Greentown Labs Announces the Healthy Buildings Challenge with Saint-Gobain and MassCEC

The partnerships-focused accelerator program is accepting applications from startups with innovations for the built environment

Somerville, Mass., June 9, 2021 — Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, Saint-Gobain, a multinational manufacturer and distributor of high-performance materials, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), an economic development agency dedicated to accelerating the growth of the clean energy sector across the state, recognize the significant role healthy buildings will play in improving the sustainability of the built environment and promoting occupant wellbeing. That’s why today, Greentown Labs and Saint-Gobain, with support from MassCEC, have launched the Greentown Launch Healthy Buildings Challenge, seeking applications from startups with buildings-related technologies that optimize for the health of people and the climate, together.

More specifically, the Healthy Buildings Challenge is interested in solutions within building materials, coatings, and envelope systems, as well as digital platforms, monitoring, and supplemental technologies that advance building sustainability and wellbeing for building occupants. Startups with solutions at the prototype stage or beyond are encouraged to apply.

This is the second Greentown Launch program that Greentown Labs and Saint-Gobain have partnered on, following a successful InNOVAte 2019 Challenge focused on the built environment value chain. Interested entrepreneurs can learn more about both the InNOVAte 2019 Challenge and the Healthy Buildings Challenge at the Fireside Chat: Saint-Gobain Program Flashback event on Tues., June 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

“The Healthy Buildings Challenge aligns with our purpose of making the world a better home by identifying building technologies that optimize the health of our people and our climate toward producing sustainable, healthy buildings where people can live, work and play,” said Minas Apelian, Vice President, External and Internal Venturing, Saint-Gobain. “Building on the success of the InNOVAte 2019 Challenge, the Healthy Buildings Challenge is an opportunity for Saint-Gobain to partner with Greentown Labs and MassCEC to provide meaningful contributions to a startup’s success while also offering mentors who can provide technical and business decision-making guidance from experts in the industry.”

Startups selected to participate in the Healthy Buildings Challenge gain access to Saint-Gobain leadership and opportunities to explore potential partnership outcomes including investment, development partnerships, and commercial partnerships. Furthermore, throughout the program startups will benefit from mentorship, networking opportunities, educational workshops, and partnership-focused programming to support their collaborations. Finally, participants will receive desk space and membership at Greentown Labs for the duration of the program and $25,000 in non-dilutive grant funding. The Healthy Buildings Challenge is part of the Greentown Launch family of programs, a six-month partnership acceleration program model for startups developed by Greentown Labs.

“Research shows the built environment—and its construction—accounts for nearly 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions which means there’s an enormous opportunity for innovation in this sector,” said Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. “It’s so important for the industry’s leading organizations and the public sector to engage with startups to tackle this challenge, and we’re thrilled to be joining forces with two of our longest-standing partners and experts in this space—Saint-Gobain and MassCEC—on this important program.”

Massachusetts-based startups will also be highlighted for MassCEC’s Investments and Technology Development grant programs at the end of the Healthy Buildings Challenge. MassCEC provides demonstration grant funding to and makes direct equity investments in Massachusetts-based cleantech companies through its InnovateMass, Equity, and Seed Investments programs.

“Buildings are at the center of our everyday lives and also account for a large percentage of our energy use,” said Steve Pike, CEO of MassCEC. “Improving efficiency in buildings increases comfort and quality of life while reducing harmful emissions. MassCEC is focused on surfacing tomorrow’s building solutions today, and Greentown Labs and Saint-Gobain are ideal partners to foster these next generation innovations in Massachusetts.”

Applications for the Healthy Buildings Challenge are due by August 25 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Applicants may apply from anywhere in the world. Depending on the COVID-19 pandemic, events may take place onsite at Greentown’s headquarters in Somerville, Mass., virtually, or a combination of both.


About Greentown Labs
Greentown Labs is a community of climate action pioneers working to design a more sustainable world. 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 solutions. 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, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, and a large network of corporate customers, investors, and more. With its headquarters in Somerville, Mass. and a recently opened incubator in Houston, Texas, Greentown Labs is home to more than 150 startups and has supported more than 350 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 6,500 direct jobs and have raised more than $1.2 billion in funding. For more information, visit or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Greentown Labs Media Contact:
Julia Travaglini
VP of Marketing & Communications

About Saint-Gobain
Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions for the construction, mobility, healthcare and other industrial application markets. Developed through a continuous innovation process, they can be found everywhere in our living places and daily life, providing wellbeing, performance and safety, while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and the fight against climate change. This strategy of responsible growth is guided by the Saint-Gobain purpose, “MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER HOME,” which responds to the shared ambition of all the women and men in the Group to act every day to make the world a more beautiful and sustainable place to live in. For more information about Saint-Gobain, visit or Twitter at @saintgobain.

€38.1 billion in sales in 2020
More than 167, 000 employees, located in 70 countries
Committed to achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050

Saint-Gobain Media Contact
Lauren Howe

About MassCEC
MassCEC is a publicly funded agency dedicated to growing Massachusetts’ clean energy economy while helping to meet the state’s clean energy, climate, and economic development goals. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects, and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations, creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers. Follow us on Twitter at @MassCEC.

MassCEC Media Contact
Robert Fitzpatrick
Director of Government Affairs
(617) 315 – 9352