BRITE Energy Innovators

BRITE Serves Up A Virtual Happy Hour

Startups get weekly opportunity for expert Q&A, small group networking

WARREN, OHIO – May 2, 2020 In an effort to maintain its high levels of engagement with portfolio companies during the pandemic, BRITE Energy Innovators has launched a weekly Virtual Happy Hour on Friday afternoons at 4pm EST.  Available as a member benefit to its more than 35 member companies, the series has connected these new energy tech entrepreneurs with BRITE’s Expert Network. The one-hour, informal sessions include fellowship, facilitated engagement and presentations on everything from COVID-19 marketing strategy, to techniques for attracting investors to Department of Energy initiative updates. 

“We’re always looking for unique ways to connect our statewide, but their availability is always limited due to their project efforts,” explains BRITE CEO Rick Stockburger. “The stay-at-home order made this a great time to be able to get these innovators together, find out what they are working on and see what we can do to help.” 

The wide availability of video conferencing options like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams has allowed for the virtual meeting to become commonplace in all industries during quarantine.  The ease of use of this technology has allowed people to continue networking while practicing social distancing and staying at home.  

Thanks to BRITE, participants are learning something, and presenters are enjoying it, too! 

“This is a great way to end the week,” says John Lauletta, CEO of Columbus-based Exacter. “Discussing triumphs and tribulations with fellow founders is a worthwhile destress hour to relax your way into the weekend.” 

“Chatting with a Zoom room full of founders has been good for the soul, especially during this lockdown,” remarks Jim Clair, president of Skysun, Bay solar power racking and tracking solutions company. “Having an excuse to imbibe at 4 pm sharp doesn’t hurt either!”  

“I had a blast!,” says Prime Impact Fund’s Amy Duffuor. The principal at Boston-based Prime Impact Fund was the featured speaker at BRITE’s May 1 event. “I came in expecting to shed light on the types of companies that align with our investment thesis, but was blown away by the thoughtful questions regarding uses of catalytic capital, strategies for channeling more investment into the Midwest, and how to support BRITE companies to tell their climate story. I’m looking forward to strengthening my relationship with the BRITE ecosystem.” 

About BRITE: Formerly the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, BRITE is the State of Ohio’s only energy incubator and it exists to support founders and startups in the energy sector, including advanced materials, energy storage, fuel cells and the Internet of Things. BRITE operates the BRITE Energy Lab, an event venue for the community and coworking space for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It aims to serve as a resource to the community by bringing together bright minds with innovative solutions while creating opportunities for Northeast Ohio.


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