Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder with Chicago journalist Dan Miller of the awards. “Every winner of the Chicago Innovation Awards embodies this mindset, and each one has found a unique way to solve a previously unmet need in the market.”

“We are honored to receive the Up and Comer Award from the Chicago Innovation Awards and be recognized in our hometown for contributing to the safety of our community and our consumers,” said Andrea Sreshta, co-founder of LuminAID. “We’re already planning new innovations using this unique technology in an effort to continue to contribute to Chicago’s vibrant entrepreneurial community.”

The winning organizations receive a variety of honors including the opportunity to ring the NASDAQ Bell in New York City, a profile in Crain’s Chicago Business, and meetings with the Mayor, Governor and Cook County President.

“With more than 550 nominees received this year, it is clear that Chicago continues to rise as a global center of innovation. This region has become a magnet for attracting the capital and talent needed to fuel even more innovation activity and economic growth,” said Luke Tanen, Executive Director of the Chicago Innovation Awards.

The complete list of this year’s Chicago Innovation Award winners can be found at

The Chicago Innovation Awards are supported by Gold Sponsors Comcast Business and Disney Institute; Silver Sponsors Dell, SMS Assist, Wintrust Financial, Vedder Price, the Hillshire Brands Foundation, SmithBucklin and others.

About the Founders
Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta met while studying architecture and design in graduate school. 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 improved access to basic resources such as lighting and power. From there, LuminAID was born.

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Chicago Innovation Awards: Luke Tanen, luke(at)chicagoinnovationawards(dot)com.

LuminAID: Daphna Gall, daphna(at)luminaid(dot)com

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Daphna Gall
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