Valley Children's Hospital nurses demonstrate Lumify's uNight Light. Image via Lumify Facebook page

published on August 17, 2021 - 2:12 PM
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A Central Valley nurse snagged a Silicon Valley investment in her new company.

uNight Light, designed and co-founded by Valley Children’s NICU nurse Jennifferre Mancillas, is the brainchild of Lumify Care. It was designed to be used in the NICU for nurses and staff to see in low-lit settings without waking patients. It has since taken off in multiple hospitals. Business growth has followed.

“Y Combinator is the most elite business accelerator in the world. Lumify Care has received quite a bit of traction since the launch of our flagship product in February,” she said. 

She and her co-founder Anthony Scarpone-Lambert, a University of Pennsylvania student, have been able to get uNight Light into 250 hospitals in all 50 states.

“We get to kind of pave the way for the nursing profession on a bigger playing field for innovation and entrepreneurship, which is really fun,” Mancillas said.

Y Combinator, an investment group based in Silicon Valley, invests $125,000 twice yearly in startups through a three-month program, in exchange for a small portion of equity. 

They were accepted into the summer cohort, which started in June and runs through the end of August. At the end of the month, Lumify Care has its demo day.

The group has invested in companies like Airbnb, DoorDash, Dropbox, Instacart and Coinbase. Lumify Care is the first nurse-led group to be the beneficiary of an investment, and the first from the Central Valley. 

“We were blown away with the rapid growth of uNight Light, which cut through the typical slow hospital sales process with an elegantly simple product that solves a huge problem. We believed this could be the start of a huge company, built for nurses by nurses, and that Jennifferre and Anthony were the perfect founders to do that,” said Y Combinator Group Partner Jared Friedman. 

Mancillas said this was the first time that Lumify Care had taken on funding for equity, so although nerve wracking, the resources she and Scarpone-Lambert received through the cohort at Y Combinator were priceless.

“Just to be able to kind of pick the brains of some incredible founders and partners along the way has been exponentially amazing,” she said. 

Lumify Hub will launch on Aug. 23, and it will be a marketplace for the medical field with reviews of the best products, and partnerships with brands like Jaanuu, Eko, Under Armour, NurseGrid and Hello Fresh. She said the idea came from observing how overwhelming it is for health care professionals to navigate their professional ecosystem.

When buying scrubs, shoes or interacting with their scheduling platform, they have to go to each individual website to access those things. 

“It’s very disjointed, very siloed, and we knew that we could do a better job,” she said. 

“In the light of Covid-19 peaks and surges, it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out what stethoscope is going to work best for you,” Mancillas added. 

The hub will streamline many high points of access for nurses, such as continuing education, transparent product reviews, access to mental health resources and nurse-led communities and podcasts. It will also sell Lumify Care products on the Hub, which will feature its upcoming second version of the uNight Light and a new software product. 

One requirement of participating in the Y Combinator cohort was to work full time at the company the project represented, so Mancillas took a break from her job as a nurse for three months. 

It was difficult, she said, because she loved working with patients and families in the NICU. 

“In the future, the sky’s the limit. We see really big things for Lumify Care to be able to grow it and be an even bigger presence in the hospitals and with health care professionals,” she said.


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