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Featured Alumni

Applied Science & Engineering Alumni

Gimmy Chu

Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) 2006

Gimmy Chu credits the University of Toronto with encouraging him to think both "outside and beyond the box." He took the suggestion literally, and helped develop something that comes in a box - the world's most energy-efficient light bulb.

Gimmy Chu is the product development manager for Nanoleaf, a company he started with fellow U of T grads Tom Rodinger and Christian Yan.  It is a green technology company dedicated to creating “a better world through conservation and to preserve the planet that we love.”

The company’s first product to hit the market was the Nanoleaf LED light bulb, which is proclaimed to be the most energy efficient in the world.  It uses only 12 watts of electricity and can last 30,000 hours, or about three hours a day for 25 years.  It generates the same amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent light bulb. The product was launched on the Kickstarter.com website and raised more than $270,000 in start-up money through crowd funding.

Chu says that his experience at U of T “builds confidence in you, you believe in yourself to kind of push the boundaries, and really innovate. There are really no limits to what you are capable of doing.”

Chu and Rodinger say the “ultimate goal” of Nanoleaf is to make products that bring more convenience to our lives but at the same time develop them “so that the world we live in is better, greener and sustainable.” The Nanoleaf light bulb fits into a standard lamp socket, switches on immediately, creates a pleasant glow and is cool to the touch. Using it can save up to 88 per cent of electricity than incandescent bulbs and thus lead to a dramatic decrease in power costs.

Chu says saving electricity is a “global problem,” not a “local problem.”  He is focusing on the efforts in sourcing affordable and suitable components for the Nanoleaf as well as managing the planning and execution of the Nanoleaf products.

He has more than seven years of experience as a technology consultant and delivered projects for clients including TD Bank, Hawaiian Telcom, Frontier Communications, Best Buy and Jack in the Box.

The bulbs can be ordered from Amazon.com in the U.S. and the Nanoleaf webstore in Canada, Europe and Asia. They cost $35 each.

When Chu isn’t busy with Nanoleaf, he can be found on a surfboard, tunnelling waves and enjoying the vast open waters, or playing with Cookie, his Jack Russell terrier and biggest fan.

 

Published Dec. 9, 2013.

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