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Business Connect 31 BUSINESS PROFILE The light bulb moment Be fearless. Steve Cahill launched a start-up in a market dominated by heavyweights. Intelligent product design was his way in. Member since 2013 When Steve Cahill co- founded enLighten Australia in 2009, there was an issue of credibility. Namely, how a start-up could become a credible player in a market dominated by big cat competitors with billions in revenue. “We were in essence competing with global lighting behemoths – Phillips, General Electric, Thorn, and a lot of other well-established lighting companies in Australia like the Gerard Group,” says Cahill. EnLighten Australia, a business designing and supplying efficient and intelligent lighting solutions using LED technology, has since proved that innovation is the ‘sling shot’ in the David and Goliath struggle. Striving for the breakthrough In its first year of operation, the company focused on research and development, conducting case studies and designing new technology. The Chamaeleon light emerged as enLighten’s breakthrough product. “We designed a light that responded to low-occupancy environments – fire stairs, passageways and carparks; places that need to be lit all the time but are very rarely occupied. This being an unnecessary waste of energy, our light reduced energy consumption in those spaces by up to 93 per cent. “That gave us the credibility and kudos to sway potential customers who can now say, ‘hang on, we know about these guys, they are doing good things, we will give them a go.’” Snowballing reputation The reputation win translated into breakthrough clients, with momentum snowballing. “Once you start to get two or three clients you can get four or five, then 20 or 30, then you can get a couple of hundred and so on.” EnLighten Australia has grown from a team of two to employ more than 20 staff. So far, the company has installed and worked on more than 1000 projects. By combining the benefits of LED with controls that respond to how space is used, enLighten’s products are typically reducing electrical consumption by 60 to 90 per cent. Installations are currently saving clients around $5 million per annum in reduced electricity costs. “Our vision is to make lighting smart, so that light is only provided to the work space when it is occupied.” @enLightenLED enLightenLED enlighten.com.au Awards Business 2015 Business Leader Steve Cahill, enLighten Australia SUMMER 2016 | BUSINESS CONNECT   31