CED Tech Conference: Day One Roundup

Purillume Founder Neeraj Lal had the best-lit exhibit table at the CED Tech Conference thanks to his LED technology that helps cooped-up workers soak up man-made sunlight.

As we head into Day 2 (really, Morning 2) of the CED Tech Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center, let’s take a quick look back at Day 1 (Monday). Here are a few companies that caught the eye of the GrepBeat team. And if you’ll be at the TechCon today, please swing by our table to say hi.


Purillume Brings The Sun To Your Desk

The CED Tech Conference hosted some of the coolest companies in NC tech Monday, including Purillume, a company that lit up CED with its LED lighting technology.

Founded and run by President Neeraj Lal, Cary-based Purillume wants to keep hard-working entrepreneurs productive by giving them a taste of sunlight even if they don’t leave their co-working space at all during the day.

Purillume’s desktop lighting solution.

“Sunlight is such an important part for health and wellness and getting the right amount of light helps you get to sleep at night,” Lal said. “Because we’re cooped up in the office so much we don’t have the access to that light and intensity that we need to get that benefit.”

For founders or any other employees that participate in the #grind culture of modern work life, being productive is essential, and Lal said this can start with simply getting the proper light.

“When you get a better lighting scenario, the studies show that you get increased productivity,” Lal said. “Workers then feel better, they’re happier.”

The solo founder has been building his company from the ground up, and as an engineer with 15 years of experience in the LED lighting space, he’s unusually well-suited to run a lighting venture.

“I just got fascinated by the science of lighting and how it affects the human body,” Lal said.

Although other LED solutions exist, Lal said his 3Five Lighting Technology is unlike other products in the market.

“It’s LED-based technology, but the way that I’m controlling the LEDs and the different LEDs that I’m using is what allows me to differentiate from the other solutions on the market.”

For four years, Lal has been developing the idea for Purillume, ultimately starting construction in early 2018 with the help of a friends and family round of funding.

“It’s really about making the sales and marketing happen in 2019,” he said.

Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez


Reveal Mobile Gets Personal With Audiences

As day one of the CED Tech Conference dwindled down, Reveal Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer, Matthew Davis, continued to bring passion and excitement to the mainstage company presentations.

The Raleigh-based company created the Visit platform, which brings location-based advertising insights and intelligence to clients and their campaigns. Reveal Mobile employs numerous strategies of “cleansing and removing bad data” to ensure targeted audiences will be accurate and relevant.

An example of the Reveal Mobile platform for a client, Raleigh-HQ’d Advance Auto Parts.

The platform uses location data from everything from physical retail locations and e-commerce to consumer packaged goods, and transforms it into points of interest. With over 10 million points-of-interest on their database, clients can find or create their own customized location-based audiences.

For example, one client was able to pinpoint Elvis fans for an upcoming album release through the platform by identifying people who had recently visited Graceland—The Home of Elvis Presley—in Memphis, Tennessee.

For the fastest path toward location-based marketing though, clients could find over 1,500 pre-built audiences in marketplaces such as Adsquare or PushSpring.

Seems simple, right? Well, not quite, according to Davis.

He spoke about how agencies are struggling to reach audiences as targeted as those available to advertisers on Google and Facebook. But, through Reveal Mobile’s user interface, clients are able to build and reach audiences in the advertising ecosystem.

By finding both client’s audiences and those of their competitors, they are able to find numerous audience marketplaces to quickly deploy a geo-targeting campaign.

Their platform also provides detailed reporting of the ad campaign’s performance. So, they can know who their customers are, where else consumers visit and how they could drive further business.

After starting in 2015, Reveal Mobile has seen growth year by year with revenue hitting a $3M annual run rate. The company has already raised $5M total, including from local investors IDEA Fund Partners, Bull City Venture Partners, the Wolfpack Investor Network and Capitol Broadcasting Company. Now it’s seeking an additional $5M growth capital to pursue specific verticals in an array of industries from automobile to supermarket advertising.

Jacquelyn Melinek


Wirl Gives Re-launch a Whirl

The personalized-styling website, Wirl, re-launched its platform recently to include a feature where shoppers can have stylists look through their current closet to see what clothing items and trends are working, as well as suggest clothes that they could buy to spruce up their wardrobe.

Wirl Founder Benjie Davis at the CED Tech Conference.

Durham-based Wirl provides a two-sided marketplace to help everyday people find a personalized stylist at an affordable rate, and it allows personalized stylists a platform to connect with the consumer, Founder and CEO Benjie Davis said. (We first featured Wirl in November.)

Davis said he decided to relaunch the startup after he began talking with shoppers in the Triangle area and realized that there was a need for people wanting to assess their current fashion sense and closet. Shoppers explained to Davis that they often want to know what pieces are missing—or missing the mark—in their  closet right now before they go out on a shopping spree.

“When we originally launched we thought we should just have the personal shopping,” Davis explained. “But as I was speaking with shoppers in this area, so many said ‘I want to look at the current clothes I have already.'”

The Wirl relaunch also has included new videos on its website of the stylists being interviewed themselves so shoppers can get a sense of the stylist’s fashion taste and personality, Davis said. The interviews also explain how the stylists go about doing their job and their method for how they shop for others.

Davis said that the newly added features enforce Wirl’s philosophy of helping people connect through a platform that now allows stylists not only to help others find new clothes to feel confident about themselves, but to help users to feel better about their current clothes as well.

Rebecca Ayers

About Pete McEntegart 70 Articles
I've worn many hats, but my current chapeau* is as Managing Editor of GrepBeat, which covers the Raleigh-Durham tech scene, especially tech startups. Sign up for our Tuesday-Thursday email newsletter at grepbeat.com. Hope to see you around the Triangle! (*chapeau is French for "pretentious")