MN8 Foxfire Named to Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America by Entrepreneur Magazine

MN8 Foxfire, UL-certified developer of photoluminescent safety products, was recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur360™ Performance Index, a premier study delivering the most comprehensive analysis of private companies in America. Based on this study forged by Entrepreneur, MN8 Foxfire is recognized as a company that exemplifies growth, not just in top and bottom line, but in sustainability and ability to achieve lasting success.

“MN8 is steadfast in creating a scalable and sustainable business, and committed to making the firefighting industry – and those they protect – safer,” said Zachary Green, CEO of MN8 Foxfire. “We are honored to be listed among the ‘Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America,’ and thank all our firefighter brothers and sisters for supporting us and Entrepreneur for recognizing the hardworking entrepreneurs that make up the fabric of American business.”

“Those honored have identified problems in the world, come up with a solution no one else ever dared, and built their enterprises around it,” says Ryan Shea, president of Entrepreneur Media. “They’ve accomplished new ways of producing sustainable growth and are an inspiration to others who want to fulfill their own entrepreneurial goals.”

MN8 Foxfire’s photoluminescent products illuminate zero-light, smoke-filled environments on firefighters’ helmets, tools and equipment to increase accountability and decrease disorientation, reducing the most common problems firefighters encounter that can lead to serious injury and death. Both energy-efficient and cost-effective, Foxfire’s photoluminescent products illuminate in total darkness with some emitting an afterglow of up to 80 hours after charging in any light source for seconds. LumAware is the company’s safety and egress division. After serving more than 65,000 firefighters in over 25 countries, MN8 expanded into providing commercial buildings, sports arenas, universities, hotels and more, with photoluminescent emergency egress systems and exit signs, including a UL-approved exit sign that requires no batteries, electricity or testing.

Through in-depth surveys, the team of editors and researchers behind the E360 Performance Index collected more than 250 pieces of data from hundreds of participating U.S. based companies, focusing on growth drivers and challenges, goal setting, resource allocations, and reward systems. The analysis uncovered a subset of companies including MN8 Foxfire whose continued success is largely based on superior value creation for their customers, building an adaptive learning culture, and aggressive geographic expansion—making them the most dynamic firms in America today.


About MN8 Foxfire and LumAware

MN8 Foxfire and LumAware is a firefighter-owned company that develops energy-efficient and cost-effective photoluminescent products for more than 65,000 firefighters and hundreds of safety and egress systems in 25 countries around the world. Foxfire’s fire safety products include photoluminescent fire helmet bands and tetrahedrons, tool coating kits, grip wraps, and equipment bands. LumAware, MN8’s safety and egress division, offers more than 30 various UL924-listed exit signs, a patented illuminating liquid stair nosing line stripe system, and safety signs ranging from fire extinguisher labels to floor numbers.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce awarded MN8 Foxfire its ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award for 2013; and both the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and Cincinnati Innovates have recognized MN8 Foxfire for its efforts in developing technology that keeps both firefighters and citizens safer. The company is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. To learn more, visit or

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What Can Photoluminecent EXIT Signs Do For You?


No batteries, light bulbs, electricity, or testing.

LEED Credits

LumAware EXIT signs qualify for 3 different LEED credits: EA, MR, and ID.

Significant Cost Savings

Over electric EXIT signs.

25 Year Warranty

Every LumAware has a 25-year warranty.

Recharged Indefinitely

With as little as 5-foot candles of ambient light, which is always available where egress lighting is required.

Exceptional Customer Service

Certified fire/building inspectors who are all available to personally assist in answering any questions or concerns with replacing traditional signs with LumAware.

The Problem With Low Level EXIT Signs

Remember those fire safety talks as a little kid? They told you to stay down low and crawl when you encounter smoke. Smoke rises and tends to increase in volume and intensity near doors and exits. Then why are traditional EXIT signs high above the door and ceilings.

Why do most codes require they be located near the ceiling when smoke would obscure them and render them useless?

The answer is simple – Tombstone Regulations.

Tombstone Regulations are basically waiting for people to die before requiring improvements in codes and regulations. One of the worst fires in the history of Las Vegas occurred when an out of control kitchen fire spread to the ventilation system of the famed MGM Grand Hotel. Smoke quickly filled the hallways and obscured most of the lights and EXIT signs. Panicked people did not know which way to egress and exit the building. 87 people never found the way to safety and perished.

Las Vegas learned from this tragedy and eventually required all hotels to require low level exit signage. If you walk down any hallway in Las Vegas you can see the results of these Tombstone Regulations. Why are virtually no other buildings outside of Las Vegas not following their lead?

It’s great that low-level EXIT signs are installed but traditional electric EXIT signs do have some drawbacks.

One of the main problems with traditional plastic EXIT signs placed down low is that they are frequently damaged by luggage carts, vacuum cleaners and people accidently kicking them. Additionally, they can be costly to install and maintain. Electric EXIT signs need to be tested monthly (as required by the NFPA) and are expensive to maintain because of electricity, replacement batteries and light bulbs. There is a better alternative…MN8 LumAware UL listed EXIT signs and photoluminescent wayfinding solutions.

LumAware’s PL (photoluminescent) EXIT signs are a superior alternative as they are maintenance free, very durable and cost almost nothing to install. In addition to the benefits LumAware’s many different styles of PL EXIT signs, LumAware also has a patented stairwell illumination system that has been tested by UL to meet the ASTM E2072/3 standards of the IBC, IFC, ICC codes. This stairwell illumination system can help people find their way down stairwells in the event of a fire or electrical failure that would normally leave them in complete darkness.

EXIT Sign Energy Use By The Numbers

Exit Sign Lighting TechnologyAnnual Energy Costs
LumAware Photoluminescent
Fluorescent / CFL
Skill or Task

LumAware and LEED

EA Credit #1

Energy and Atmosphere:
Optimizing Energy Performance

To qualify for this LEED V2.2 Credit [worth up to 10 points] a building project must demonstrate improvement in the proposed building energy performance compared to a baseline criteria specified in ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, or comply with prescriptive measures of ASHRAE ‘Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Office Buildings’, or comply with the ‘Basis Criteria and Prescriptive Measures’ of the Advanced Buildings Benchmark. More points are awarded to building projects using less energy than “baseline” guidelines prescribed by ASHRAE or the Advanced Buildings Benchmark. With respect to exit signs, these guidelines are formulated on the basis of installing modern LED exit signs which use about 5 watts of power.

Although the impact of a few exit signs using 5 watts is not significant, larger facilities can employ thousands of exit signs in high and low applications. Recognizing that electrically powered exit signs must be energized 24 hours/day x 365 days/year, a typical large building project with 500 LED exit signs, each using 5 watts of power, burns nearly 22,000 kwh of electricity annually, costing about $3,000 at $.14/kwh. Since MN8 LumAware Exit Signs are charged from nearby area lighting and require no direct power, there is no related electricity cost. Consequently, MN8 LumAware Exit Signs will positively contribute to the calculations that determine the energy efficiency of a building project. Depending upon the number of exit signs in your building, this additional energy savings can be significant in obtaining points toward EA Credit #1.

MR Credit #4

Materials and Resources: Recycled Content

MR Credit #4 requires that 10% of the dollar value of permanently installed project materials consist of recycled content. The recycled content value of a material is determined by its adjusted recycled weight [=100% post consumer component weight + 50% preconsumer component weight] multiplied by the total dollar value of the assembly.

Since several MN8 LumAware Exit Signs are made primarily of metal with a high recycled content, these exit signs will contribute greatly toward this credit.

As an example, for a typical $89.95 aluminum wall mount Photoluminescent Exit Sign that weighs approx. 12.8 ounces:

  • Post-consumer recycled content component weight = 5.9 ounces
  • Pre-consumer recycled content component weight = 2.5 ounces
  • Non-recycled component weight = 4.4 ounces

Recycled content value = [100% x [5.9/12.8 + .5 x 2.5/12.8]] x $89.95 Of one exit sign = $49

ID Credit #1.1

Innovation in Design: Significant Environmental Benefits

There are two avenues available to obtain Innovation in Design points. Using MN8 LumAware Exit Signs works best with the avenue whereby the project team demonstrates a comprehensive approach toward employing a product or technology that has significant environmental benefits not addressed or credited in other LEED categories. The comprehensive approach targets optimizing the benefits and trade-offs of an innovation proposal throughout its life cycle phases: design, procurement, construction, operational and decommissioning.

The advantages of MN8 LumAware Exit Signs span all the life cycle phases with the following environmental benefits:

  • Fewer Building Materials Required
  • Energy Efficient
  • High Percentage of Recycled and Recyclable Materials
  • No Hazardous Materials or Wastes
  • Longer Lifespan
  • Less Maintenance

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Kroger Selects LumAware EXIT Signs

Kroger, the world’s third-largest retailer with $110 billion in sales and a 35-state footprint, is increasing investment in its own stores – more than $4 billion to open new stores, expand or renovate old supermarkets. As part of this plan, Kroger enlisted fellow member of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber MN8®, developer of photoluminescent safety products, to install its LumAware® energy-free exit signs at all new and renovated Kroger stores nationwide.

MN8, created by firefighter Zachary Green, also develops, manufactures and sells photoluminescent products under their Foxfire® brand to keep more than 65,000 firefighters and those they protect safe. MN8 products don’t just glow in the dark, they emanate (or MN8), light. These zero-energy EXIT signs eliminate the need for batteries, light bulbs, electricity and maintenance. The signs are being manufactured by people with severe vision loss at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (CABVI).

“It is estimated that Kroger will save over $6 million and reduce its carbon footprint by over 50 million pounds over the next 15 years by transitioning to LumAware EXIT signs,” said Keith Oliver, VP of Facility Engineering at Kroger.

“We use LumAware technology in our retail store locations because it aligns with our core value of safety and reinforces our commitment to give back to the communities we serve by providing job opportunities for people, especially those with disabilities,” said Reuben Shaffer, Chief Diversity Officer at Kroger.

“People who can’t see are helping those who can to navigate in the dark,” said Zachary Green, CEO of MN8. “Coincidentally, Barney Kroger, who created the Kroger chain of retail stores, was the first board chair of the Cincinnati Association for the Welfare of the Blind.”

“CABVI may have started as a grassroots charity, but we have grown to become a high performing social enterprise,” said John Mitchell, CABVI CEO. “We are ISO 9001:2008 certified, a quality standard that many for-profit companies aspire to. We are grateful to MN8, Kroger, and the Chamber for believing in CABVI’s mission, the capabilities of our employees, and a commitment to community inclusion.”

“The Chamber models inclusiveness and regional thinking into everything it does,” said Jill Meyer, Chamber president & CEO. “We are proud to have helped these three member companies connect and grateful that MN8 is employing those who are often regarded as unemployable.”

“The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber helps small businesses, like mine, connect with big businesses and with each other,” added Green. “Through those connections, we are changing lives for the visually impaired in our region and saving lives with LumAware® products in Kroger stores around the nation.”

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