Brite Energy Innovators Accelerates Startups, to Initiate Fundraising

By Daniel Sylak, Marketing and Events Specialist
It was a big year for Brite Energy Innovators in 2019 and this new year serves to be even more transformative for the nonprofit founded in 2011 as the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center.

Following a successful rebrand launched at the inaugural Energy Storage Building Efficiency Conference held in September at our downtown Warren headquarters, we gained massive press for a variety of exciting new developments in the northeastern Ohio energy storage cluster. 

We plan to continue driving brand awareness statewide with a series of events to engage our stakeholders. 

A fundraising campaign we are initiating in Columbus will allow us to continue serving entrepreneurs across Ohio and those wishing to relocate or expand operations to Ohio. 

And we have a list of events set to engage the local community including the highly anticipated follow-up to the ESBE Conference.

Throughout 2019 we established key relationships with up-and-coming companies such as Hyperion Motors and Lordstown Motors Corp. and with well-established companies including TOYO System, LG Chem and General Motors Co. 

We will continue enhancing these relationships in 2020 to see our portfolio companies’ technologies used in new and exciting ways alongside the creation of new opportunities for the Valley. 

Because of the rapid advancement of companies in the energy sector  and growth throughout the energy storage cluster in northeastern Ohio, we anticipate the demand for entrepreneurial support services to rise drastically. 

This will be supplanted by our  exciting partnership with TechGrowth, which enables us to expand services provided to entrepreneurs in Appalachian counties and southeastern Ohio.

This greater need for support services will include access to testing and development equipment. In anticipation, we have further built out the Brite Energy Labs energy-testing facilities. 

With the support of the state, this build-out has allowed us to prepare for the advanced testing needs of electric vehicle startups as well as the remainder of early stage companies we anticipate serving throughout 2020. 

Included in our expanse of services is a greater focus on teaching startups to develop pitches so they are prepared to secure large rounds of funding from investors. 

While this growth is exciting and fundamental to the economic growth of the region, it will put strain on our resources as an incubator. So watch for us  to expand our team throughout the year.

In 2019, we added to our staff with the addition of a vice president of technology acceleration, a marketing and events specialist, and the hiring of five interns. Among our new staff, Sara Daugherty, director of operations, was named a Notable Woman in Nonprofit by Crain’s. 

Going forward, we anticipate the need for more talent to continue growing as we source interns for our portfolio companies and additional staff to assist in the operation of our inaugural accelerator program.

Brite Energy Innovators employs four full-time employees, three part- time employees and four interns studying at Youngstown State University in varying fields.

Brite serves as Ohio’s only energy incubator, assisting early stage tech and energy startups. 

Our offices contain energy labs,  coworking and event spaces and space for 19 small businesses and startups. 

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.