Luma7: Kickstarting Creativity

Text by Kassandra Bucher

Have you ever felt stuck coming up with new ideas?

Swiss startup Luma7, currently taking part in the CTI Market Validation Camp at swissnex San Francisco, finally solves the problem of brainstorm blockage by providing a platform that puts any subject, including Star Wars, into context with other content to spark new ideas and speed up fruitful brainstorming.

The platform is basically an online search engine—or rather, a creativity engine—that discovers relationships between seemingly random words, documents, or webpages.

Visualized as a mind map, it creates an elaborate diagram of bubbles and lines showing the main search term in the center with radiating branches to other ideas, which can be accepted or rejected. Like a spider, Luma7 spins a web of connections. This web allows a user to see the big picture while highlighting links he or she probably wouldn’t have come up with.

For example, if your central search term is Star Wars, says Nelio Barros, developer and CEO of Luma7, a direct link would be Lightsaber. Another link might be Luke Skywalker, while a more distant connection might be Redwood Forest (because that’s where the Empire Strikes Back episode was filmed).

L7packshot resize


swissnex San Francisco knows a lot about connections. At swissnex, Barros is working with Cyril Dorsaz, Head of the Startup and Innovations Services, to define Luma7’s target group and product range by connecting to the right people.

“Everything important in the tech industry starts in San Francisco, that’s why I came here,” says Barros.

Dorsaz points out the potential of the Swiss startup. “Nelio and his team have built an amazing technology to analyze relationships,” he says. “Our program is supporting Luma 7 to find their first customers in Silicon Valley.”

Birth of an Idea

In 2012 the idea for Luma7 was born in the inspiring surroundings of the Rolex Learning Center, on the EPFL campus in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Barros liked to work sometimes on his graphic design projects (he founded his graphic design company, kinobrand, six years ago and still counts several loyal customers to this day).

While brainstorming and making a mind map of his own, from scratch, he realized that it would only go as far as his own mind did. “But I wanted to create the best idea possible,” he recalls.

The rest is startup history. Ready to start making mind-blowing mind maps of your own and brainstorm the next great idea? What are you waiting for?