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U-M spinoff Arborlight gets $1.7M in VC funding to commercialize new lighting technology

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Arborlight wants every indoor space to be able to reap the benefits of natural — or as close to natural — sunlight, and thanks to a $1.7 million venture capital investment, the company is one step closer to that goal.

The Ann Arbor-based technology company recently announced that it landed the investment, led by the Michigan Angel Fund, Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund and a Local Development Finance Authority microloan administered by Ann Arbor SPARK, to further commercialization efforts for its award-winning LightWell product.

LightWell is a luminaire that emulates daylight, and changes color, intensity and direction in real time and in sync with the sun’s position in the sky in location to where the light is located.

The LED technology is different from most indoor lighting, which changes at rates the eyes can noticeably sense.

The fixtures can be controlled by a mobile or web app, allowing users to change the location and adjust the color, brightness and time of day for different lighting.

“The Michigan Angel Fund is focused on companies like Arborlight that need early investment to make the leap, and bring a product to market,” Skip Simms, MAF managing director, said in a statement.

“Arborlight’s potential is impressive, and the company is an exciting example of how technology can be incubated in a university setting, and progress forward and have real economic impact.”

Arborlight, which is a spinoff from the University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer, got its start after participating in Ann Arbor SPARK’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp in 2010.

Michael Forbis, the company’s CEO, said the product has been in high demand, and the money will help provide the resources it needs to get the product to market.

“The evidence supporting the positive health and cognitive effects of dynamic daylight conditions in work, school, medical and retail environments is overwhelming. The demand for daylight in spaces deprived of traditional windows and skylights is a multibillion dollar opportunity,” Forbis said in a statement.

“With the support of our investment community, Arborlight is meeting this substantial demand with its much acclaimed Daylight Emulation technology for commercial and home applications. These additional resources will enable the company to expand the marketing, sales, operations and engineering teams immediately.”

via U-M spinoff Arborlight gets $1.7M in VC funding to commercialize new lighting technology | MLive.com.

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