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Igor uses Power-over-Ethernet technology

Igor Lighting

With his newly developed technology Dwight Stewart brought lighting to life, so he named his company Igor.

And because Stewart started the company from his basement in 2013, he said he was on a, “Pretty good high” as he spoke in front of a crowd Thursday afternoon in his companies new 1,600 square foot office.”

“You go through ebbs and flows being an entrepreneur and this is one of those moments where you see everyone who has supported you throughout the years all in one place,” Stewart says. “So it feels like a pretty good high.”

Igor is the second company Stewart has founded. After graduating from Iowa State Stewart was a cofounder of Strategic Attributes Software Inc. in 2003. Him and his cofounders sold and exited from the company  in 2010.

Igor—a Power over Ethernet company—utilizes new technology to deliver power through ethernet cords. It’s cheaper, safer, more efficient and provides data on each light.

“I spent five years just focusing on building the technology,” Stewart explained. “Now we are in commercialization mode but just to get the basics of a lighting control system this sophisticated, it takes a lot of development time and effort.”

Igot Lighting
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds speaks during the open house event hosted at Igor offices in West Des Moines. Founder Dwight Stewart (middle) and CEO Steve L’Heureux also spoke.

The new space was visited and toured by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds who left, impressed.

“What you are doing to connect L.E.D lighting with fixtures and sensors is amazing,” Reynolds said. “What you are doing fits right into that wheelhouse as we try to be more energy-efficient and do everything we can to keep the cost of energy down.”

Reynolds said the small to medium-sized startup companies will sustain the Iowa economy.

“Companies like yours are going to benefit the state and help us employ Iowans to grow our economy,” Reynolds said.

Stewart said the business is evolving into a unifying Internet of Things platform, going beyond lights and into sensors.

He said controlling the lights can help with people diagnosed with early stages on Alzheimer’s or dementia.

“You can create this environment for people, because that’s what people want at the end of the day is to create an enviornment for themselves,” Stewart says. “And the light is a major component of that.”


  • chris
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Great story, Joey! Good stuff happening in Iowa! Keep up the excellent coverage!

Comments are closed.

Igor uses Power-over-Ethernet technology | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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