Greentown Labs Further Commits to its Roots, Becomes a Public Benefit Corporation

When Greentown Labs was founded, our community ethos developed naturally around shared beliefs and visions for a cleaner, greener future for all. The group of founding startups came together to share the cost of rent while developing their new, breakthrough, hardware-oriented clean technologies. The community quickly grew over the next few years not only by the number of startups that called Greentown Labs home and the square footage of our facility, but also by the resources and programming available to our members. And despite our rapid growth, our community-oriented mindset and our shared goals for a clean energy economy remain, something we’re incredibly proud of.

That’s why Greentown Labs has officially become a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC)!

The Greentown Labs Board of Directors voted to re-incorporate Greentown Labs as a PBC to underscore our commitment to our purpose and mission: to engage in activities that promote and accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technology by building a vibrant entrepreneurial community and through identifying, supporting, and connecting high impact startups with the resources they need which ultimately enables a cleaner environment for the next generation.

This new, forward-thinking corporate status combines characteristics of both for-profit and nonprofit corporations, enabling Greentown Labs to take equally into account our stakeholders’ needs as well as our governing directors needs.

So, what does that really mean?

In essence, becoming a PBC enables us to hold our community’s positive societal impact at the same level of importance as Greentown Labs’ profitability as an organization. This means that our governing directors are empowered to consider our public benefit in addition to profits when making strategic, corporate decisions.

For instance, because we will not be providing dividends to governing directors, we can instead invest our funds into building new facilities and programs to better serve entrepreneurs; this will take its largest form when we open our Global Center for Cleantech Innovation in October 2017!

At Greentown Labs we think about cleantech and public benefits or societal impact fairly broadly. First and foremost, we define cleantech as technological solutions that allow for the more efficient use of resources and or the reduction of waste or pollution in the environment. Really, we’re all about doing more with less and protecting our planet for our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren. Beyond our definition of cleantech, we’re going to measure our societal impact—or our public benefit—across three categories. In no particular order, we’re focusing on:  

  • People: our core mission is to support entrepreneurs as they work to deploy new, cleantech solutions into the market; we’re going to track how many startups we support, how many jobs those companies directly and indirectly create, and constantly work to grow our community in the United States and beyond.


  • Planet: we aim to go one step further than just supporting our clean energy entrepreneurs, we want to capture the positive impact our member companies are collectively making on the planet. The first areas of measurement we’re going to work on will be: amount of reduced CO2 emissions; reduction of waste generated; and reduction of chemicals emitted into the environment.  


  • Profit: how much economic value the collective Greentown Labs community is making locally and regionally.


You see, Greentown Labs was founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs; we exist for startups and we are here because of startups. Our incorporation as a PBC highlights the fact that Greentown Labs never has and never will exist solely to drive profits but rather to drive a positive impact on society and the environment.

As we celebrate our birthday today, we’re excited to begin this new chapter as a PBC and we assure you this is more than a manifesto declaring our commitment to our mission. We will release updates every other year summarizing our efforts as a PBC and look forward to working with all of you—our members, partners, and friends—to achieve our clean energy goals, influence a positive environmental and economic impact on society, and encourage the next generation of cleantech changemakers. 


Members of the Greentown Labs team, Advisory Board and Board of Directors toured our future Global Center for Cleantech Innovation in April. Stay tuned for updates!