Saturday, I attended the launch party for Empowered By Light, a new nonprofit with the mission of delivering renewable energy light sources to people without access to power. Held at the SOMA club Roe, the event was sold out, making me feel decidedly more A-list than usual. The sizable crowd was probably due in large part to the presence of Adrian Grenier, the star of the series Entourage, who was co-hosting the event with his business partner and SHFT.com (a start-up dedicated to making eco-living cool) co-founder Peter Glatzer. SHFT is partnering with Empowered By Light on a project to distribute 5,000 solar-powered LED light / cell phone charge kits to rural families in Zambia.
This wasn't my usual scene, but I was digging the eco-friendly VeeV cocktails (a Brazilian Acai-derived spirit) and did my best to hold my own with the San Francisco green and clean technology scene. My wife Jessica, who had a part in the event, pointed out local green VIPs for me, including founder of SF-Based Lemnis Lighting Warner Philips (responsible for the LED light / cell phone charge kit headed to Africa), Opower VP of Marketing Ogi Kavazovic, green event producer Nadine Weil, and Empowered By Light co-founders Marco Krapels and Moira Hanes.
It was a fun night out that raised money for an important cause. It also reminded me that San Francisco is a hub for many businesses and organizations that are setting the bar for sustainability and energy efficiency for the rest of the world. That's pretty cool.