Next up in our Portfolio Profiles series is Luna Lights and Donovan Morrison, CEO.
Luna Lights: Illuminating Nighttime Safety For Older Adults. Luna Lights helps keep older adults safe by improving nighttime safety and reducing falls through automatic lighting systems.
Q: Tell us about yourself
A: Originally hailing from the Twin Cities and now residing in Chicago, the Midwest is truly home. My sensible, down to earth upbringing provided me with the values I exhibit both personally and professionally. Although I’m an introvert at heart, my role at Luna Lights has helped me broaden my horizons socially. I’m an avid concert-goer, accumulating eight notebook pages filled with bands I’ve seen live.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for your company?
A: As is the case with many entrepreneurs, my co-founder and I started our business due to shared personal experiences. We’ve each seen the impact falls can have as our grandparents have struggled with them, and we felt compelled to create something better than the many antiquated solutions currently in place. We saw the senior living industry entrenched in its ways and felt we could help usher technology in to an oft overlooked population.
Q: Talk about your team and co-founder
A: My co-founder Matt and I met during our time in Design For America, which is a human-centered design program focused on social impact. Matt is more internal leaning and technically skilled so was a natural fit for our CTO and head of product development, while I am more external facing and focused on business development. We have a shared vision for the business, but our varied perspectives spark lively discussions and lead us to well-reasoned business decisions.
Q: Describe your company culture
A: At Luna Lights, we see ourselves as bears. We’re playful and curious by nature, but we can be ferocious and bear down when work needs to get done.
Q: What is something you wished you knew when you were starting your company?
A: I wish I knew that starting a business is not a linear process. Success is primarily relationship driven, so starting on anything (hiring, sales, fundraising) early is key. We didn’t realize this initially, and it hurt us with fundraising as we were delayed a good six months as we developed investor relationships.
Q: What qualities do you need to succeed as a founder?
A: It sounds cliché but persistence is key. Entrepreneurship is filled with ups and downs, and perseverance is necessary for any business to succeed. Also, recognition that you don’t know everything and a willingness to seek help/answers to questions that arise is vital. If you try and go at it alone you will assuredly make avoidable mistakes, so seeking guidance on certain topics from seasoned advisors and mentors will help better inform your decisions/strategy.
Q: What’s the most underrated statements in the startup space?
A: I believe competition is a good thing and oftentimes I feel that’s underrated. I’m thrilled that we’re in a space with a lot of activity because it means it’s a space worth focusing on.
Q: What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?
A: Find one or two seasoned veterans to provide mentorship on a regular basis. New questions pop up weekly and having a trusted confidant to bounce ideas off is not only appreciated but necessary.