Brite Energy Among Award Recipients for Cleantech Conference

WARREN, Ohio – Brite Energy Innovators is among 15 organizations that have received $767,000 in funding that enables the incubator to host workshops at this year’s Camp Cleantech in Denver, Colo.

The funding was announced Thursday by the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, a $50 million clean technology program funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It is the eighth cycle of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator’s Channel Partner Strategic Awards.

The program provided funding to 15 organizations within the Channel Partner network, equipping them to host workshops at Camp Cleantech, which is scheduled for Aug. 12-14 at CSU Spur in Denver.

Camp Cleantech aims to equip attendees with critical tools and insights necessary for navigating the complexities of startup life while providing unparalleled access to ecosystem leaders, premier partners, incubators and accelerators.

“We are celebrating this year’s Strategic Award winners and looking forward to Camp Cleantech,” said Robyn Luhning, chief sustainability officer at Wells Fargo. “As the real economy demands more lower-carbon solutions, Wells Fargo continues to support the scaling of new solutions for a successful shift to a low-carbon economy.”

The workshops at Camp Cleantech will cover a range of topics critical to entrepreneurial success, including community and corporate partnerships, financing strategies, organizational development, product design and manufacturing, pilot and demonstration readiness and crafting compelling value propositions. These sessions are designed to equip climate-tech startups with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Aside from Brite, workshops will be presented by Activate Global, Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, Cleantech Group, Cleantech Open, Colorado Cleantech Industries Association, Dominion Energy Innovation Center, Elemental Excelerator, Evergreen Climate Innovations, Forge, Greentown Labs, Grid Catalyst, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator and Urban Future Lab at New York University.

This year’s awards also emphasize fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within the cleantech ecosystem, the organization said. Workshops will explore effective team building through both internal and external lenses, ensuring that startups are equipped to build inclusive, resilient and high-performing organizations.

“The significance of this year’s awards goes beyond the recognition of innovation; it embodies a concerted effort to elevate collaboration and engagement across the board,” said Sarah Derdowski, Innovation Incubator program director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Through Camp Cleantech, we’re setting a new standard in how we gather, inspire and propel our community forward.”

The selection process for this year’s awards was informed by comprehensive surveys and insights across the Channel Partner network, highlighting the ecosystem’s most pressing needs and areas for development. The awards prioritize projects that offer unique expertise and address key themes such as financing resources, pilots and demonstrations with corporate or industry partners, and strategies for overcoming barriers to innovation.

A portion of the awards, totaling $435,000, is dedicated to a select few recipients receiving additional follow-on funding to enhance and expand their workshop content and insights toward entrepreneurs in their local networks.

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator launched the Channel Partner awards program in 2017. These partners include more than 60 cleantech and agtech business incubators, accelerators, universities and industry experts. Since its inception, the Channel Partner Awards program has distributed more than $8 million, supporting 79 Strategic Awards and 232 Ecosystem or Connector Awards. The nationwide program engages thousands of entrepreneurs, students, investors, mentors and industry experts.

IN² invites climate-tech startups to register for Camp Cleantech starting May 1. For more information, visit the Camp Cleantech website.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.