Chicago startup LuminAID was a hit on ABC’s Shark Tank last night, receiving offers from all five sharks.

Winner of UChicago’s 2012 Social New Venture Challenge and the Clean Energy Trust’s 2013 Clean Energy Challenge, LuminAID got offers from Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, and Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec, but it was Mark Cuban who scored the deal, offering $200,000 for 15%, with an option for another $300k.


The startup’s innovative lamps pack flat and inflate to create lightweight, waterproof lanterns that provide over sixteen hours of LED light. Used in emergency situations,  founders Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta came up with the idea during an assignment while grad students at Columbia.

The primetime attention for LuminAID even made the company a trending topic in the U.S. Friday night.

LuminAID isn’t the first Chicago company Cuban has invested in. Last year on Shark Tank, Cuban invested $250,000 in Packback in exchange for 20% equity. Packback offers e-textbook rentals for $5, allowing you to pay-as-you-read.

There was a ton of support for LuminAID last night, both here in Chicago and around the country.









Jim Dallke is the associate editor of Chicago Inno. As part of the team that launched Chicago Inno in 2014, Jim covers the ins and outs of Chicago's tech and innovation scene, and is always looking for scoops and story ideas. Get in touch: