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Greentown Labs and Schneider Electric Announce the Greentown Labs Bold Ideas Challenge

Greentown Labs and Schneider Electric are seeking submissions from entrepreneurs and innovators with visions for how new products, technologies, and business models can transform the way humans use and manage energy.

The Greentown Labs Bold Ideas 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 Schneider Electric.

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

  • Buildings & IT: Home Automation, Autonomous Buildings, and Data Center Monitoring & Cooling
  • Industry: Advanced Analytics, Operational Technology & IT Convergence Innovation, and Industrial Cybersecurity
  • Energy: New Energy Landscape, Grid Digitalization, and IoT Services


Interested innovators and entrepreneurs are encouraged to learn more and apply by the July 20 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 Greentown Launch Program by viewing this brief video. Thanks to our partner and Greentown Launch sponsor, 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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