Keep you burn-rate as low as possible

Luke Roberts smart design lamp learns from your behaviour and gives you the perfect light whenever you turn it on

Please introduce yourself and your startup Luke Roberts to our readers!
My name is Robert Kopka and I’m one of the founders of the smart lighting start-up Luke Roberts. We developed the world’s first smart design lamp where you can move the light in direction. You can, for example, illuminate the table when you are eating, the couch when you are reading a book and have only indirect light when you are relaxing. This is all possible with just one pendant lamp! It also learns from your behaviour and gives you the perfect light whenever you turn it on.

How did you get the idea to Luke Roberts?
My co-founder Lukas and I talked about industries that are undergoing a major change at the moment and one of these industries is the lighting industry. Lighting manufacturers need to adapt their products and processes due to the ban on incandescents. We bought several LED lamps and found out that their smartness is very limited and that they still use the traditional bulb shape instead of building something new. After a short while we came up with the concept of a smart design lamp that can dynamically adapt the the user’s’ preferences.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
One of the first challenges was to find a co-founder that is able and willing to found a tech company. The act of starting the company is fairly easy. Developing the first prototypes, getting the first paying customers and finding investors is harder. Finding investors for a hardware business is especially challenging as you need to have a working prototype to convince investors but can’t develop a working prototype without investors.

Who is your target audience?
At the moment we sell primarily to private customers in Western Europe and North America that are between 28 and 55 years old. We know that technology early adopters are especially interested in our smart lighting solutions. In the future we want to target more “mainstream” customers to broaden our brand.

What is the USP of your startup?
We produce the only lamp on the market that dynamically illuminates a room based on your preferences. Our USP is a combination of the hardware and software skills we have in our team.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
There is nothing like a typical workday. One day I talk to investors or CEO’s of other lighting companies, another day I have to fix a broken chair in the office. The range of tasks a founder has to perform is endless. This makes being a founder so exciting and challenging.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Luke Roberts in five years?
In five years we want to be THE brand for smart design lighting in Europe. We want to position Luke Roberts as a premium brand that combines outstanding technology with great design.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
First: Try to develop as much as possible in-house. Outsourcing is very difficult as a start-up
Second: Keep you burn-rate as low as possible
Third: Don’t forget to test your idea with strangers. Mum and Dad always love their kids’ ideas.

Picture Source: Piers Erbslöh

More information you will find here

Thank you Robert Kopka for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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