Arborlight shines a light forward as it ramps up revenues

When Michael Forbis thinks about sales he doesn't have to worry about setting sales goals at his startup, Arborlight.

"We have shipped more than $100,000 in product in the last four months," Forbis says. "We have a pipeline of $1.3 million in sales opportunities right now. It just keeps growing every single day."

Arborlight, which spun out of the University of Michigan, makes a LED light that emits a sun-like light. What the company is branding as a "daylight emulation system" can be used in both residential and commercial settings, imitating sunlight in both color, temperature and even exposure based on the weather or time of day.

"Our clients really care about the health and well being of their workers because it impacts their productivity," Forbis says.

The 5-year-old startup has hired six people in production, accounting and marketing, among other fields in the last year to help it meet rising demand for its products.

"We have tripled in (staff) size over the last year," Forbis says.

Arborlight closed on a $1.7 million seed round last spring. It also won the alternative energy category at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, the state's largest business plan competition for startups. The $25,000 in cash prize for winning will go toward Arborlight's efforts to raise a Series A late next year.

"We have seen a lot of demand for our product," Forbis says. "We want to take advantage of that opportunity."

Arborlight has enjoyed most of its growth with orders from large businesses, including a couple of Fortune 500 companies. It plans to target institutions in the education sector (K-12 schools and universities) in 2016 as it continues to grow.

"We think we can hit $4 million in sales," Forbis says.

Source: Michael Forbis, CEO of Arborlight
Writer: Jon Zemke

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