Green Bank Client ilumi Gets $350k Investment from Mavericks’ Owner Mark Cuban on Shark Tank TV Show

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Green Bank Client ilumi Gets $350k Investment from Mavericks’ Owner Mark Cuban on Shark Tank TV Show

Article and photo from dallasnews.comilumiGuys

Plano smart lightbulb maker ilumi made it out of the shark tank alive.

In the episode of ABC reality show Shark Tank that aired Friday, Corey Egan and Swapnil Bora sought a $350,000 investment in exchange for a 15 percent stake in the startup.

ilumi makes LED lights that are controlled wirelessly via smartphones. The light bulbs also provide multi-colored hues, essentially creating a lighting system for homeowners, according to the co-founders.

Here’s an article about the startup. Egan and Bora met and developed the startup as graduate business students at the University of Texas, Dallas.

ilumi raised $200,000 through three crowdfunding campaigns, allowing customers to buy its lightbulbs. Egan said the first batch will begin shipping out this week.

The episode was high-paced, fun and tension-filled. Egan and Bora had three offers on the table: One from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a second from Robert Herjavec and a third from Kevin O’Leary.

Other sharks balked at the product’s price of $289 for a three-bulb pack.

Herjavec was the first entrepreneur to make an offer, proposing to take a 35 percent ownership stake for $350,000.

Instead of taking equity, O’Leary offered a $350,000 to license ilumi’s technology to a large lightbulb company. In exchange, O’Leary would get royalty.

Cuban countered with a $350,000 offer in exchange for a 25 percent stake.

At one point, it looked like Cuban was going to bail due to Egan’s and Bora’s hesitance. Egan asked Cuban whether he was willing to meet in the middle at 20 percent, and Cuban declined.

The two founders went with Cuban after they asked him who he would call to help ilumi.

In classic Cuban fashion, he replied, “There’s no one who’s not going to take my call.”

“You got a deal,” Egan said.

We caught up with Egan this morning to talk about the episode and what the investment means for ilumi. Here’s an edited excerpt:

On keeping the taping quiet: ”It was so difficult. A lot of our friends are Mav fans, and I had to bite my tongue.” (The episode was actually taped last September.)

On the audition process:  (After an open audition in Dallas a year ago, ilumi got a call back to submit a video, which interested producers.)

“They’ve very careful about making sure they don’t overcommit to expectations. You continue to go through step-by-step through the process. At any point, this could end.”

Even when Egan and Bora flew out to Los Angeles, there’s “no guarantee that you would get into the room.”

On the actual taping: “I was nervous but definitely excited. It was preparation. We rehearsed not only our pitch but possible answers. We knew our business pretty well. It was preparation. My wife makes for a very good pretend shark.”

On reality vs. what actually airs: “It’s a much faster pace in terms of questions and answers. It’s like a firing squad. … It was maybe about 30 minutes that we actually were speaking to the sharks. I feel like we came out really well from our perspective. I feel like we got a fair shake.”

On having three offers: “We were thrilled with it. A lot of folks go in and don’t get an offer. That’s part of the risk.”

“When Mark came in, although it seem we were hesitant, we were excited. We wanted to do a deal with Mark from the beginning. He’s from Dallas and we’re from Dallas.”

On closing the deal with Cuban after the taping: ”With any investment, there’s a period of due diligence where they’re looking into every nook and cranny. We closed the investment in March.”

“From our perspective, Mark and his team wanted to make sure the deal went through and lived up to what we agreed on the show.”

On having Cuban as an investor: “I think the long-term gain is not only having Mark’s investment but his perspective. He’s built multiple companies and been part of multiple companies. His connections and his value and his insights. We’re making tough decision as first-time entrepreneurs. He’s someone who has an opinion and not afraid of share his opinions.”

On the future of ilumi:  ”For us, it takes it one step further. This is not the culmination. It’s a great step forward that puts us in a better position.”


ilumi and their color tunable LED light bulbs with Bluetooth Low Energy to air on “SHARK TANK,” on FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014

BluetoRedDALLAS, TX. – April 15, 2014 – Co-founders Corey Egan and Swapnil Bora will brave the waters of “Shark Tank” to present an investment opportunity for their company, ilumi®, to Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary.

In Episode 529, the two Dallas entrepreneurs will showcase ilumi, the world’s smartest lights. ilumi is a series of color tunable LED Smartbulbs controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth using an app for iOS or Android. Tune into this episode of “Shark Tank” on FRIDAY, APRIL 18 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

ilumi offers users complete lighting control with flexibility, simplicity, and industry leading brightness and efficiency to transform a space into a place. Simply screw in ilumi like a regular light bulb, download the free ilumi app, and control your lighting like never before. Enjoy bright white light when you need it and rich colors when you want it. Even program your ilumi to do amazing things from a sunrise alarm to music sync, and more. Plus, ilumi is 7x more energy efficient than a regular light bulb and will last for up to 20 years. Don’t just love your light, live your light™.

ilumi uniquely offers wireless meshing using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which provides full systematic lighting control without reliance on Wi-Fi networks, bridges, and hefty installation costs. Additionally, the company’s proprietary HyperLux™ LED technology allows ilumi to achieve the highest lumens per watt in any multicolor LED light for the brightest and most efficient multicolor light in its class.

“Appearing on Shark Tank was a surreal experience, and I can’t wait to share that experience with the world.” said Corey Egan, co-founder and CEO of ilumi. ilumi’s appearance on Shark Tank comes on the heels of their successful Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns where the company raised over $200,000 total in crowdfunding.

About ilumi

ilumi is a company that makes simple things smart. Beginning with light, the company provides intelligent, simple and innovative wirelessly controlled LED light bulbs. Based out of Dallas, TX.

Limited quantities of ilumi Smartbulbs are now available on the ilumi website at, follow us on Twitter at @ilumisolutions and Facebook at

About Shark Tank

Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill and Phil Gurin are the executive producers of “Shark Tank,” which is based on the Japanese “Dragons’ Den” format created by Nippon Television Network Corporation. The series is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

“Shark Tank” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format with stereo sound. This program carries a TV-PG parental guideline.

For more information on “Shark Tank,” visit

Contact Information:
Corey Egan
(888) 502-0575 ext. 3