Have you ever gone cycling or snowboarding at night, wishing for lights on your sporting equipment for added safety and aesthetics? If yes, you might be interested to know that entrepreneurs and brothers Dakota and Garret Porter hit upon the same idea in 2012 and ended up establishing the ActionGlow line of products. The brothers presented ActionGlow on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank‘ season 14 episode 7 and demonstrated how they designed neon lights for specific sporting equipment to make it appear cool and clearly visible at the same time. Well, let’s trace the company’s growth and find out where they are at present, shall we?
ActionGlow: Who Are They and What Do They Do
Brothers Dakota and Garret Porter are alums of Northwestern Michigan College. While Dakota graduated in 2014 with an Associate Degree in Entrepreneurial Studies and Business, Garret pursued an Associate Degree in Business Administration and Management, which he completed in the year 2017. Incidentally, both brothers got into action sports from quite a young age and would often go out snowboarding at night.
During one such night session in 2012, when Dakota and Garret were 16 and 13, respectively, the brothers thought that it would be fantastic if they could attach neon lights to their equipment to make it visible to others in the darkness. Determined to try out their idea, the brothers went through several prototypes before they could come up with the product they had initially envisioned. Surprisingly, apart from looking aesthetically appealing, the lights turned out to be a massive hit among their friends, and the brothers realized that their idea had promising business potential.
You would be interested to know that Dakota and Garret started their business in 2012 and named their company 45th Parallel Lighting, LLC. Although they were just teenagers then, they perfected the design of the product, came up with marketing ideas, and even attended several business expos to promote ActionGlow, all on their own. Since then, the pair has never looked back. Garret currently serves as the COO of the company, while Dakota has taken on the position of President.
Their company, 45th Parallel Lighting, LLC., has since patented its offerings and manufactures light kits for different sporting equipment, including snowboards, skis, surfboards, and even sports bicycles, among others. The LED light strips and power banks are certified to handle rough terrain, are completely waterproof, and add no extra weight. Moreover, apart from being pretty straightforward to set up and remove, the lights are color-changing, and the user needs to swap batteries from time to time.
Where Is ActionGlow Today?
Since Action Glow’s initial prototype received rave reviews, brothers Dakota and Garret Porter decided to stick to their original design and introduced the product to the public at a 2013 business expo in Traverse City, Michigan. Surprisingly, their entire stock was sold out in two days. Encouraged by the positive feedback, the brothers continued selling their unchanged product till 2015. In 2015, they changed their manufacturing process to increase the production quantity and began looking for grants or investors.
As per reports, Dakota and Garret initially approached Michigan’s Business Accelerator Fund but could not qualify for the same. Yet, undeterred by the minor setback, they got in touch with a few Michigan-based business people and eventually got an angel investor on board. Besides, the pair also launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2016, which failed to hit its target within the stipulated time. Nevertheless, ActionGlow has since received massive exposure from being featured in commercials for Jeep and Red Bull. The product was also featured on the TV show, ‘The Ultimate Surfer.’
The brothers mentioned that although ActionGlow won a pitch competition in Detroit, they were denied the prize money because of their age. At present, their products are available exclusively on their website and range between $69 to $169, depending on the kind of equipment one is looking to customize. The company also offers the opportunity to purchase gift cards. They are likely to come up with ActionGlow branded apparel soon. The company’s incredible success is a direct result of Dakota and Garret’s hard work, and we are sure that the brothers will take ActionGlow to greater heights in the years to come.