Climatetech Ecosystem Builds on Momentum for Climate Action, Celebrates #Greentown10 at the 2021 Climatetech Summit

The Greentown Labs Climatetech Summit 2021 took a deep dive into empowering the technology of tomorrow, engaging climate champions from across the ecosystem to continue building momentum for the energy transition. 

Climatetech entrepreneurs are developing the solutions that are the core of global decarbonization, yet they need support, cooperation, and collaboration from investors, policymakers, and the growing climatetech workforce in order to scale their critical technologies. 

The Climatetech Summit put those entrepreneurs front and center to share the solutions they’re developing and what they need to bring them to market; presented key technology areas that are driving momentum to equitably tackle the climate crisis; and explored the plentiful opportunities for everyone to be a part of the energy transition that’s already unfolding.

Happening simultaneously at Greentown HQ, Greentown Houston, and via livestream on Nov. 4, 2021, the second annual Climatetech Summit—and celebration of Greentown’s 10-year anniversary—brought the climatetech ecosystem together for a day of collaboration, celebration, and of course, climatetech!

Check out the day at Greentown HQ:

The Climatetech Summit at Greentown HQ kicked off with a reflection from Greentown CEO Emily Reichert on our community’s first 10 years of impact and the building momentum for this critical decade of climate action. 

From there, Cipher Executive Editor Amy Harder teed up the first panel of the day: “Capital Pathways for Early-stage Technologies: The Investor’s Perspective.” 

Focusing on what leaders from across the investment and deployment landscape look for in an investable, financeable, and deployable climatetech startup, the panel offered startups insights into how to pursue engagements with firms and provided capital-drivers an understanding of how they can take equitably deploy their assets and resources to support climatetech startups.

Speakers included: 

Next up was “Deploying Climate Technologies: The Founder’s Perspective,” featuring startup leaders across sectors and at different stages of growth who shared successful examples of deployment, spoke to the many challenges and barriers they’ve overcome along the way, and identified the partners needed to commercialize climatetech innovations.

The panel featured: 

  • Nth Cycle Co-founder + CEO Megan O’Connor – a Greentown member company
  • LineVision Co-founder + CEO Hudson Gilmer – a Greentown member company 
  • Boston Materials Founder + CEO Anvesh Gurijala
  • Clean Energy Ventures Director of Marketing Ted Dillon (moderator and a Greentown partner)

Then we saw pitches from Greentown members:

  • Infinite Cooling, which is mitigating water scarcity by helping power plants and other industrial processes dramatically reduce their water consumption and water treatment costs by recovering water from their cooling tower exhausts.
  • Lydian Labs, which aims to accelerate the decarbonization of the chemical industry by electrifying the chemical production process through its printed catalyst technology.
  • MicroEra Power, which develops and manufactures THERMAplus, a hardware and software solution for smart thermal energy storage for buildings.
  • Sol Clarity, whose electrodynamic screen keeps solar panels clean from dust and dirt.
  • Skytree, whose CO₂ filter scrubs CO₂ and water directly from the air. Captured CO₂ can later be utilized as a profitable and sustainable resource in the production of fuels, chemicals, building materials, carbon farming, and other products containing CO₂. 

With a lead-in from Boston Globe Contributor Scott Kirsner, the next panel dug into “Partnerships for Deployment: The Corporate’s Perspective.” An interactive discussion among leaders of Greentown startups and corporate partners, the panel explored how to foster mutually beneficial engagements that help get startups’ technology out of the lab and into the world.

“Partnerships for Deployment: The Corporate’s Perspective” featured:

  • Microsoft US Director of Sustainability and Environmental Sciences Dawn James – a Greentown partner and a member of Greentown’s Board of Directors
  • Unilever Vice President Digital Supply Chain Wendy Herrick – a Greentown partner
  • Shell Ventures Senior Venture Principal Brian Panoff – a Greentown partner
  • Ivys Energy Solutions President + CEO Darryl Pollica (moderator and Greentown member company CEO and co-founder)

We were proud to have two of our Advisory Board members, Wendy and Brian, and two of our governing Board of Directors members, Dawn and Darryl, on this panel! A special thank you to Darryl as he wraps up his two-year term as one of two Community Board Members at Greentown Labs, alongside Shreya Dave, CEO and Co-founder of Via Separations. 

The panel was presented by Climatetech Summit Champion Saint-Gobain.

Next up was a second round of pitches, this time from our members:

  • AeroShield Materials, which develops super-insulating, transparent inserts for windows, bringing state-of-the-art thermal comfort and energy savings into buildings at an affordable price.
  • Alp Technologies, which is developing M-BRIC, a smart and low-cost energy storage system that behaves like a multicellular organism that can think, learn, and repair itself.
  • Folia Materials, which is creating a safer, cleaner, and healthier world with its antiviral paper.
  • H2Ok Innovations, whose IoT analytics platform provides comprehensive, real-time visibility into industrial liquid systems to enable data-driven optimized operations.
  • Solchroma, which produces vivid, dynamic, and reflective displays that don’t require an internal light source and consume only one percent of the energy of existing LED-based digital signage. 

The last panel of the day—introduced by our media partner Canary Media’s Editor-in-Chief Jeff St. John—was “Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure for Our Resilient Future.” The session featured perspectives from city and municipal leaders who are actively working to deploy new solutions to bring communities to the 21st century, and highlighted the entrepreneurs working to build the technologies to foster a more resilient future.

Speakers included:

The final round of startup pitches highlighted our members:

  • AirStat, which creates fully integrated indoor air quality solutions through cloud-connected AI systems and devices.
  • Osmoses, which develops advanced membrane technology for efficient gas and vapor separations.
  • QuantAQ, which develops low-cost, professional-grade air quality sensors to enable highly distributed air quality measurements to generate actionable information about both gas- and particle-phase pollutants.
  • Singularity Energy, whose carbon intelligence platform, Carbonara, provides a suite of innovative products, developer APIs, and intelligent tools for companies to build data-driven decarbonization solutions.
  • Spare-it, a digital-waste-reduction engagement platform. Spare-it engages employees with live data in fun waste reduction competitions and becomes a true catalyst for sustainability in the workplace.

Mid-afternoon brought one of our favorite parts of the Climatetech Summit: the Startup Showcase, an opportunity for attendees to speak directly with our climatetech entrepreneurs and make valuable connections. Learn about our startups innovating across the key greenhouse-gas-emitting sectors—electricity, agriculture, buildings, manufacturing, and transportation—and on resiliency and adaptation.

From there, we concluded the speaking session with the Keynote Fireside Chat, featuring U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office Director Jigar Shah, in conversation with Greentown Labs CEO Emily Reichert. Their talk explored commercial debt’s role in breakthrough deployment of climatetech solutions.

Immediately prior to Emily and Jigar taking the stage, we were delighted to surprise the audience with a video from former Greentech Media Editor-in-Chief and the Energy Gang podcast host Stephen Lacey about Canary Media’s two new podcasts: “The Carbon Copy” and “Catalyst.” We were proud to have Canary Media as the Climatetech Summit Media Partner! 

Right before the end of the speaking program, we had another pleasant surprise—Somerville City Councilor Katjana Ballantyne, who earlier in the week was elected to be the next mayor of Somerville, dropped by the Climatetech Summit! “I’m with you from the beginning to the end on your work,” she told our startups.

The Climatetech Summit wrapped up with networking and a #Greentown10 anniversary party! We were amazed and inspired by the collaborative climate action that took place at the summit—and know this is just the beginning of new, valuable connections across the climatetech ecosystem. We’d like to send a huge thank you to the speakers, startups, corporate leaders, investors, and other climate champions who joined us!