Jeff Kunowski, the founder of Illumin8, a Scottsdale-based company that provides innovative LED signage products, had 12 internships while he was a student at ASU.
Entrepreneur uses ASU grant to jump-start business
Not many people look at sign flippers or signs posted along the road and think they know how to improve those companies’ advertising. Jeff Kunowski went a step further and made it happen in a bright and eco-friendly way.
Kunowski graduated from ASU in 2011 and received the ASU Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative grant, which helped jump-start his business, Illumin8, which offers portable LED signs in all shapes and sizes with rechargeable batteries.
“Being younger and starting a business out of college, it’s hard getting people to take you seriously,” Kunowski said. “But winning the award from ASU gave validation to the whole thing.” It also showed Kunowksi that there were people who not only believed in him, but also believed in his company.
Kunowksi’s ability to help Illumin8 pull big-name clients like Anheuser Busch, the Phoenix Suns and Live Nationcaught the attention of MK Solutions Group, a technology solutions provider for sports and entertainment venues and the two companies formed a strategic alliance to sell Illumin8’s products to venues nationwide.
Now that Illumin8 and MK Solutions Group are starting to grow, Kunowski looks forward to the future of his company. The challenge is no longer his age. but “time management and growth.”
His advice to other college students that are looking to start their own business: “Networking. Take all the opportunities that you can and use your student status to your advantage. You aren’t a threat if you want to learn about the industry.”