Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space Open Applications for Year 2 of the ACCEL Program to Support BIPOC Founders

The recurring, year-long program is accepting applications from BIPOC entrepreneurs developing solutions to the climate crisis

Somerville, Mass. and Houston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2023 Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech incubator in North America, and Browning the Green Space (BGS), a nonprofit dedicated to making clean energy and other climate-related fields more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, are accepting applications from BIPOC-led climatetech startups for Year 2 of the Advancing Climatetech and Clean Energy Leaders Program (ACCEL).

ACCEL bolsters startups as they develop critical climatetech solutions by offering access to funding, networking connections, resources, and opportunities that structural inequities put out of reach. The year-long program combines acceleration with a curated curriculum, incubation at Greentown, and extensive mentorship from Greentown and BGS’s networks of industry experts.

Startups selected for ACCEL will benefit from the accelerator by:

  • Engaging in a curated curriculum of workshops led by experts, including from VentureWell, covering various essential topics for early-stage climatetech founders
  • Working alongside fellow BIPOC founders
  • Receiving $25k in non-dilutive grant funding
  • Gaining valuable mentorship from experienced industry experts
  • Receiving desk space and membership within Greentown for the duration of the program, which grants access to $1M+ of in-kind resources, including software and legal support; 70+ corporate partners; community resources; and more
  • Receiving BGS membership to unlock opportunities to learn, connect, and engage with practitioners in the clean energy sector on a just energy transition for Black and Brown communities

The Year 2 request for applications comes as a successful inaugural year of ACCEL winds to a close. ACCEL Year 1 featured six startups working on innovations as diverse as sneakers made from food waste, ultracapacitors built with hemp sourced from Black and Indigenous farmers, and ultra-light solar panels. Their 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.

This program is a unique partnership between Greentown and BGS and 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.

“The ACCEL Program directly aligns with our mission to ensure that climatetech jobs and wealth creation opportunities are available to all residents of the Commonwealth,” says Emily Reichert, Chief Executive Officer at MassCEC. “We are excited to see the second round of this important program, with our Equity Workforce Fund support fostering a partnership between Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space aimed at accelerating the growth of minority and women business enterprises in Massachusetts.”

ACCEL is also funded by the Barr Foundation, a Boston-based foundation with a regional focus that works with partners to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond.

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.

“ACCEL is one of the most impactful, meaningful programs we’ve run to date,” said Greentown Labs CEO and President Kevin Knobloch. “We are eager to expand upon the great success and momentum of year one, and to welcome another incredible cohort of BIPOC-led startups that are developing much-needed climatetech solutions. We’re equally committed to helping these companies accelerate and deploy their solutions, while also helping to build a more diverse, inclusive climatetech workforce—ACCEL sits at the nexus of those two critical efforts.”

“Through our partnership with Greentown and VentureWell, we are able to put our respective strengths together to create an ambitious program to bolster founders of color in climatetech and propel innovations that benefit communities most impacted by climate change,” said Kerry Bowie, Executive Director and President of Browning the Green Space. “Opening applications for Year 2 of ACCEL is an important milestone in strengthening critical support for traditionally excluded entrepreneurs in our communities.”

“This year, we had the privilege of supporting the inaugural cohort of ACCEL entrepreneurs with investment-readiness programming that spanned strategic partnerships, financial projection and milestone planning, and discussing different pathways for growth,” said Christina Tamer, Vice President, Ventures, at VentureWell. “A year later, it’s amazing to see the progress the teams are making in job creation, pilot programs, and securing strategic partners and funders as they prepare for launch. We look forward to continuing our Year 2 of ACCEL in working with a second cohort of underrepresented founders in advancing their climate solutions.”

Applications for ACCEL are due by Jan. 5, 2024. Interested entrepreneurs can learn more about the call for applications by visiting the website or contacting Applicants may apply from anywhere in the world, with priority consideration given to applicants based in Greater Boston and Greater Houston, where Greentown’s incubators are located.


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 Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, policymakers, and many others with a focus on scaling climate technologies. Driven by the mission of providing startups the resources, knowledge, connections, and equipment they need to thrive, Greentown Labs 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 Labs is home to more than 200 startups and has supported more than 525 since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 24,000 jobs, raised more than $5.1 billion in funding, and generated more than $9.8 billion in regional economic impact. For more information, please visit or LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Greentown Media Contact:

Julia Travaglini

Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications

888.954.6836 ext. 1

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. Browning the Green Space (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

617-221-3715 ext. 0