CertainTeed, Saint-Gobain NOVA and Greentown Labs Announce Finalists for InNOVAte 2019 Challenge

Startups will participate in 6-month accelerator program to develop innovative technologies to disrupt the built environment value chain

Somerville, Mass. – June 27, 2019 CertainTeedSaint-Gobain’s leading building and construction brand in North America, along with Saint-Gobain NOVA, the external ventures arm of one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions, and Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech incubator in North America, announce today the startups selected for their inaugural InNOVAte 2019 Challenge. The selected startups will participate in a 6-month accelerator program to develop innovative technologies and solutions to disrupt the built environment value chain.

After a highly-competitive InNOVAte Challenge Kickoff and deliberation, the following companies were selected to participate in the accelerator program:

  • Hyperframe, based in San Francisco, CA, is designing, manufacturing, and distributing a new class of building components that can be installed without tools or skills. Its products include a steel framing system for commercial buildings which can be installed up to 75 percent faster and 30 percent cheaper than traditional materials.
  • Inovues, based in Houston, TX, is developing a non-intrusive building envelope retrofit system that enables the windows and glass facades of existing buildings to be upgraded as energy efficient and smart without requiring any replacement, alteration, or drilling. The system can increase window insulation by up to 10 times and can save owners up to 40 percent on energy consumption.
  • Pre Framing Corp., based in Berkeley, CA, provides partially pre-fabricated walls through automated machinery and software that can minimize cost by 45 percent and reduce labor time by 10x while simplifying installation.
  • Techstyle Materials, based in Providence, RI, is creating smart multifunctional construction materials that can enhance building sustainability through increased energy efficiency, comfort and durability.


The inaugural InNOVAte Challenge attracted more than 110 applications from across the globe. Submissions were reviewed by a diverse panel and narrowed down to 12 finalists based on the startup’s ability to disrupt the built environment value chain. On May 30, at the InNOVAte Challenge Kickoff, the 12 finalists participated in a lightning pitch round and presented their ideas to a panel of judges and audience members for selection into the accelerator program.

“Through the InNOVAte Challenge we are challenging the tried and true conventions of the building industry,” said Minas Apelian, Vice-President of Internal and External Venturing at Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed. “Our accelerator program will provide these startups with the resources and reach to disrupt on the world’s oldest industrial ecosystems and achieve tangible business outcomes. We are excited to partner with the winners to develop unique, tailored growth and development strategies through every step of the incubation process.”

The InNOVAte Challenge is focused on developing emerging technologies to enable new value within the residential (single and multi-family homes) and the commercial building value chains across North America. The challenge allows entrepreneurs and innovators to receive support and guidance in launching a successful venture. The chosen class of 2019 will receive intensive business training, hands-on mentorship from industry experts and a unique approach to startup and corporate relationship building.

“We know a significant percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings and the built environment and we’re proud to be collaborating with our long-standing partner, Saint-Gobain, to support entrepreneurs who are creating sustainable solutions to this challenge,” said Greentown Labs CEO, Dr. Emily Reichert. “We’re eager to see the progress these startups will make throughout InNOVAte 2019 and believe their technologies will help the built environment value chain take action on climate!”

All participants in the program will receive:

  • $25,000 in grant funding
  • Acceptance into Greentown Launch, a 6-month accelerator program
  • Exclusive access to Greentown Labs’ and Saint-Gobain’s networks
  • Access to Saint-Gobain testing capabilities, technical facilities and expertise
  • Desk space at the Greentown Labs Global Center for Cleantech Innovation


Participants may also engage in a partnership opportunity or receive investment from Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed by the end of the program.

The InNOVAte Challenge will include six sessions throughout the program highlighting the participants and their startup industry. The InNOVAte Challenge partners will host a culminating event in late 2019 to share progress and accomplishments.


About Greentown Labs

Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating solutions for today’s biggest climate and environmental challenges. Located in Somerville, Mass., and founded in 2011, the Greentown Labs Global Center for Cleantech Innovation is the largest cleantech incubator in North America, operating a 100,000 sq. ft. campus comprised of prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, electronics lab, and a curated suite of programs and resources. Greentown Labs is home to more than 90 startups and has supported more than 210 since its inception. These startups collectively employ more than 2,800 people and have raised more than $650 million in funding. The incubators’ mission is to provide entrepreneurs with the community, resources, and space they need to thrive. For more information, please visit or on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

About Saint-Gobain NOVA

NOVA, Saint-Gobain’s External Ventures arm, is dedicated to fostering partnerships with startups, incubators, and venture capital funds all over the world. Since 2006, NOVA identifies forward-thinking startups whose philosophies align with Saint-Gobain’s focus on well-being and sustainability and connects these startups with the resources and experience of Saint-Gobain. See

About CertainTeed

CertainTeed Corporation is a North American manufacturer of building materials for both commercial and residential construction and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain.  CertainTeed® is a leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, gypsum and ceilings.  CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,300 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada.  Learn more about CertainTeed by visiting

About Saint-Gobain in North America

Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions, helps create great living spaces by combining comfort and sustainability. For more than three-and-a-half centuries, Saint-Gobain has been enhancing the wellbeing of people everywhere, whether it’s by addressing climate change, delivering true sustainable development, advancing the information revolution, participating in medical breakthroughs or playing a vital role in space exploration. In North America, Saint-Gobain has approximately 160 locations and more than 15,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $6.1 billion in 2017. Learn more about Saint-Gobain North America by visiting and connect with Saint-Gobain North America on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.



Brownstein Group on behalf of Saint-Gobain NOVA
Karen Alberto
Office: 215-735-3470 ext. 133
Cell: 410-562-9639

Greentown Labs Media Contact:
Julia Travaglini
Office: 888-954-6836 ext. 1
Cell: 603-867-3657