WARREN – Unprecedented changes in 2020 led significant growth for Brite Energy Innovators and its entrepreneurial clients.
Many individuals who lost jobs because of shutdowns turned to entrepreneurship, reports Daniel Sylak, Brite’s marketing and events specialist. Demand quadrupled for the Warren-based energy tech incubator’s early-stage startup support services as the nonprofit onboarded more than five times the number of startups it welcomed the previous year, he says.
To meet the increased demand, Brite hired a full-time Venture for America Fellow as its client success manager, and three part-time staff: a finance manager, facilities manager and electric mobility consultant. Additionally, Brite added four interns to assist startups and partners.
Many of Brite’s clients found more time to commit to their startups and, in turn, achieved remarkable milestones. Several pivoted to fulfill needs created by the pandemic, while others were featured in a White House report on the success of Opportunity Zone funding.
“A startup launched a disaster response solution targeted at addressing the aftermath of the pandemic head-on,” Sylak says.
In 2021, Brite looks to build out support for companies in the electric mobility space, increase its capacity to assist startups, and focus on serving a more diverse group of founders “as we recognize the racial and gender disparity issues in energy tech entrepreneurship,” he says.