Start Garden invests in portable light for photographers


The Satellite’s high-power LEDs emit neutral white light to emulate studio-style lighting. Photo via

Something happened recently that was a first, even for Start Garden.

Last week was the first time ever that the Start Garden team and Start Garden community agreed on the same thing: which startup should receive initial funding at the $5,000 level.

The Satellite

The unifying startup idea that had both groups voting to invest $5,000 was The Satellite, an idea for a portable light device for photographers.

The device would allow photographers to emulate studio-style lighting outside of the studio, using neutral white, high-power LEDs.

The Satellite would be mobile and cheaper to use than studio lighting.

“The concept was designed for student and hobbyist photographers interested in experimenting with advanced lighting techniques, from macro to portraiture lighting,” writes idea creator Ian Geiman on his Start Garden page. “Multiple Satellite units can be used in the same picture to provide lighting from many directions, and the easily position-able nature of the units makes them ideal for introducing creative ways of lighting.”

“As the only product of its kind for photography, this has the potential to be a steady product line sold on websites, such as Photojojo or B&H,” he writes. “If the Satellite is successful, I want to use it to start a business to create well-designed, approachable products with a team of creative, driven people.”

Since it started more than a year ago, Start Garden, Rick DeVos’ $15 million seed fund, has made $10,000 weekly investments, split between two startup ideas posted on the Start Garden website.

Both ideas get $5,000 each. One idea is selected by the Start Garden team, and the idea is selected by the Start Garden community.

Last week, however, only The Satellite received funding, as both groups picked the same idea.

“This is the first time it’s happened,” said Brian Burch, a Start Garden spokesperson. “We expect the norm will continue to be two ideas each week.” 

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