Glenn Van Duikeren
After nearly a decade working in the sports lighting sector for community clubs, Glenn Van Duikeren saw that conventional lighting systems were not providing the functionality required. In his own time, he developed eSwitch, Australia's first remote sports lighting control system.
My name is Glenn Van Duikeren, I'm from eSwitch Proprietary Limited and I'm from Brisbane.
eSwitch develop innovative lighting control systems to help sports clubs adopt a more sustainable approach to their lighting.
In terms of changes in the industry over the last few years, it's definitely been all about sustainable products and this is bought on by the ever-increasing cost in power.
I had very little business experience. I had a lot of project management experience in terms of materials, time management and labour, but in terms of business, taxation, running a business in general, very, very limited.
Bright Sport is one of our products that was funded by the Queensland State Government and it allows members of the community to search for, book and pay for available flood-lit green space on their mobile phone and then eSwitch operates the lights on and off automatically according to the booking.
Electricity bills are the largest costs sports clubs in Queensland need to cover via fundraising. After nearly a decade working in the sports lighting sector for community clubs, Glenn Van Duikeren kept seeing the same issues arise. He continued to see escalating power bills, over-worked volunteers trying to raise funds, and lights being left on overnight, with subsequent complaints to council. Glenn knew that conventional electrical control systems were simply not providing the functionality needed for clubs to sustainably manage their field lights. After 2 years of concept, software and product development in his garage, eSwitch was created. As Australia's first purpose-built, remote lighting control system designed for sports clubs, eSwitch enables users to operate field lights securely via their smartphones. When the technology was successfully piloted at Mitchelton Football Club, it resulted in a 30% annual reduction in energy use, saving the club around $10,000.
When Glenn was made redundant in 2016, he turned his passion project into his business and obtained his electrical contractor's license. Today, eSwitch operates at 15 clubs across South East Queensland and Townsville. Clients include the Queensland Government, Toowoomba Regional Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Brisbane Lions Academy.
It is the flow-on benefits of the innovative technology to the community clubs that have set eSwitch Sports Lighting apart. Sustainable energy use enables them to invest more funds into other areas such as training, equipment and encouraging more people to play sport. The eSwitch system also enables coaches and volunteers, who used to manually operate the switchboxes late at night, to turn the lights on and off via their phones from the safety of their car or clubhouse, ensuring lights are never accidentally left on. In 2017, eSwitch Sports Lighting received funding from Advance Queensland as part of its Small Business Innovation Research Program. This grant has allowed them to further develop lighting control innovation, creating a new initiative called 'Bright Sport': a search, book and play platform for community green spaces with lighting available.
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