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Energy Engineer Overcomes Obstacles to Bring Business to Light

Success Story: Idaho –

Idaho SBDC success - RetroluxRetrolux was founded by Leif Elgethun, a self-described serial clean energy entrepreneur and advocate for a world as a carbon neutral society. After building software and honing workflows that greatly reduced the time and cost required to sell and install commercial building lighting retrofits for a former employer, Leif decided to found Retrolux.

This company seeks to accelerate the adoption of market-ready technologies that decrease fossil fuel usage and toxic materials in the lighting market by providing software that brings products to consumers faster and cheaper than ever before. With his background in energy engineering and project management, the first major obstacle was learning how to build a software company. The next obstacle was raising the capital required to build enterprise-grade software and bring it to market.

The SBA and SBDC were very influential in Leif & co-founder Brett Adler’s preparation for pitching to angel investors and making sure they had the supporting documentation they required. Retrolux was able to raise $600k in May, 2016, to help the company build the software and get it to market.

Since that time, Retrolux has repeatedly responded to market feedback to enhance the software product, change the business model, and adapt to competition. The company has grown to six employees serving over 40 customers across the U.S. who have created over 1,000 lighting retrofit projects worth over $30M. To date, Retrolux has raised $875k in investor capital with $50k in revenue.

To watch a video about Retrolux, click here.

To learn more about Retrolux, visit, and for more about the Idaho SBDC, visit To find the SBDC closest to you, click here.

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