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TBEIC gets rebranded as Brite Energy Innovators to reflect future

WARREN — It took Rick Stockburger more time to explain the meaning of TBEIC than it did for him to describe what they did at the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center.

People often mispronounced the acronym, too, and the name wasn’t so much inclusive of the community, nor did it really reflect the future of the downtown Warren energy company incubator, said Stockburger, its president and CEO.

That’s why a rebrand was necessary. TBEIC is now known as Brite Energy Innovators.

The new name was unveiled last week during Brite’s two-day energy storage and efficiency conference last week. Also made public was the incubator’s new website, www.brite.org.

“The best way (to describe it) and kind of why we did it, just the bright people, bright labs, bright future. If you take bright people and you put them in great spaces, great labs, you have a bright future for your community,” Stockburger said.

Brite engaged marketing and design firm +Public, which created the popular “City of You” campaign for Youngstown. Brite also engaged upward of 80 people in the community, including entrepreneurs in Warren, northeast Ohio and elsewhere across Ohio.

“I also really wanted a name that reflected the national ecosystem … so we wanted to make sure we could honor who we are and where we’re from and talk about what we are doing and also to be able to be a competitor on the national stage,” Stockburger said.

Brite has 22 portfolio companies that work on battery / energy storage and efficiency. The West Market Street facility has a testing lab and co-working space, which has gotten a lot of interest since the rebrand was announced.

“People in the community understand that Brite is something that is for everybody. It’s for the bright future of Warren so they want to be there and don’t feel excluded because the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center is that thing,” Stockburger said.

“It’s one of those things I think we were very focused on the potential outputs of our direct mission, which is help energy companies innovate and grow, and not necessarily, that name was not as focused on what I think is important in helping our community grow,” he said.

“Brite encompasses what we wanted TBEIC to be doing,” Stockburger said. “Through the process we realized TBEIC seems exclusive just by name.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland, who was highly influential in incubator start and development, said the rebrand perfectly fits with the work happening there.

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