BRITE Energy Innovators

BRITE Advances Mission with $150,000 Award to Ignite Energy Innovation

EPIC Phase Round Winner Map

BRITE is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded the EPIC Round 3 Phase 1 prize, funded by the Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions. This $150,000 award is a significant boost for BRITE’s initiative to bridge the gap between university innovation projects and the competitive startup space. With this funding, BRITE is set to lead the charge in planning and executing meaningful support programs specifically designed to address the critical needs of underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs in academic and other environments who are developing game changing technologies in the energy space.

“This isn’t just a win for BRITE, this is a win for Ohio universities and their students who want to be on the forefront of solving the biggest problems of our generation, creating good paying jobs and mitigating climate change,” said BRITE President and CEO Rick Stockburger. “We’re excited for the partners we already have for this project, and even more excited for the fellow travelers we’re yet to meet to be a part of a very BRITE future for our talented young people in Ohio.”

While support exists to fund academic and lab-driven research within universities, moving this research to the marketplace is more challenging. This funding helps bridge the gap that exists between the academic environment and entrepreneurial support ecosystems.

BRITE helps hundreds of scientists, engineers, and innovators navigate this journey from bench-to-market by understanding the industry needs and training founders on how to build a sustainable business. The EPIC prize will help BRITE expand this programming in a more substantial way to university campuses to unlock the talent and innovations within these communities, with a specific mission to make entrepreneurship accessible for a diverse pipeline of entrepreneurs, particularly from underrepresented communities.

“This program is about coming alongside university entrepreneurship and research programming and building a pathway for all of the great talent and ideas to break out of the university ecosystem and into the market,” explained Jing Lyon, BRITE’s Program Director. “Our ultimate objective is to empower every student with the necessary support to materialize their concepts into commercially viable ventures. This journey starts with engagement and outreach, underscoring that entrepreneurship is a viable avenue for all. Then, we offer guidance to aspiring founders on the intricacies of launching a startup, followed by facilitating connections with industry partners and securing funding to expedite the journey from concept to market.”

EPIC Round 3 is part of OTT’s broader Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) which provides funding and support to place-based incubators to encourage robust growth of regional energy innovation ecosystems across the United States. The EPIC program is designed to encourage energy innovation ecosystems, increase local business productivity, and improve the commercial success of energy startups. This is the third consecutive year of the competition, which continues to expand its impact with each iteration.

About BRITE: BRITE is an innovation-first ecosystem advancing the transition to a clean energy economy. Founded as a 501c3 nonprofit in 2010 to accelerate energy technology and economic development in Northeast Ohio, we’ve since helped more than 650 companies across the state scale to create more than 2,100 good-paying jobs, and secure third-party investment of over $250 million.

About the Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions: The Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) is one of the largest supporters of technology commercialization in the federal government. Founded in 2015, OTT bolsters the technology industry’s market skills and enables clean energy technologies to progress through research, development, demonstration, and to deployment into the private sector to meet our nation’s climate goals. Visit us at to learn more and subscribe to receive our latest opportunities and accomplishments via email. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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