Greentown Labs Incubates Next-Generation Clean Technologies


Altaeros Energies worked on the world’s first airborne wind turbine at Greentown Labs in Somerville, MA, just outside of Boston. Autonomous Marine Systems used the Labs’ shop to work on its sailing drones, fleets of which now collect data on our oceans. Accion Systems set up shop there to ready its smaller, safer, and less expensive ion-based propulsion system for satellites. Between its founding in 2011 and the end of 2015, Greentown Labs has been home to 103 small businesses.

Not a typical accelerator: Greentown Labs does not take equity in companies. It sustains its business through sponsorships — and rent from member companies.

Today, roughly 50 companies pay rent in exchange for access to desks, lab space, equipment, and software. All of those startups are developing hardware-based clean technologies to solve the world’s largest energy and environmental challenges. Greentown Lab provides the resources startups need to help launch their companies quickly — not just tools but also education programs and access to investors.

Here is some of what we learned from Dr. Emily Reichert, Greentown Labs’ CEO …

  • Of the 103 businesses supported by Greentown Labs, 86 percent are still working on clean technologies to fight climate change.
  • BigCos like Shell, National Grid, and General Electric sponsor Greentown Labs.
  • Greentown Labs will more than double its footprint by the end of this year. A 53,000-square foot expansion will help the company bring on 50 more companies.

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