- Reduce danger that insufficient visibility presents
- Reduce consequences of accidents
- Move garment safety features from existing passive reflectivity to independent active light
- New, innovative product developed
- Higher market visibility gained
- New partnerships/collaborations established
- Increased revenue
Victoria Bäcksin and Marten Kull are not new to the safety and security sector. In fact, prior to founding Light-Flex, the two entrepreneurs had a company specialising in the design and development of personal protective equipment. After repetitive demands from their clients to create a product reducing danger caused by insufficient visibility, Victoria and Marten conducted a throughout research and found no effective solution on the market. Driven by a desire to address the emerging demand from their clients and to fill in the market niche, the entrepreneurs subsequently worked on the development of an innovative technology solution.
To address the emerging needs of their clients, Victoria and Marten designed and developed a printed light active technology for which they obtained a patent. Realising the great potential of their invention, the entrepreneurs decided to establish a company exclusively specialising in the design, development and marketing of their new technology.
Established in 2015, Light-Flex has been creating components for incorporating active light into clothing, textiles and safety apparel. At present, the company offers two printed light components, namely Light strip and Light belt. Light strip is a component with integrated electronics that can be easily embedded into apparel using either simple graphics or complex shapes (e.g. logos), while Light belt offers dual function of active light and passive reflectivity.
Prior to establishment of Light-Flex, the two entrepreneurs had already well-established relationships with manufacturing companies and relevant research and industry representatives. These relationships, established through their former business specialising in safety garments, helped to ease the new product development process. For instance, the partnership with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) was especially instrumental in the development of the printed active light technology. Additionally, the cooperation with the global technology manufacturer Flextronics gave the company capacity for rapid production scale-up to meet growing customer demand. In 2016 and 2017, Light-Flex received financial support from Sport eXperience, the Sports Accelerator in the Netherlands. The aim was to support the company to accelerate their invention and focus on its integration in sports clothing, accessories and equipment.
At present, Light-Flex products are manufactured mainly in Spain (Barcelona) while the overall management is executed from Sweden (HQ).
The business model of the company is business-to-business (B2B). The B2B model focuses on raising brand reputation, improving Light-Flex´s market position and increasing its making sales by means of selling products and services to other companies. More specifically, Light-Flex is now working actively with five globally-recognised brands (multi-million and multi-billion turnover). Moreover, a total of fourteen clients plan to integrate Light-Flex’s cutting-edge technology into their safety and sports products. Since clothing is a high volume industry, each such contract foreseeably represents around €1M + revenues for Light-Flex.
The company is now positioned as a high-value branded ingredient in next-generation clothing and to capture a sizable market share in the fast-growing segment of the global wearable technologies market.
Results and Benefits
The printed active light technology is lightweight, flexible, washable and can be easily incorporated into both soft and hard wearables, as well as printed in any shape or pattern. The technology can be combined with any textile or a piece of clothing/accessory, including safety jackets, sports helmets, sports equipment and promotional clothing. Not sacrificing comfort or aesthetics, it offers infinite possibilities for product design, enabling creation of new and innovative products. While other light clothing solutions do exist, none deliver the benefits of independent active lighting and its ability to adjust to almost any garment design manufacturer´s need. Furthermore, thanks to its passive reflectivity function, the technology increases garment´s visibility and thus contributes to enhanced personal safety too.
Winner of the ISPO Award in the Outdoor Segment 2017/2018; “Game Changer of the Year 2017” at the Swedish Mobile Awards; Innovation World Cup in Safety and Security Category 2016/2017 at the Global Wearable Technology Conference; Outside Gear of the Show Interbike 2015.
The video of this Success Story can be found at the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/dem/watify/inspiring/watify-...