Shark Tank Winner Shares Her Story

By Steve Schering
Pioneer Press Newspapers, Suburban Chicago

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Shark Tank winner, Anna Stork, one of the founders of “LuminAID” captivated students with her story of entrepreneurial success. Stork and her co-founder Andrea Sreshta developed a solar-powered LED light attached to an inflatable bag which can be charged in direct sunlight to provide nearly 30 hours of light per charge.

Pioneer Press Newspapers, Suburban Chicago

Though she was studying architecture at Columbia University in New York, Anna Stork spent her time in the school’s design studio working on something much different.

Stork and her classmate-turned-business partner Andrea Sreshta were more focused on solar lighting and just how it could be used to help people in a time of crisis.

While speaking to students enrolled in the Oak Park Education Foundation’s BASE Camp summer courses June 29, Stork told her own story about working on design software similar to what the students were using that day.

“Our studio [work] started two weeks after the Haiti earthquake in 2010,” Stork said.

“We were thinking about what we could design that would make a difference after an earthquake. We decide to focus on a lighting product.”

After noticing a huge need for dependable lighting following a crisis, Stork and Sreshta began working on various prototypes of products designed to meet those needs.

“They were shipping things like shelters and medical supplies, but there really wasn’t a lighting product,” Stork said.

“There was a real lack of safety after dark. Imagine losing absolutely everything; not having a home and having to live right next to everyone in these informal tents and shelters. Having a light, we thought, could really add a little bit of comfort to these people’s lives.”

The duo ordered parts from websites such as Amazon, and began designing and building their solar light prototypes, a product now called LuminAID.

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