The King of Cannabis Lighting? Was that my lifelong vision? No. But here we are. Why? The Right Product, The Right Team, The Right Time

By Richard Genga, President & CEO, Growgenics

Where We Began – The Right Product

Growgenics emerged from the two things that drove me to become an engineer: my insatiable curiosity and my fervent desire to solve problems. While working on an engineering product, my then client led me through a grow room for medical marijuana. I began to notice the state of the plants, the heat in the room, and the overwhelming inefficiency of the entire system. I examined the lights that were being used. They were hoisted up more than ten feet over the canopy of the plants. Because of my extensive background in LED lighting, I realized that these high-pressure sodium lights were certainly not designed for bolstering photosynthesis.

Originally these HPS lights had been designed for factory lighting. Which meant they were not designed for plants. They were generating excessive amounts of heat, and they were wasting a tremendous amount of energy. I also surmised that if this lighting was a problem for cannabis then it was also a problem for indoor food growers.

"You need a solid team who can take your company from ideas to reality"

This discovery sparked the genesis of the Growgenics Advanced LED Grow Light. I spent the next three years researching the optimization of plant growth, streamlining botanical processes and eliminating the problems and struggles of master growers. The research was intense. The endless hours of testing were grueling. But the final results were exhilarating.

Our advanced LED design utilizes ten key plant-specific color frequencies in a tunable capacity with a modular design to maximize vegetative yield while running at 50 percent less power and generating 50 percent less heat than traditional grow lights.

We offer a one-touch solution on our easy-to-use smartphone app including automatic on/off schedules, varying color spectrum ratios, Day/Night Inspect Modes, and Safe Shut Off. We studied the problems of growers across the world, and Growgenics Grow Lights soon became the one-stop solution.

Building a Support System – The Right Team

Many start-ups have excellent products, apps, and ideas, maybe even game-changing technology, but can’t seem to get off the ground. Why? Because if you want your company to succeed, you have to give it its best chance: a team of experts. You need a solid team who can take your company from ideas to reality. Our core team at Growgenics has a combined total of over 100+ years of expert experience in their fields. As CEO I’ve spent 35+ years as an engineer working in mechanical engineering, biomedical product design, LED lighting, product research and development, and business development. Our business guru Robert Flynn, a Harvard alumnus, has spent the last 35+ years in business development and brokerage. Between being a senior business executive at a multi-million-dollar company and owning his own brokerage firm, he built five multi-million-dollar businesses and sold three with masterful success. Our VP of Business Development, Joe Anter, has spent the last 20+ years in Business Development and Sales. He has bolstered and grown sales at several companies including an enterprise-level security and compliance software company where Anter successfully doubled the company’s annual revenue goal propelling them into acquiring multi-year contracts with several household names including Wal-Mart, Citigroup, Fedex and Allstate.

We built a core team with a combined total of 100+ years of expertise in their fields, because when the roadblocks start popping up, you need people who can navigate. One of our first major setbacks was working with financial institutions. Our technology was deemed “cannabis adjacent” and therefore too risky for the majority of banks. It hadn’t occurred to us that this would be an issue, because we were not a cannabis brand. We made technology. Our lighting is used in greenhouses, vertical food farming facilities, and university botany programs across the country, but because our lights had application to legal cannabis growers, we were turned away. Our team used the experience, research and networks they accumulated over their cumulative 100+ years to quickly and efficiently find a reliable, progressive financial institution without such associative restrictions. The right team is imperative.

The Infancy of an Exploding Market – The Right Time

At Growgenics, we’ve learned that the most important component of a new business’s success is timing. Serendipitously, the idea for the Growgenics Lighting System was at the infancy of the cannabis and AgTech revolutions. Our first iteration of the Growgenics Light emerged just after Colorado and Washington legalized recreational cannabis use and the AgTech revolution began pushing vertical farming for urban development across the world. The Growgenics Lighting System is applicable and customizable for all species of plants, which allows it to drop perfectly into these exploding markets of legal cannabis and vertical farming. Timing can make or break a start-up.

I’m fortunate. I love what I do. I believe that once you have the right product and the timing is at hand, dig in. Be diligent about your research. Know everything there is to know about your field of choice. Get the right people on the bus, so to speak. Be unwaveringly persistent. And may the force be with you.

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