founder

BioLight Founder Michael Belkowski on the Benefits of Red Light Therapy

Introduction

The efficiency of mitochondria, the powerhouse of cells, is determined by the light they receive from the skin. Blue light, which can come from computer screens and cellphones, can cause mitochondria to die, and red light, mostly available at sunrise and sunset, improves their functionality. But the average American spends seven hours looking at a screen and 22 hours indoors every day.

BioLight is addressing this issue by offering a wide range of red light therapy products. These have the potential to boost mitochondria’s energy production and have a wide range of health benefits. We reached out to BioLight founder and CEO Michael Belkowski to learn about his process for bringing a product to the market and the importance of looking forward.

Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Inez Sanjaya

In your own words, how would you describe your company?

Michael Belkowski

BioLight is a biotech company that is harnessing the healing benefits of light to optimize health, wellness, and longevity. We’re providing people with a safe, noninvasive, effective, efficacious, and affordable treatment modality that can facilitate decreased dependency on the allopathic model of healthcare and return the control of one’s health to the individual.

Inez Sanjaya

What inspired you to take the leap and start this company?

Michael Belkowski

I took the leap because of a combination of my medical training background; already being entrenched in the holistic, “alternative” health space; and recognizing the profound health benefits of red and near-infrared light, especially as it relates to mitochondrial health. The vast potential of what red light therapy can help with is boundless. At the time I founded BioLight, the market only offered very expensive or very cheap products and a dearth of red light therapy education. I felt that if I could come in and offer superior products and education for a more affordable price, the demand would be there. And the demand has undoubtedly been there.

Inez Sanjaya

Who is on your team and how did you come together?

Michael Belkowski

I met Nate Peterman and Daniel Kiani, my business partners, essentially through chance. They run a marketing company, Symba Marketing, and I was referred to them by one of my initial customers when BioLight was just getting up and running. Long story short, their marketing strategies helped get BioLight on the map and gain exposure quickly. They now both play integral roles within the company.

Inez Sanjaya

How is BioLight transforming the wellness industry?

Michael Belkowski

BioLight is setting the standard for what it means to bring products to the health and wellness space that are not only effective and efficacious but also exhibit a high standard of quality and safety. BioLight was the first red light therapy company to specifically address electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions and light flicker. Being exposed to high amounts of either can cause a host of damage to our cells and mitochondria. Not only that, BioLight was the first red light therapy company, and still the only company, to conduct third-party scientific research on its own devices. The end result from that research utilizing BioLight panels? It showed that a single 10-minute, full-body red light therapy session with the BioLight ReStore panel led to a 122% increase in heart rate variability, which means increased parasympathetic drive, which means decreased stress!

Inez Sanjaya

What does the competitive landscape look like, and how do you differentiate?

Michael Belkowski

With red light therapy relatively in its infancy, the market is becoming saturated with countless companies offering virtually the same devices. BioLight continues to be on the leading edge of red light therapy by providing products with patent-pending technology that is offered by no other company. Not only are we making concerted efforts to offer exceptional products and education today, but we also have our sights set years down the road and envision countless ways that BioLight can help integrate red light therapy with other industries, including precision medicine, artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and more!

Inez Sanjaya

What is the process of bringing the product to market from start to finish?

Michael Belkowski

Learn/read. Synthesize information/scientific research from credible sources. Understand how said information could be safely, efficaciously, and effectively integrated into an affordable product for the masses. Take an idea to the manufacturer and either implement updated ideas to the current product or iterate a new product that manufacturers help design and engineer. Receive samples of said product and run quality assurance tests (i.e. measure light irradiance, EMF emission, and light flicker, and make sure product is properly designed for ease of use, maximal effectiveness and functionality, durability etc.). Iterate, iterate, and iterate as necessary until the product meets the BioLight standard. Market product via email and social media.

Inez Sanjaya

Which of your products is the most popular?

Michael Belkowski

Our handheld device, the Shine, and our oral care device, the Guardian, are by far our most popular products.

Inez Sanjaya

How do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?

Michael Belkowski

We’ll use it for inventory, paid marketing (we have only utilized organic marketing to this point – zero paid ads), continuing to invest in intellectual property that is very forward-thinking in the light therapy space, upgrading/overhauling the website, actively seeking out strategic individuals and business partnerships, and continuing to build out the BioLight team with experts in their respective areas (i.e., customer service, marketing/social media/email campaigns, and research and development).

Inez Sanjaya

What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?

Michael Belkowski

BioLight is a fast-growing company in the rapidly growing light therapy space. We have been able to establish ourselves as the top red light therapy company with zero paid ads because we have built an exceptionally strong brand through customer confidence, trust, loyalty, and word of mouth via high-quality, innovative, and affordable products and education. This strong foundation we have built the past three-plus years has led to an exceedingly high demand for BioLight products, which we have had to continuously keep up with. While that’s a great problem to have, we do want to resolve the inventory issue quickly, as it is the rate-limiting factor for us to pursue other growth opportunities. Being able to engage in these growth opportunities will allow us to pour the proverbial “gasoline on the fire” by moving forward with strategies – like paid ads, strategic individual and business partnerships, etc. – that will give BioLight the exposure and marketing that will fuel the company for parabolic growth. Ultimately, this will help position BioLight as a household name not only in the light therapy space but also in the medical, health, wellness, lifestyle, and biotech markets.

Inez Sanjaya

As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? Have you set any future goals for the company?

Michael Belkowski

We are not only constantly analyzing and assessing the current light therapy market but also the medical, health, wellness, lifestyle, and biotech markets, envisioning what those will look like five to 10 years from now. Technology is growing at an exceedingly rapid rate, so if you are only focused on the present, you will be left in the dust within a year or two. Being able to see where the trends are moving in the future allows you to adapt and integrate cutting-edge technology into your products (or have your technology integrated by other companies into their products) that both provides the end consumer with a superior, more effective product and keeps your company relevant for a longer period of time. Things like precision medicine and AI technology are the future of medicine and the wellness space. Health is becoming more and more personalized and automated by the day. There are limitless ways that red light therapy can be integrated into countless technologies and markets by a company that is as forward-thinking and creative as the technology allows.

We look forward to seeing where Michael and his team take the company. BioLight is currently raising on Republic.

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About: Inez Sanjaya

Inez's background is in the startup ecosystem, which she is very passionate about. Inez has experience working in a startup, a Google-backed accelerator, and lastly in Plug and Play Tech Center. Prior to this, she was a part of VU Venture Partners doing deal sourcing and conducting due diligence. Inez graduated from the University of California Berkeley with an Economics degree.

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