Client Spotlight: Retrolux Poised For Big Win At Dreampitch

By Caitlin Copple Masingill / Oct 31, 2017

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If you told entrepreneur Leif Elgethun a year ago that he’d be rubbing elbows with the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am and pitching his lighting company to an audience of more than 170,000 for the chance to win a $250,000 check, he probably wouldn’t have believed you.

But dreams come true at Salesforce’s Dreampitch event, where three finalists—including Elgethun’s company, Retrolux—were announced today. The startups will compete on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m. MST for the cash investment from Salesforce Ventures, media blitz and investor attention that one of the world’s most prestigious pitch events will bring. A local live stream will be held at the Trailhead in Downtown Boise.

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Elgethun is a 37-year-old engineer, Idaho native and serial entrepreneur who says he decided “on a whim” to apply for the world-renowned event in September. Founded in 2016 in Boise, Retrolux has six employees working to revolutionize the commercial lighting industry by connecting smart building product vendors directly with wholesale buyers, removing chronic inefficiencies that have plagued the industry in the past. 

“Being a finalist at Dreampitch is a game changer, for sure,” Elgethun said. “It’s huge for us in terms of raising the capital we need to scale, the exposure to customers and strategic partners, and ultimately, to our goal of creating more jobs in the Treasure Valley.”

The four Dreampitch judges include will.i.am, founder and CEO at i.am+; Shahrzad Rafati, founder and CEO of BroadbandTV, and Chris Sacca, founder and chairman, Lowercase Capital. The judges will assess each finalist on the ability to execute, innovate in the current marketplace, and how well the team understands market size and can capture market share. Each company must also show how they use Salesforce’s platform technologies including Lightning, Force.com and Heroku.  

Elgethun is well known in Idaho’s startup community and gives back by advising other young entrepreneurs and participating in panels such as the recent Boise Startup Week. To that end, he’s partnering with the Trailhead, located at 500 S. 8th St. in Downtown Boise, so that locals can join in the excitement of the pitch event through a live stream on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Doors open at 5 p.m., and light refreshments will be served. 

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Caitlin Copple Masingill

Caitlin is the quintessential connector of people and causes. She specializes in helping purpose-driven companies select the best messengers to tell powerful stories to the right audiences. Caitlin brings to Oliver Russell more than 10 years’ experience in journalism, communications, and most recently, public affairs consulting. A self-described political nerd, she served as a Missoula City Councilwoman from 2012-2015 and loves all things outdoors.