BRITE Energy Innovators

COVID-19 Aid Award will Help Startups Continue Efforts

Wells Fargo awards BRITE $50K to operations, innovator lab, member support 

WARREN, OH – May 28, 2020 BRITE Energy Innovators announced today that it is the recipient of a grant from the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2). The grant program was created in an effort to provide support to IN2 partner organizations. The result of the program was the awarding of $900,000 in funding to 18 different channel partners – energy and clean tech incubators around the country. Funds from the program are designated so startups can retain staff and stay on path to commercialization in spite of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

“Startups have a difficult time getting from prototype to market even under the best of circumstances, and countless promising technologies focused on solutions to pressing global issues are at risk of being lost without immediate help,” said Ramsay Huntley, sustainable finance strategist at Wells Fargo. “Startups need to be able to adapt quickly to changing realities. IN2 is showing that it is prepared to do the same by being nimble in our support.” 

BRITE will use the $50,000 it received from the program to assist startups in varying capacities. $40,000 is dedicated for use of the lab and related services to assist companies with their efforts to refine and commercialize their products. To this effect, energy startups across the State of Ohio with a need to test devices in the BRITE Energy Labs can make use of the lab’s services in-kind.  

BRITE Chief Technology Officer and Lab Administrator Bill Whittenberger notes the importance of the grant in enabling small and medium enterprises to access the lab, stating “The advanced testing equipment in the lab is well-suited for performing early-stage testing in the development of energy technologies. Receiving this allows us to assist companies in using the lab, which could serve as a major step in helping them get their product to market.” 

The remaining $10,000 of the grant is dedicated to helping current BRITE portfolio companies directly impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Companies interested in making use of the BRITE Energy Labs services or joining the BRITE portfolio should apply on BRITE’s website or contact Sara Daugherty, Director of Operations via email: 

The support from IN2 comes after the announcement of renewed support for BRITE Energy Innovators as a channel partner early last month. You can view the full press release from the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator announcing the program here

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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