Nation’s Largest Cleantech Incubator Hosts its Annual DEMO Day Showcase with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Featuring Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Regional Cleantech Leaders
SOMERVILLE, Mass.: In a celebratory announcement with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, and cleantech leaders from around the region and country, Greentown Labs today announced the official grand opening of its Global Center for Cleantech Innovation. The 100-year-old, fully renovated facility has expanded Greentown Labs into a 100,000 sq. ft. campus that’s home to 80 member companies, cementing the incubator’s position as the largest hardware-focused cleantech incubator in the United States.
The Global Center for Cleantech Innovation is located at 444 Somerville Avenue, Somerville, MA, immediately adjacent to the incubator’s previous headquarters at 28 Dane Street which will be fully converted to laboratory space. The Greentown Labs campus now provides its members with prototyping lab space, a wet lab, a machine shop, electronics shop, office space for more than 450 entrepreneurs, a 500-person event space, and a variety of flexible membership options.
Greentown Labs’ expansion into the Global Center was spurred by an ever increasing demand from entrepreneurs for a supportive and flexible community where they can build their cleantech startups. Greentown Labs’ former headquarters reached capacity within one year of its opening in 2013 and the incubator was forced to begin a waitlist of startups eager to join the community.
“Ever since our grassroots beginnings, Greentown Labs has maintained one mission: to support cleantech startups with the community and resources they need to thrive,” said Greentown Labs CEO Dr. Emily Reichert. “In 2015 we knew that after maintaining a waitlist for nearly two years we needed to expand our offerings and facilities in order to not only support our region’s clean energy ecosystem but to serve as a global convener of cleantech innovators and entrepreneurs.”
Roots Grown in Boston with Supportive Local Government Now Have Global Reach
Greentown Labs was founded in 2011 by four companies that simply wanted to split the cost of rent and quickly became the largest hardware-focused, cleantech incubator in the United States. Less than seven years later, Greentown Labs’ member companies have collectively created more than 1,000 jobs, raised more than $340M in funding, and created more than $335M in regional economic output.
The incubator and its startup tenants have received strong backing from local and state governments. Greentown Labs’ home city of Somerville, MA, was an early champion of Greentown Labs and invited the startup community to use the city as a testbed for innovation and experimentation.
“Through SomerVision, the City’s 20-year comprehensive plan, our community has made it clear that it prioritizes job creation. As the first city in Massachusetts to set the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, Somerville also values sustainable, clean energy efforts,” said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Greentown Labs is a shining example of both. The impact they’ve had on our community—and the region—cannot be overstated, and with the opening of the Global Center for Cleantech Innovation, I know their imprint will only continue to grow. Somerville is extremely proud to be their home and call them partners in some of our most important goals.”
Massachusetts has long been a leader in clean energy innovation and deployment, and is home to many cities and organizations that have set ambitious 100 percent renewable energy goals. Greentown Labs’ Global Center aims to support these goals through technological innovations, economic development, job creation, corporate partnerships, and advocacy for progressive climate policy.
“The Commonwealth’s innovation economy is thriving because of entrepreneurs like the ones that will be supported by this newly renovated and expanded facility,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is proud to work with partners like Greentown Labs to help shape the Commonwealth’s clean energy future.”
“This expanded facility will provide important assistance to clean energy entrepreneurs and startups that will support new jobs and help ensure Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in addressing energy challenges,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
“MassCEC has worked hand-in-hand with Greentown Labs since 2011 to meet its goal of growing into the largest cleantech incubator in the nation and a global hub of clean energy innovation,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Stephen Pike. “Our financial backing of this expansion bolsters Greentown Labs’ mission to grow the local clean energy economy by providing critical resources and mentorship to Massachusetts’ entrepreneurs. We look forward to continued collaboration and success in the future.”
Multinational Corporate Partnerships Drive Climate Action
The Greentown Labs community sits at the nexus of startup innovation, public sector partnerships, and large multinational corporations like Shell, Saint-Gobain, BASF, DSM, and others that want to find a way to sustain their climate commitments, convert them into policy, and see tangible results that positively impact the triple bottom line. The Global Center will serve as a hub for innovation and collaboration among these entities and early-stage cleantech startups.
“As a founding sponsor of Greentown Labs’ Global Center for Cleantech Innovation, Shell is pleased to celebrate the official opening of the Shell Prototyping Lab. The lab will help energy startups build, trial and test solutions that can support a shared aim of meeting increasing global energy demand with an ever-lower carbon footprint,” said Jason Klein, Vice President, U.S. Energy Transition Strategy, Shell. “At Shell, we believe some of the best ideas are born from collaboration. We look forward to continued opportunities to work together with governments, business, students and startups to help power progress toward a cleaner energy future for all.” Shell is the Founding, Naming Sponsor of the Prototyping Lab at the Global Center.
With the support of many strategic corporate partners, Greentown Labs is able to provide a variety of new offerings in the Global Center including an 1,800 sq. ft., 24-bench wet lab to support startups working in the water, advanced materials, and green chemistry sectors.
“BASF is committed to developing sustainable solutions to global challenges such as resource efficiency, energy and climate protection, and responsible production,” said Peter Eckes, President, Bioscience Research and North America Research, BASF. “We believe partnering with Greentown Labs and collaborating with cleantech startup companies will help us all move closer to a sustainable future.” BASF is the Founding, Naming Sponsor of the Wet Lab at the Global Center.
Walking the Cleantech Walk at Greentown Labs
The Global Center also provides opportunities for startups and corporates alike to use the facility as a test site for their products and materials. The first and largest example of this engagement is with Saint-Gobain, a Greentown Labs Founding Sponsor, through the company’s sustainable building materials that improve occupant comfort and well-being. Donations from the Saint-Gobain family of companies include a Flintlastic® SA Self-Adhered Roof System from CertainTeed, acoustical ceiling and wall solutions from CertainTeed, and electrochromic glass from SageGlass.
“For nearly five years, Saint-Gobain has had a partnership with Greentown Labs which has involved the company having a prototyping lab on premise where our employees can work alongside member companies to evaluate new building materials, technology and assemblies,” said Minas Apelian, Vice President of CertainTeed R&D, Quality and Global Director of NOVA External Ventures at Saint-Gobain. “Greentown Labs’ expansion site presented a great opportunity for Saint-Gobain to enhance our support of the cleantech incubator and put our own products to the test by donating our products to make the Center a world-class facility that maximizes the comfort and well-being of member companies. We’re excited to be able to test our building materials in a real work environment similarly to how we’ve done in our North American headquarters to support us in continuing to make materials that create great living places and improve daily life.”
Greentown Labs’ member companies are encouraged to take advantage of implementation opportunities at the Global Center and two current examples include Sunwealth and Ivys Energy Solutions. Sunwealth, a clean energy investment firm, installed a 110 kW solar array atop the Global Center, which it financed through its Solar Impact Fund, an investment vehicle aiming to democratize solar investment and accelerate the commercialization of clean technology. Ivys Energy Solutions, developer of safe and cost effective hydrogen fueling technologies for fuel cell electric vehicles, will install their innovative SimpleFuel® hydrogen fueling station at the Global Center with the support of an InnovateMass grant from MassCEC.
Since the facility’s soft opening in January 2018, Greentown Labs has hosted more than 2,000 visitors, 10 private events, 25 international delegations, welcomed 30 new startups and seven new corporate partners to the Global Center.
The facility was made possible through the support of Greentown Labs’ Founding Sponsors, Shell, Saint-Gobain, BASF, DSM, Foley Hoag, Johnson Controls Inc., and Air Liquide; and financing partners East Boston Savings Bank, Boston Community Capital, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, MassDevelopment, and the City of Somerville. The Global Center was designed by Silverman Trykowski Associates.
About Greentown Labs
Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating world-changing energy technologies that transform the way we live, work, and play. Located in Somerville, Mass., and founded in 2011, the Greentown Labs Global Center for Cleantech Innovation is the largest cleantech incubator in the United States, operating a 100,000 sq. ft. campus that empowers entrepreneurs to solve today’s biggest energy and environmental problems. Its mission is to enable a vibrant community of startups to realize their visions by providing access to the resources, labs, and funding they need to thrive. For more information, please visit www.greentownlabs.com or find us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.