Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space Announce Second Cohort for ACCEL, an Accelerator for BIPOC-led Climatetech Startups

The recurring, year-long program welcomes seven startups led by underrepresented founders

Somerville, Mass. and Houston, Texas, Feb. 29, 2024 Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space (BGS) today announce seven startup participants for the Advancing Climatetech and Clean Energy Leaders Program (ACCEL), an accelerator that bolsters BIPOC-led startups as they develop critical climatetech solutions by offering access to funding, networking connections, resources, and opportunities that structural inequities put out of reach.

ACCEL combines startup acceleration with a curated curriculum, incubation at Greentown, and extensive mentorship from Greentown and BGS’s networks of industry experts. The recurring, year-long program focuses on product and technology development, market development, fundraising, and management and team development. The selected founding teams will each receive a non-dilutive $25k grant to support their startup’s growth. 

After a highly competitive selection and deliberation process that saw nearly 80 applicants, a cohort of seven cutting-edge startups was selected. These early-stage startups are working on innovations from vertical-axis wind turbines to carbon-negative concrete. 

  • AtmoSpark Technologies (Houston, Texas) is an atmospheric water generation company with a patented electro-condensation technology, which has a lower energy footprint than that of current water-generation methods. Its co-founders are Tejus Mane, Matthew Bukovicky, and Aniket Khade.
  • Aquasaic (Cambridge, Mass.) is harnessing biology to clean water for planetary and human health. Its co-founders are Shalmalee Pandit and Nikita Patil.
  • Axis Sky Renewables (Houston, Texas) creates innovative wind solutions, specializing in vertical-axis wind turbines that are less expensive to produce, deploy, and maintain than traditional wind turbines. Its founder is Andre Gafford.
  • Carbon Negative Solutions (Rock Hill, N.Y.) is creating smart-city-ready, carbon-negative concrete products. Its founder is Keith Crossland.
  • Cellsense (Somerville, Mass.) develops interactive bio-embellishments that create new possibilities for designers while eliminating microplastics and replacing fossil-fuel-based material at scale. Its founder is Aradhita Parasrampuria.
  • EcoForge (Providence, R.I.) is a building-material technology company developing affordable, high-performance building materials from local agricultural residues, replacing energy-intensive, fossil-based materials. Its co-founders are Rongyu Na, Myung Bender, Kaixi Yang, and Yuqing Mao.
  • Sankofa Dynamics (Boston, Mass.) creates low-cost, eco-friendly solutions for water, air, and energy problems. Its founder is Chauncy L. Spencer.

ACCEL is a unique partnership between Greentown, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, and BGS, a nonprofit dedicated to making clean energy and other climate-related fields more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. The program’s inaugural year in 2023-2024 featured six startups whose accomplishments during the accelerator included raising equity funding, earning acceptances into additional accelerators, winning grants, executing customer discovery, and more. Further results from Year 1 of ACCEL can be found here.

ACCEL is supported by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a state economic development agency dedicated to accelerating the growth of the clean energy sector across the Commonwealth; Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, which deploys capital to accelerate the development of climate technology solutions while ensuring underserved communities disproportionately impacted by climate change benefit from these solutions and diverse leadership teams are empowered; Equinor, an international energy company committed to developing renewable and low-carbon energy solutions; and the Barr Foundation, a Boston-based foundation with a regional focus, working with partners to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond.

“These BIPOC-led startups are developing climate technologies that will lead us to a more equitable and sustainable future,” said MassCEC CEO Dr. Emily Reichert. “We want ALL climatetech innovators and entrepreneurs to thrive here in Massachusetts. We are proud to support the ACCEL accelerator, created and led by Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space. The ACCEL program is helping us build a more diverse innovation ecosystem by breaking down barriers and expanding opportunities. Congratulations to these incredible climatetech leaders!” 

“Microsoft is proud to partner with Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space to fund and mentor the next generation of underrepresented founders,” said Darryl Willis, Corporate Vice President, Energy & Resources Industry at Microsoft. “We believe that innovation is the key to solving the global climate challenge, and that innovation must be inclusive and equitable. We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs who are developing cutting-edge technologies to advance the energy transition.”

ACCEL builds on elements of Greentown’s successful incubator programming and its Greentown Go accelerator programs, along with BGS’s expertise in company building and supporting underserved communities. The curriculum for ACCEL is led by VentureWell, a nonprofit with deep expertise in the climatetech space that funds and trains innovators to create successful, socially beneficial businesses.

“Building on the momentum and success of our inaugural year, Greentown Labs is proud to welcome this incredible cohort of BIPOC-led startups to Year 2 of ACCEL,” said Greentown Labs CEO and President Kevin Knobloch. “These founders and their teams are developing a dynamic array of much-needed climatetech solutions, and we’re privileged to support them on their startup journeys as they advance their technologies and grow their teams.”

“Our second year of ACCEL brings together an inspirational and diverse cohort of seven BIPOC-led startups developing tech to accelerate the distribution of climate solutions that address community needs,” said Browning the Green Space President and Executive Director Kerry Bowie. “We are thrilled to continue to strengthen our partnership with Greentown Labs and VentureWell and build on the learnings from the pilot cohort to provide critical support infrastructure for entrepreneurs of color.”

“ACCEL is bringing together an inspiring cohort of BIPOC-led startups that are dedicated to bringing their climatetech solutions to market,” says Christina Tamer, Vice President, Ventures at VentureWell. “We are committed to supporting these founders by giving them the tools, training, and mentorship they need to support them on their entrepreneurial journey.”

The ACCEL cohort will participate in a public kickoff event on March 6, 2024 at Greentown’s Boston location. Learn more and register here.


About Greentown Labs 

Greentown Labs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit catalyzing climate solutions through entrepreneurship, partnership, and collaboration. As the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, Greentown brings together startups, corporates, investors, policymakers, and others with a focus on scaling climate technologies. Driven by the mission of providing startups the community, connections, and resources they need to thrive, Greentown offers lab space, shared office space, machine shops, electronics labs, tool shops, software and business resources, and a large network of corporate customers, investors, and more. With incubators in Somerville, Mass. and Houston, Texas, Greentown is home to more than 200 startups and has supported more than 500 since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 11,000 jobs and raised more than $5.7 billion in funding. For more information, visit or follow Greentown on LinkedIn.

Greentown Media Contact

Julia Travaglini
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications
[email protected] 

About Browning the Green Space 

Browning the Green Space (BGS) is a nonprofit coalition of leaders and organizations, primarily in the New England region, that share the passion to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in clean energy and climatetech. BGS seeks to facilitate a just energy transition by putting Black and Brown communities first, and enabling systems change at the intersection of social, environmental, and economic justice. BGS is powering a just energy transition by creating jobs, building wealth, and reducing the energy burden in Black and Brown communities. By removing barriers and expanding access, BGS seeks to close the racial wealth gap while combating climate change. BGS is focused on a comprehensive approach to addressing DEI across key clean energy and climate tech areas through five connected but distinct focus areas: Careers, Companies, Capital, Contracts, and Communities.

Browning the Green Space Media Contact 

Megan Aki
[email protected]
617-221-3715 ext. 0