9/12 Update: Fay Rotenburg, venture investor and cleantech supporter, has generously offered to match the next $850 of Greentown Grows donations received!
Greentown Labs - A space for big ideas to grow
Just over two years ago (4) start-ups joined forces in search of a location from which to launch their entrepreneurial ventures. They were each looking for space to build and test prototypes for their solar-powered refrigeration system, energy management solution, airborne wind turbine, and innovative new compression technology.
They met by coincidence and ended up creating Greentown Labs, now one of the largest, fastest-growing, and perhaps only entrepreneur-founded clean energy incubator in the world. Greentown is currently home to nearly (30) organizations working to solve our biggest energy and environmental challenges. Our companies currently employ more than 100 people and have already raised more that $25 million to build their innovations.
We are a vibrant group of passionate entrepreneurs, innovators, students, and budding cleantech leaders. We've got a great community presence, too. In the last twelve months we've organized dozens of events, given tours to more than 5,000 visitors from around the world, and become a sort of de facto hub for our regional cleantech ecosystem.
In case you're asking, "What is a cleantech incubator?"
Don't worry. Our families often ask the same thing. There are many different types of organizations designed to help small businesses and early stage entrepreneurs, like accelerators, co-working spaces, and incubators. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes, but our incubator focuses on helping early-stage companies and organizations working to build high-impact clean energy innovations (e.g. solar, wind, energy efficiency). We provide them a place to build prototypes, desks for their employees, a place to expand their network, and tools and resources to help them build better businesses. We provide our member companies with desks, prototyping space, discounted access to software and tools, connections to mentors, other founders, and a great network of supporters.
Companies pay Greentown a small monthly fee based on their space requirements. We don't take equity or ownership in these companies and we aren't backed by a venture capital or investment fund. We're just a group of entrepreneurs trying to help each other advance clean energy innovations that can help transform our world. Without an organization like Greentown Labs, many of our early-stage innovators would not have the financial runway to launch their businesses. We've never taken a profit from Greentown, nor do we intend to. Our mission and operating model is designed to help get their innovative, game-changing ideas off the ground.
We're building a new home in Somerville, MA!
The amazing demand for our unique combination of prototyping space, co-located offices, and access to a community of energy entrepreneurs and supporters has pushed Greentown Labs to its capacity. We've outgrown our current space and have been forced to put a number of promising young companies on a waiting list. To meet this demand and create a permanent home we're creating a fantastic new space in Somerville, Massachusetts. This is allowing us to more than double our prototyping areas and to add more than 50 new desks for our new and existing companies, in a much-improved facility.
We're also creating a larger event space to enable us to grow our event programming and further promote clean energy in partnership with organizations like the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Cleantech Open, and the New England Clean Energy Council.
Construction is underway and we're incredibly excited about our new facility at 28 Dane Street in Somerville, Massachusetts – a great location and an emerging innovation cluster, just a few minutes walk from the Harvard Square T station, and easily accessible by bike, bus, and car. We're also locating next to some amazing neighbors like Artisan's Asylum (community maker space), Brooklyn Boulders (climbing gym), and the MIT Museum!
More support for cleanweb and water innovators
Greentown Labs follows entrepreneurs and the cutting-edge places they go. We are finding more and more companies focused on solving problems at the water-energy nexus as well as at the intersection of energy, IT, and data (often called cleanweb). After housing half a dozen companies in these spaces and hosting the last two Boston Cleanweb Hackathons, Greentown Labs plans is expanding its space to better support companies working on cleanweb and water innovations.
The Details: Our Greentown Grows campaign
We need your help to meet the demands of the community of clean energy entrepreneurs we support! We've already pulled in an incredible amount of sponsorship from public sources and corporate sponsors, but we're hoping to raise the final $30,000 from our community of supporters we've served for the last several years with inspiring tours, access to our entrepreneurs, high-quality events, and overall clean energy advocacy. Please consider joining our hundreds of our fans and friends that have already lent their financial support to this effort.
As if supporting entrepreneurs and cleaner sources of energy wasn't motivation enough, we've got some fun gifts to say thank you! We strongly encourage you to become an official "Friend of Greentown" in order to take advantage of all the great perks, but we've got something for every budget:
- Domino's #PoweredByPizza Perk ($10 contribution*):
- The Bumper/Laptop Sticker + Facebook Shout Out ($25 contribution and up**):
- Your choice of the T-shirt or the Pint Glass ($50 contribution and up**):
- "Friend of Greentown" ($100 and up**): Get the t-shirt, pint glass, and bumper sticker!
- Become a "Super Friend of Greentown" ($250**) T-shirt, pint glass,bumper sticker, and the great perks listed below!
- Lifetime "Super Friend of Greentown" ($1,000**): Lifetime membership plus become permanently recognized on a plaque in our new facility.
- "Greentown Entrepreneur Sponsor" ($5,000**): Permanent name recognition in an entrepreneur's work area. Also, personal letter of appreciation from an entrepreneur and opportunities for one-on-one interaction with the company!
*The #PoweredByPizza Perk from Domino's will be delivered to the e-mail address you provide approximately two weeks after the close of the campaign. By requesting this Perk you hereby agree to allow Greentown Labs to provide to Domino’s Pizza LLC (“Domino’s”) your name and email address for the sole purpose of delivering Domino’s Gift Cards as Greentown Grows’ Campaign Perks. Domino’s will not use your name or email address for any other purpose, including for marketing and/or mailing list purposes.”
**All other perks (except for the #PoweredByPizza Perk) are available for pickup at our new facility in Somerville, MA where you'll also get a chance to meet with a member of the Greentown team! If you'd like to contribute but are not in the Boston area, contact us to discuss shipping costs.
The Benefits of becoming a "Super Friend of Greentown":
You get to take advantage of all the great perks at the lower contribution levels, plus the following benefits for 12 months:
- Recognition by name on our website as an official "Friend of Greentown"
- Personal VIP tour of our new Somerville facility before its opening to the public
- Invitation to the VIP reception during our annual Demo Day (November, 2013), where entrepreneurs will demonstrate working prototypes and conduct small-scale, informal pitch sessions to investors and sponsors
- Lunch with the Greentown Team & Founders: learn about the history and future of Greentown from the entrepreneurs that made it all happen
The world faces massive environmental challenges; we believe that our companies are an important part of the solution. Whether it be high altitude wind turbines, water capturing nanotechnology, or milk-chilling systems for use in rural India, the innovative technologies being brought to market by our start-ups will change the way we live by preserving resources and reducing our impact on the environment.
Our companies are already changing the world. Greentown entrepreneurs have been featured in TED Talks, the New York Times, and the Forbes 30 under 30 list! Be a part of this impact by helping us double the amount of companies we can house in our new, custom-built prototyping facility. Not only will we continue to provide machines and electronics tools, a prototyping lab, and office space, but–with your help–we will also expand our impact with water and clean web clusters!
Other ways you can help
We understand that not everyone has the financial means to help out - we run on a pretty tight budget, too! But you can have a big impact just by spreading the word. Please forward this campaign and pass on these links to your family, friends, and anyone else who cares about living on a clean, healthy planet!
**Greentown Labs is a mission-driven for-profit enterprise that plans to file as a benefit corporation later this year (a somewhat involved process). Contributions are not tax-deductible.**
Governor Patrick Celebrates Greentown Expansion: "Growth is a Choice"
“Jason (Hanna, Founder, Greentown Labs), it was a year or two ago that you toured me around Greentown Labs in your existing location, the old location in Boston. And I was dazzled by the creativity, the by imagination, by the determination of the people who were there creating our future. Building tomorrow. And making it real. And here in a very short time, you are moving into double the available space for precisely that kind of entrepreneurship and creativity. I am thrilled to be a part of it. I want to thank all of the folks that have helped making Greentown Labs the reality that it is and continue that growth.” - Governor Patrick, July 18, 2013