With his newly developed technology Dwight Stewart brought lighting to life, so he named his company Igor.
And because Stewart started the company from his basement in 2013, he said he was on a, “Pretty good high” as he spoke in front of a crowd Thursday afternoon in his companies new 1,600 square foot office.
“You go through ebbs and flows being an entrepreneur and this is one of those moments where you see everyone who has supported you throughout the years all in one place,” Stewart says. “So it feels like a pretty good high.”
Igor is the second company Stewart has founded. After graduating from Iowa State Stewart was a cofounder of Strategic Attributes Software Inc. in 2003. Him and his cofounders sold and exited from the company in 2010.
Igor—a Power over Ethernet company—utilizes new technology to deliver power through ethernet cords. It’s cheaper, safer, more efficient and provides data on each light.
“I spent five years just focusing on building the technology,” Stewart explained. “Now we are in commercialization mode but just to get the basics of a lighting control system this sophisticated, it takes a lot of development time and effort.”
The new space was visited and toured by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds who left, impressed.
“What you are doing to connect L.E.D lighting with fixtures and sensors is amazing,” Reynolds said. “What you are doing fits right into that wheelhouse as we try to be more energy-efficient and do everything we can to keep the cost of energy down.”
Reynolds said the small to medium-sized startup companies will sustain the Iowa economy.
“Companies like yours are going to benefit the state and help us employ Iowans to grow our economy,” Reynolds said.
Stewart said the business is evolving into a unifying Internet of Things platform, going beyond lights and into sensors.
He said controlling the lights can help with people diagnosed with early stages on Alzheimer’s or dementia.
“You can create this environment for people, because that’s what people want at the end of the day is to create an enviornment for themselves,” Stewart says. “And the light is a major component of that.”