SOMERVILLE, Mass., Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In an announcement that included Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and environmental leaders from around the state and region, Greentown Labs today announced an $11 million expansion project in Union Square, Somerville that will place this community of energy entrepreneurs firmly onto the global stage.
The growth comes just two years after Greentown Labs moved to Somerville in September 2013, taking over a portion of Ames Business Park and becoming a cornerstone of what has been dubbed "Innovation Row." In that time the incubator grew from a collection of 25 companies to a community of more than 40 companies, emerging as the largest cleantech incubator in the nation with a strong set of corporate sponsors, partners and government organizations.
With the planned expansion and new headquarters, the organization will more than double its space to 93,000 square feet, enabling Greentown Labs to serve as a global center for cleantech innovation.
"Greentown Labs brings together startups and large corporations that are globally based and globally minded," commented Greentown Labs CEO Emily Reichert. "We are already a place where people and delegations come from all over the world to understand how to invest in and promote innovation. This expansion will serve as a platform to build on this and truly achieve our vision of making Massachusetts a global hub for cleantech innovation."
Fast Growth and a Waitlist Leads to a Strong Community
Greentown Labs current 33,000 SF facility reached capacity within a year of opening and started a waitlist of hardware-focused cleantech startups seeking to join the community and grow their companies. Members of the Greentown Labs community have collectively raised more than $118 million in investment and employ more than 400 people.
The expanded location will enable Greentown Labs to not only support startup growth, but also provide an innovation space for global corporations to form strategic partnerships, and conduct skunk works or R&D projects. In addition, the new center will provide a showcase and meetup space for local manufacturers.
"Our goal is to support the best companies as they work to solve the world's most challenging energy and environmental problems. We not only want to inspire the next generation of companies, but also serve as a key player in building and supporting global cleantech innovation," Reichert commented.
Building Upon Somerville's History of Innovation
Greentown Labs will build upon a history of innovation by refurbishing 444 Somerville Ave, a building across the alley way from its current location. Today the space is occupied by an auto body repair and paint shop, but in the 1850s it was home to a company that produced the nation's first seamless copper and bronze tubing in use at the highest technological innovation of the time: steam engines.
"Greentown Labs represents how public and private organizations can work together to encourage innovation," noted Governor Baker. "The state and city funding committed to this capital project leverages private sector support to encourage manufacturing partnerships, spur innovation and create jobs in Somerville and throughout Massachusetts."
"Greentown Labs' success and its forthcoming expansion demonstrate how environmental sustainability and economic sustainability are not mutually exclusive—especially when government does its part to support innovation that is the foundation of the 21st century global economy," said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. "We can do social good and, at the same time, build a strong economy by making strategic investments that allow these next-generation startups to grow and flourish here in the Commonwealth. Greentown Labs turning a defunct manufacturing hub into a hive of technological progress symbolizes the transformation of Somerville's and Massachusetts' economy, and that progress will continue with its expansion, creating more jobs and opportunities for the people in our community. I want to thank Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Polito, Sec. Beaton, and the entrepreneurs at Greentown Labs for helping us forge a more resilient economy and community, and sharing our commitment to clean, renewable energy sources."
Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2016 with occupancy expected by the end of the year. The site also promises to become a showcase of innovation in its construction by utilizing solar arrays, LED lighting, advanced HVAC systems and offer such amenities as bike sharing and high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles. Greentown Labs will also provide opportunities to pilot technologies of member companies to operate the new expansion space.
About Greentown Labs
Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating game-changing energy technologies that transform the way we live, work, and play. Located in Somerville, MA, Greentown Labs is the largest cleantech incubator in the nation, operating a 33,000 sq. ft. facility that enables entrepreneurs to solve today's biggest energy and environmental problems. Greentown Labs hosts a constant stream of events and programs for the cleantech community and tours more than 5,000 visitors from around the world each year. Its mission is to enable a vibrant community of entrepreneurs to realize their visions by providing access to the space, resources, and funding needed to thrive. For more information, visit, or find us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Chuck Tanowitz or Julia Travaglini
SOURCE Greentown Labs