Agilent Becomes a Gigawatt Partner, with the Intention of Supporting Greentown Entrepreneurs Throughout Their Careers

Agilent, a respected leader in laboratory equipment, services, and expertise, has joined Greentown Labs as a Gigawatt Partner. While this partnership—which will strengthen ties and facilitate knowledge flow between Agilent and Greentown’s startup community—is new, Agilent has already been supporting Greentown entrepreneurs for years.

Greentown, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, provides startups with the community, network, and resources they need to succeed—from curated startup-investor introductions to a machine shop full of essential equipment to connections with fellow startups who become partners in the entrepreneurial journey.

A key resource at Greentown is its 1,800-square-foot, BSL-2 wet lab. This shared, multidisciplinary lab is located next to Greentown’s prototyping space, allowing for climatetech innovations both inside and outside the wet lab—which is crucial for startups that need to transport materials between both spaces in order to build and test their prototypes.

Agilent was a Founding Partner of Greentown’s wet lab, providing an Agilent Cary 60 UV-Vis for wet lab members to analyze their samples. Agilent offers trainings on the Cary 60 and helps the lab’s scientists use the machine to its full extent. 

This relationship began when Keysight Technologies, a Greentown Terawatt partner that spun out of Agilent in 2010, recommended Agilent get involved with Greentown. The mission alignment between Agilent and Greentown was immediately clear, according to John Kimmel, who served as Agilent’s New England District sales manager before moving to its Central Plains Northwest division.

“Agilent is very invested in improving the human condition. When I look at Greentown’s mission of working together to meet climate change head-on, and I look at our values—sustainability is a huge one—they line up really well,” says Kimmel, who has been involved in the relationship between the two organizations since its start. “It was an opportunity for Agilent to come in and provide our expertise to Greentown startups—to work through different problems and solutions so the entrepreneurs could get new and novel insights into the areas that they’re working on.” 

Greentown Labs recognizes that climatetech and cleantech innovations are happening across sectors—not just in hardware and software—but also in water, advanced materials, and green chemistry. This work requires the unique facilities offered within wet labs and relies on the expertise from corporate partners. 

“At Greentown, these innovations wouldn’t be possible without the crucial support provided to the wet lab by partners like Agilent, who can provide startups the instruments they need to drive forward their climate solutions,” said Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO, Greentown Labs. “That’s why we’re thankful to have Agilent’s support, knowledge, and expertise, and why we believe corporate partnerships are paramount to the success of the entrepreneurs and to the global transition to a sustainable economy.” 

With this formal Gigawatt Partnership, Agilent intends to ramp up its involvement with—and support of—Greentonwn entrepreneurs.

“We want to have more contact, more interactions with Greentown startups,” Kimmel says. “We want to increase our work on the support side—how can we provide recommendations, how can we provide answers to questions that the startups seek? We have people who are Ph.D. scientists, who have 10, 20, 30 years of experience, and we can leverage them so that Greentown startups can come and get advice and guidance.”

Greentown’s partnership program is centered around direct, meaningful engagements between climatetech startups and corporates that are committed to climate action. As a Gigawatt Partner, Agilent will participate in programs and events that are designed to facilitate this startup-corporate collaboration, including Sector Pitch Days, office hours, and more.

“A key strategy of Agilent is to collaborate and invest with industry leaders,” said Jacob Thaysen, Senior Vice President, Agilent President, Life Sciences and Applied Markets Group. “This partnership with Greentown allows us to come alongside early stage companies and support them by providing trusted answers to help solve their critical challenges in the lab. Agilent is excited to bring our integrated workflow solutions to Greentown to help advance the research and development of products and technologies that promote the creation and use of sustainable resources.”

Agilent sees tremendous value in engaging with the early-stage, innovative companies at Greentown, according to Kimmel.

“It really gives us an opportunity to come alongside these entrepreneurs and help them out, and in doing that create a relationship that we ultimately want to continue on for the rest of their careers,” he says.

One startup Agilent supports through their Cary 60 is Kula Bio, whose microbial fertilizer fixes nitrogen—moves nitrogen from the air to the soil—so that plants can use it as food. This solution offers equivalent yield and price to conventional fertilizers, but includes the environmental benefits of organic fertilizers.

The Cary 60 helps Kula Bio determine how much nitrogen fixation potential its fertilizer has at any given time, which allows the team to see how effective its product is.

Elliot Rossow, Kula Bio’s senior research associate for soil microbiology, says the startup would’ve had to acquire its own Cary 60 if there wasn’t one available in the wet lab. “We’re really glad that the Cary 60 UV-Vis is there for us,” he says.