Steve Barcik of FireFly LED Lighting Talks about His Startup
Where are you from originally?
As a kid we moved all over the US, Canada, and even lived in Wales, in the UK. We moved three times while I was in the 8th grade, making me the new kid. This experience gave me three things; a desire put down roots, I have been in Austin since 1987, second, a true desire for new things and meeting new people, and finally the importance of friends and those relationships. My Family is from Virginia.
What brought you to Austin?
The tech environment and Texas Instruments. I was in Houston working in the Chemical Industry and wanted to do more engineering and be in a great town. TI hired me and some of my first projects there were in lighting and electrical power. TI was an amazing learning experience. I still maintain those friends from back then, what a great time.
What university did you go to?
Virginia Military Institute. I received my BSME there, and learned a lot about managing myself and others. VMI was a great experience and I credit the environment, professors, and my classmates with giving me an experience so unique and powerful.
What is the idea behind your startup?
The idea is implement a bunch of amazing ideas I and my partner have to deploy great LED technology to provide lighting for commercial, institutional and residential buildings. LED lighting uses 86% less energy and generates 86% less heat than incandescent lighting. A triple point of technology, awareness and need is occurring, and we have the ideas and the team to ride that wave. We are focused on ROI for the commercial, retail, and architectural segments. ROI is the home run for lighting now, as energy savings are so important.
Tell me more about your startup concept?
To make a difference for the environment and to impact the costs of doing business for companies and people using our products. Our start up uses a lean model, and applies resources directly to the problems, removing constraints others have placed on the problem or solution. Through clean sheet design, sub-contracting and utilizing the resources available in the USA, we are building a competitive and successful lighting company.
What exactly does your product do?
Our product directly replaces light bulbs and other lighting sources. The bulbs output the same or greater amounts of light and create the same look and feel. The bulbs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent and 2 to 5X longer than compact florescent bulbs. They are also resistant to vibration, cold, and are instant start. Our product also eliminates the mercury hazards of compact florescent bulbs.
Who is it for?
Anyone anywhere who uses any type of lighting. Imagine reducing the electrical lighting bill for your company or home by 86%, or your total electrical bill by 34% and getting a ROI in 4 months in some cases. It is also for the planet and our future, reducing energy usage is as equally important as creating green energy sources.
What was the most challenging aspect of starting up a business?
Selecting the next idea to pursue, we have several other ideas lined up, and this one is so right, putting other ideas and opportunities aside for now was the most difficult part.
What is the next step for you and your startup?
We are launching our first products, so to successfully complete engineering and move to the next design gate, with ease and grace. And of course to raise funds and partner with great investors who see the vision and goal.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
Have a great time.
Choose quickly and move with purpose.
Grow yourself, in every way possible, mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally.