Wind Down the Week During Brite Virtual Happy Hour

WARREN, Ohio — To keep its portfolio companies engaged during the coronavirus pandemic, Brite Energy Innovators has launched its Virtual Happy Hour.

Every Friday at 4 p.m., more than 35 member companies and other energy-related startups are invited to attend the informal sessions connecting new energy tech entrepreneurs with Brite’s Expert Network, according to a release. The one-hour sessions include fellowship, facilitated engagement and presentations on everything from COVID-19 marketing strategy, to techniques for attracting investors to Department of Energy initiative updates.

“We’re always looking for unique ways to connect our founders statewide, but their availability is always limited due to their project efforts,” says Brite CEO Rick Stockburger. “The stay-at-home order made this a great time to be able to get these innovators together, find out what they are working on and see what we can do to help.”

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams allows for virtual meetings to be more common during the quarantine. Anyone interested in participating in the Virtual Happy Hour can call Daniel Sylak at 330 766 4438 to request an invitation.

Amy Duffuor, principal at the Boston-based Prime Impact Fund, was the featured speaker during the May 1 happy hour.

“I had a blast,” Duffuor says. “I came in expecting to shed light on the types of companies that align with our investment thesis, but was blown away by the thoughtful questions regarding uses of catalytic capital and strategies for channeling more investment into the Midwest. I’m looking forward to strengthening my relationship with the Brite ecosystem.”

Other attendees report positive experiences during the happy hour.

“This is a great way to end the week,” says John Lauletta, CEO of Columbus-based Exacter. “Discussing triumphs and tribulations with fellow founders is a worthwhile destress hour to relax your way into the weekend.”

“Chatting with a Zoom room full of founders has been good for the soul, especially during this lockdown,” adds Jim Clair, president of Skysun, a solar power racking and tracking solutions company. “Having an excuse to imbibe at 4 pm sharp doesn’t hurt either.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.