Sarasota Small Business of the Year Awards: Sunovia Energy Technologies

 
 

WINNER

Although the 6,000-square-foot building from which Sunovia Energy Technologies runs its LED unit is mostly packed up into boxes — right down to its most-recent award for Technology and Innovation — Craig Hall, co-founder, steps into the lobby wearing a serendipitous smile.

“We’re moving to Sarasota,” Hall says. “The county and city have been very supportive, as they have provided us with $100,000 in grant funding. The support of the local government is paramount in allowing young fast-growing businesses like Sunovia to thrive and be successful.”

From its industrial-park location in Manatee County, Sunovia develops, assembles and sells products within the LED lighting-and-solar markets, thereby reducing carbon emissions and preserving the environment. Its lighting technologies, marketed under the brand name Evolucia, are among the most cost-and-energy efficient in the world.

“We are partnering with Siemens to replace many of the lights in Sarasota, primarily in downtown Sarasota and on St. Armands Circle, with our energy-efficient LED lighting,” Hall says. “These new LED lights will save our city millions of dollars in electricity over their lifetime. It is very exciting to be on the cutting edge of a huge shift in energy.”

For the second year in a row, Sunovia has taken home a top honor at the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Awards. Last year, the company received the award for Green Business of the Year.

“The team we’ve put together really has a passion for renewable energy, conservation and the environment, and this passion is far and away the No. 1 reason why we have been successful to this point and why I believe we will continue to be successful in the future,” Hall says.

AT A GLANCE 

Address: 6408 Parkland Drive
Start date: 2005
Number of employees when started: Four
Number of employees now: 25
Advice: “Surround yourself with good people.”
Biggest challenge: “The 2008-2009 financial crisis. As an early-stage company we were dependent upon outside capital to fund our growth. When the crisis hit, it was a very difficult environment to raise new capital. Fortunately, we have a great group of shareholders who believed in us and stepped up to the plate to provide additional funding.”
Where do you see your business one year from now? “We expect to ramp up the sales of LED lighting products and sales to city governments, municipalities, military and foreign governments. We want people to think of Sunovia whenever they think of energy-efficient lighting.”

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