Cedarburg company makes life-size Lite-Brites

Adam Butlein Greenspan

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:09 pm

LiteZilla LLC

Location: Cedarburg

Founder: Adam Butlein Greenspan

Founded: 2013

Product: Interactive light boards

Website: litezilla.com

Employees: One full-time, two part-time

Goal: Double the business to $1 million in revenue this year.

Experience: Greenspan previously co-founded social enterprise clothing retailer Uniform, and was a partner at home electronics installer Techteriors in Mequon.

Adam Butlein Greenspan
Credit: Jake Hill Photography

Many kids have fond memories of playing with Lite-Brite toys as a kid. A backlit pegboard was the canvas, and tiny colored bulbs were the paint.

But imagine if the Lite-Brite was life-size.

“I built a giant Lite-Brite for my kids, my wife posted it on Facebook and it went viral,” said Adam Butlein Greenspan.

In 2013, Greenspan founded LiteZilla LLC around his innovation, and in 2016, it launched retail sales. So far, the company has sold about 120 of the light boards, which retail for $10,000 to $27,000. They come in five sizes, from 4 feet by 5 feet, to 12 feet by 6 feet.

LiteZilla, which is based in Cedarburg, has the light boards contract manufactured at Jonco Industries Inc. in Milwaukee using as many local components as possible.

The light board is sold online to general consumers, and even earned a spot in the Hammacher Schlemmer gift catalog. But it’s also marketed to dentist and pediatrician offices as an activity for waiting rooms. Children with neurological disorders and autism are particularly drawn to the LiteZilla, and some have seen a positive impact from using it, Greenspan said.

For example, LiteZilla donated a unit to the radiation oncology waiting room at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Patients use the board to relax and express their creativity.

“This year is about continuing to be on the trajectory of growth that we have been, which is doubling each year, but also finding our foothold in one or two industries that are going to be most consistent,” he said. “We are in talks with some folks like Disney, we are in talks with a lot of hotel chains, we are in talks with some hospitals.”

This year, LiteZilla is launching two new products: A LiteZilla table that retails for $1,000 to $1,500, and a smaller 3-by-3 version of the wall unit at a lower price point around $5,500.

Greenspan has faced the challenge of reducing costs without compromising his design.

So far, he has self-funded the business and raised about $200,000 from friends and family.

“To maintain the current traction that we have in the business, it’s going to take some capital so we don’t slow ourselves down,” Greenspan said.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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