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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.

Programs Underway:


The Circularity Challenge is engaging entrepreneurs from around the world with innovative ideas to disrupt the plastics, energy storage and recycling value chains to enable a circular economy in partnership with BASF.

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

  • Plastics: Push the limits of plastics recycling
  • Batteries: Create ways to reuse, recondition or recycle batteries
  • Digital Tools: Digitally enable new circular business models


COMING SOON: A video about the H2 Refuel Accelerator, a collaboration among Greentown Launch, Shell, Toyota, NYSERDA, Fraunhofer TechBridge, and Urban Future Lab!

H2 Refuel

Take a Deep Dive into the InNOVAte 2019 Challenge, run in partnership with Saint-Gobain!

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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