Company Name: Biological Innovation and Optimization Systems, LLC (BIOS)
Year Founded: Sept 2014
Ownership Structure: LLC Incorporated in Florida
Management Team: Sean Tegart, President, Neil Yorio, VP of Lighting Research, Agriculture, Eric Thosteson, VP Lighting Technology, Shane Sullivan, VP Operations and Sales
Industry Segment/Category: Grow Lights
Current Markets/States Served: CO, NV, OR, WA, AK, CA, Canada
Current Number of employees: 4, currently hiring 3 additional employees
Market Strategy/Goal: Bring scientifically researched and quality engineered products to the LED commercial lighting market
Potential Customers: Any Producer nationwide
2014 Current Revenues: launched recently
Expansion Plans: Northeast, DC and Illinois
Financing strategy: Recently closed $2Million in Series A Funding, plan on raising additional capital through Series B option.
Up & Comers: The “Blackeye Principle” no more?
One of the things that I have learned recently is that LED lighting is alive and well in many cultivation facilities around the country even with what Neil Yorio, one of the founders of Biological Innovation and Optimization Systems, LLC (BIOS) , out of Melbourne , Florida calls the LED “blackeye principle” common in the controlled environment crop production industry.
He and his partners, Sean Tegart, President, Eric Thosteson, VP Lighting Technology, Shane Sullivan, VP Operations and Sales, have recently launched the company to win back confidence and market share with their industrial grade, electrically efficient Icarus LED System to replace energy inefficient High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting, including HPS (high pressure sodium).
When not surfing, Neil spent over 20 years at NASA working on several agricultural lighting research programs with bio-regenerative life support systems. He most recently worked with the Lighting Science Group, where he held positions as VP of the advanced projects group and director of agricultural lighting. He explained that the LED lighting used by most production facilities were not developed specifically for agricultural grows and that the LED lighting that we use in our homes was just repurposed to satisfy the cannabis industry’s lighting needs. The problem with these LED lights is that they don’t produce nearly the spectrum and light output of HID lights and yields suffer.
BIOS’ Icarus lighting system was specifically designed to maximize the efficiency of LED systems by optimizing the light spectrum and maximizing light output to provide the same grow performance of much hotter burning and less energy efficient HID systems that many cannabis cultivators have begun replacing for LED systems..
Neil went on to explain that there have been no standards for performance written for agricultural grow lights versus the Energy Star ratings that exist for human LED lighting and that has resulted in lots of poorly capitalized LED light companies dashing to the market to join the Green Rush. The BIOS team saw this as an opportunity and began working on creating an efficient high intensity LED product that could meet the output of the competition at an extreme energy advantage.
They began testing their ideas at Denver Relief’s grow facility two years ago where Neil has been part of the Denver Relief Consulting team that has had great success advising clients on how to maximize their yields while also helping them win licenses in regulated cannabis states. They have perfected their design and claim,( http://bioslighting.com/icarus-2/), terrific cost savings and eco sustainable benefits with the Icarus System that is now in use in facilities in CO, and Washington and Oregon and soon to be in Nevada as well.
Combine this scientifically engineered product with a science focused team that has proven management and marketing experience and BIOS may have a leg up on the competition. Added to this potent combination, BIOS has shown a return on investment for retrofit grow operations of < 1 year, with new construction facilities even sooner.
BIOS LLC recently closed a Series A round of financing of $2 million that is being used to ramp up production. The frames are imported from China and the power systems and LED’s are produced in the USA, the components are assembled in Melbourne, FL. They are also working on an assembly plant in Denver.
Sean indicated that they have lined up additional sources of capital and may do a Series B offer in the not too distant future. They are expecting first generation product test results to confirm yield and energy improvements in the next few weeks. The product is being sold by distributors in the western US, they hope to have distributors in place in Illinois, DC and the Northeast shortly.
I was sold on the merits of utilizing LED in high humidity markets like DC by my friend Corey Barnette at District Growers in Washington DC recently…and am convinced based on the experience the BIOS team is bringing to market that it may be a more economical and sustainable solution than other options currently on the market. I am pulling for these guys to prove that the LED “blackeye principle” is a thing of the past!