BRITE Energy Innovators

Reflecting on FounderFest with StartInCle

First off, it was a lot of fun, considering the amount of time that we as founders spend alone and depressed. I always make sure that when you do spend that 1% of your time building community (99% should be focused on your product and customers) that it’s fun.  

Guiding Premise: This community is for Founders. Our focus is helping Founders. Our success depends on the success of our Founders and our Founders will be more successful if the community supports them.  

Ryan Frederick is a rockstar. I don’t know how else to say it. He’s a guy who’s been successful, failed, but pours himself into his startup community in Columbus. He really is one of the biggest catalysts of that ecosystem, and the fact that he drove 4+ hours to spend 45 minutes chatting and laughing with us is a true testament to that. The more Ryan’s we can grow in Northeast Ohio the better off we will be, of that I’m sure.  

Anna Bucholz gets it done. She’s always looking for opportunities to help. She really is what we can rely on as the fabric of our community.  She epitomizes the qualities that we all should be aspiring to have in our little corner of the ecosystem. 

Courtney Gras is a true champion of Northeast Ohio. She now works remotely for TechStars. While she could literally choose to live anywhere in the world, she’s stayed right here because of you, for this community.  

When I think about what community is about, what it means to give without expectation, or to be willing to ask for help, I think a lot about the people and communities that have supported me. While sitting on this panel, I could see a lot of you that have poured into me and made me the man that I am today. It’s odd to think how much I really owe to my community; how many times I asked for help and was never turned down, how many times I needed to talk through something late at night and someone from the community was there for me. Ya’ll inspire me every day.  

When I think about supporting peers, I think about that cup of sugar I borrowed, and I always remember to share the cookies I make not just with the person that gave me the sugar, but with the rest of our neighbors too. Onward.  

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