LUMO Interactive is the creator of LUMOplay, a complete software platform for the creation, deployment, and management of interactive display experiences.
LUMOplay software makes any digital display motion, gesture, or touch interactive, and is used for retail, events, and education.
CONNECT WITH LUMO
Interview with Meghan Athavale, Founder and CEO
LUMO Interactive began when Curtis Wachs and Meghan Athavale started hanging out and making stuff together, and Kayla Jeanson of Parachute Media started taking and sharing videos of their work.
LUMO Interactive makes LUMOplay, the world’s most widely used software platform for interactive digital signage, including interactive floor and wall projection, interactive augmented reality projection, and touchscreen displays.
Team LUMO has been fortunate to have developed at a time where automation and integrations are allowing small teams to accomplish things that would have taken many more people in the past. Because of this, our core team of five people is able to deliver and serve software to over 40,000 installations worldwide.
We could not have succeeded without the patience and support of our families, advisors, and friends.
LUMO’s biggest challenge until recently was access to funding. Despite being a growing business with stable, recurring revenue and an international client base that includes Google, McDonalds, and SportChek, we’ve been turned down by pretty much every government funding initiative designed to help Métis and women business owners, and have not been able to engage investors.
We recognized that our biggest obstacle to raising funding was who we are as people; no one in the company comes from a wealthy or connected family, and our CEO actually dropped out of high school to work at the age of 15.
Most companies have leaders who either come from a business background, or have support from people who do. Instead of struggling to look like other companies and follow the rules laid out by programs administered by government employees or older businessmen, we chose to focus on sales and self sufficiency.
Things always get tough, that is the nature of working in a field like IDM. What keeps us going is understanding that anything worth doing is going to be challenging. With most of our clients we are doing something that may have never been done in their company, or even their industry so there are going to be challenges. What keeps us going though is the excitement and drive that our clients bring to the table. When somebody is excited about what they are building with us, it inspires me.
We don’t look for new team members; they find us. We prefer to subcontract and focus on building automation wherever possible, though.
LUMOplay is a small team of friends with a high level of accountability to one another. We choose to work with other people who are passionate about making solutions that empower users.
Today’s workforce is slowly being replaced by AI and by systems that remove redundancy and inefficiency. Because of this, we encourage co-op and internship students from the U of M and the RCC to focus on creative skills, programming, and most importantly, to learn to teach themselves, and to make a priority of providing themselves with an ongoing education using the many free resources available online.
If you’re thinking of starting a career in technology, our advice is to go for it, and to keep developing your skills. Technology is the most quickly evolving industry in the world, and you need to be comfortable with the fact that you will always have something new to learn, and that you will never know everything you need to know to do a job. This is a really amazing opportunity for people who are driven by a need for novelty and change, unlike any industry society has built since the days of world exploration (and it’s much better, because any human gets to participate in the pursuit of and wealth from the technology industry, regardless of race, creed, or gender).
Our company grew slowly over many years of hard work, communication with customers, research, and trial and error. New Media Manitoba has supported our growth by providing us with opportunities to connect with the local community, and by increasing industry awareness across Manitoba. This isn’t something we could have done ourselves, since our customer base is primarily international.
Because of New Media Manitoba and institutions like Global News and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Winnipeg award, we feel accepted and celebrated by our community, and able to contribute to a sector that’s critical in the long term economic future of Manitoba.
New Media Manitoba has supported our growth by providing opportunities to connect with the local community, and by increasing industry awareness across Manitoba. This isn’t something we could have done ourselves since our customer base is primarily international.
Because of organizations like NMM, we feel accepted and celebrated by our community, and able to contribute to a sector that’s critical in the long term economic future of Manitoba..