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40 Under 40

A bright light in South Australia

40 Under 40

The William Buck award for the state’s top young entrepreneur was won by Valo founder and CEO Aaron Hickmann for his development of LED lighting systems.

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Over the past decade, VALO CEO and founder Aaron Hickmann’s LED lights have lit up spaces across South Australia and shone through buildings as large as the Titanium Security Arena.

The company’s technology has pushed into fields spanning transport, sport and defence and partnered with businesses and events – like light, art, technology and winter festival Illuminate Adelaide.

Illuminate Adelaide will feature events such as Canada’s Moment Factory, a site-specific show to the Adelaide Botanic Garden.

Hickmann said he was excited to be the official lighting partner to the new festival in Adelaide.

“We are excited to partner with the inaugural Illuminate Adelaide event which celebrates the union between art, technology, music and light; we are proud to be showcasing VALO product manufactured less than 1km from the heart of the Adelaide CBD at our new high-tech headquarters in Kent Town,” he said.

Last year VALO also invested in a multi-million dollar facility and redevelopment in Kent Town with surface mounting technology production line, semi-autonomous production robotics and eight metal and carbon-fibre composite printers for 3D printing.

Hickmann’s hope is the new technology facility will help accelerate the nation’s high-tech production and ultimately return manufacturing to Australia.

He said VALO’s ever-expanding presence has pushed revenue from $100k in the 2019 financial year to more than $9 million and helped grow the team from two to 10.

A self-described serial entrepreneur, the young South Australian is also investing in drone technology and plans to launch a large drone fleet later this year. Aaron intends to use the fleet to solve issues in wind farm and lighting maintenance and search and rescue missions.

He believes there’s a way to do better and it’s his job to find it.

The William Buck Entrepreneurial Award recognises an outstanding lateral business thinker and risktaker exhibiting entrepreneurial flair.

Pick up a copy of the Winter Edition of CityMag from your favourite coffee haunt to read all the 40 Under 40 profiles and more.

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