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Greentown Labs and Saint-Gobain Announce the InNOVAte 2019 Challenge

Greentown Labs and Saint-Gobain are seeking submissions from entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to disrupt the built environment value chain.

The Greentown Labs InNOVAte 2019 Challenge is a 6-month accelerator program housed at Greentown Labs in Somerville, MA, and focused on fast tracking entrepreneurs with the mentors, team members, business and technical resources they need to launch successful ventures with direct support from Saint-Gobain.

Specific areas of interest for the Greentown Labs InNOVAte 2019 Challenge include, but are not limited to the following categories:

  • Design & Plan:  Processes, tools and technologies to improve planning and construction including selection and specification of materials and solutions
  • Procure & Distribute: Materials, products, and services (physical, virtual) ordered and delivered from manufacturer to jobsite and/or end user and all steps in between
  • Build & Construct: Processes, tools, technologies to enable construction including materials installation and management. Enabling efficient and high-quality installation plus collaboration between different stakeholders including architects, general contractors, builders, and specialty construction trades (specific to North America)
  • Operate & Occupy: Connecting product and material solutions to enhanced value created for owners and occupants

Interested innovators and entrepreneurs are encouraged to learn more and apply by the April 8 deadline!


Announcing the H2 Refuel Accelerator: Re-imagine what hydrogen could do

The H2 Refuel Accelerator — a unique partnership between Fraunhofer TechBridge, Greentown Labs and the Urban Future Lab — offers unparalleled collaboration opportunities for startups who want to bring their hydrogen innovation from concept to market.  The program is sponsored by Shell and Toyota, and supported by NYSERDA.

Specific focus areas for the H2 Refuel Accelerator include, but are not limited to the following categories:

  • Startup technologies that promote cost reduction for capital costs, operating costs or streamlining construction of infrastructure
  • Startup technologies that increase the reliability of hydrogen infrastructure and capabilities at a global scale
  • New capabilities in all hydrogen value chains and infrastructure

Interested innovators and entrepreneurs are encouraged to learn more and apply by the March 13 deadline!


With support from a corporate partner, Greentown Launch is a 6-month acceleration program that identifies, incubates, and advances prototype-stage companies. Energy startups are increasingly searching for corporate partnerships to de-risk their businesses, while large corporations scout widely for startups of strategic interest; the goal of Greentown Launch is to facilitate mutually beneficial connections which can lead to great results for both the corporate partner and the selected, participating startups.

Learn more about our 2018 Greentown Launch Program, the BOLD Ideas Challenge, in partnership with Schneider Electric:

Learn more about Greentown Launch by viewing this brief video; thank you to our SunRISE I and II partner, DSM, for supporting this project!

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Before each Greentown Launch program begins, Greentown Labs take each corporate partner through the process of determining their open innovation goals. These goals most often include:

  • Innovating existing products
  • Innovating into adjacent markets
  • Developing “moon-shot” innovations

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A successful Launch program thrives on a strong partnership between the sponsoring corporate partner and Greentown Labs. This accelerator program is a deeply integrated program for both participants and in order to drive real value, the sponsoring corporate must go “all-in” with their team’s participation. Key facets of the partnership include:

  • Setting milestones together
  • Developing an on-site presence for the corporate partner’s team
  • Involving the corporate’s key value chain partners
  • Utilizing the sponsor’s facilities as test or pilot sites

Greentown Launch Track Record

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PROPEL, 2015

PROPEL was a 6-month prototype development and partnership-readiness program to refine high-quality technologies for potential adoption by corporate strategic partners. The program, sponsored by Shell GameChanger and 10 other corporate strategics, focused on technologies that enable distributed, self-powered sensing and control for large-scale industrial applications. The PROPEL program offered startup companies technology support through Fraunhofer TechBridge, and incubation space and business guidance at Greentown Labs. This unique blend of offerings addresses one of the key challenges startup companies face in the development and commercialization of their technologies.

Two of the participating startups, Tagup and MultiSensor Scientific, have remained members of Greentown Labs after a successful completion of the PROPEL Program.

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SunRISE was designed to identify innovations in solar materials and technologies to reduce the levelized cost of energy for photovoltaic systems. The SunRISE Challenge was a collaboration between Royal DSM , Fraunhofer TechBridge and Greentown Labs. The DSM-sponsored awards included Greentown Launch incubation and acceleration programs at Greentown Labs, technical validation services from the Fraunhofer R&D network, and eligibility for a DSM partnership and/or venture investment.

The program resulted in two DSM investments into WattGlass and QD Solar, and one technology licensing deal with a participating startup. You can learn more about the SunRISE Program by reading this blog. The success of the SunRISE Program led to a second iteration of the accelerator program which is running from June to December 2017.

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SunRISE II was the 2017 edition of Greentown Launch, a six-month startup accelerator program that helps startups develop and refine their products and businesses. SunRISE II focused on early-stage companies across the solar power value chain. Selected participants were enrolled in a curriculum of workshops and training sessions with business and technical leaders in the solar industry to help grow their companies, while also gaining access to Greentown Labs’ full suite of incubation services here in Somerville, MA.

The program resulted in two DSM investments, one joint development agreement and one technology validation project iwth the participating startups. You can learn more about the participants by reading this blog.

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BOLD Ideas Challenge, 2018

The BOLD Ideas Challenge was the 2018 edition of Greentown Launch. The Challenge focused on early-stage companies with novel ideas for new products, technologies, processes and business models that can transform the way humans use energy. Selected participants were enrolled in a curriculum of workshops and training sessions with business and technical leaders in the energy industry to help grow their companies.

The program successfully concluded in January 2019, where leaders from Schneider Electric spoke to Greentown Labs about the importance of corporate and startup partnerships. Currently, 75% of the participating companies are in partnership talks with Schneider. Keep an eye out for results in 2019! You can learn more about the program by reading this blog.

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