Greentown Labs Hits the 40 Member Mark

by Emily Reichert, Executive Director, Greentown Labs

I love watching our members grow as they fundraise, build prototypes and launch pilots. But this month Greentown Labs hit a growth milestone of its own. Our community now houses and supports 40 member companies, adding to the incredible momentum we’ve enjoyed since moving to Somerville last year.

Please join me in welcoming Greenbean Recycle, Silverside Detectors and Wristify to the Greentown Labs community!

Greentown Labs provides the physical space, business support, education and collaboration necessary to help member companies accelerate their growth as they move from research-based prototypes to pilot implementations. “In Boston, it’s really hard for startups to afford space to take what you have and go to the next stage of build-out,” said Sarah Haig, co-founder of Silverside Detectors. “Greentown is that bridge from laboratory to factory.”

Our companies are selected for inclusion based on a series of factors, including focus, stage of development, needs and community fit.

GB Recycle

Greenbean Recycle is a software company coming out of PayPal’s Start Tank. They focus on making recycling easier and more permeating by enabling bottle or can recycling machines called Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) to be cashless. This capability means RVMs can be placed anywhere and increase recycling rates. Greenbean Recycle is already present in eight colleges.

“We want to improve the experience of the product we have,” said CEO and Founder Shanker Sahai of his team’s decision to join Greentown. “We wanted to be in a space that fosters hardware startups and learn from other founders and teams that have been in the hardware space and better understand how we can get to the next level.”

SilverSide Detectors

Silverside Detectors helps governments reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism and the team joined the Greentown community from Cleantech Open. “Nuclear is energy,” said Haig. “So whether that energy is used for productive, civil purposes or weather it’s used by terrorists, our detectors are linked to the nuclear energy space.” The team has won awards such as a $50,000 prize from MassChallenge and a $75,000 prize from CASIS, the non-profit arm of NASA. Their lithium thermal neutron detector is low-cost and efficient enough to use in networks of discreet detectors in places such as cities, transportation pathways and nuclear storage sites.


Wristify is developing a wearable technology that enables people to control their own, personal comfort. The team came out of MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and their prototype recently won first place in the last MADMEC competition. The environmental benefits and cost savings of such a device could be massive, especially considering that about 87 percent of US households use air conditioning. Wristify is using their $10,000 MADMEC winnings to further develop their prototype to improve personal comfort while being more energy efficient than HVAC alone.

These teams have sought out Greentown Labs as a support community in all aspects of their growth: from building hardware to conducting business to collaborating, partnering and learning from other resident and emeritus companies.

Growth at Greentown Labs

Demand for our co-located office and prototyping space has exceeded expectations. Our original plan was to sublease part of the prototyping lab referred to as ‘expansion space.’ We’ve not only held on to it, but last week construction started to accommodate the needs of new member companies arriving in late spring.

Of course, some member companies will eventually move on to “Emeritus” status, leaving room for younger companies to come in—that’s the type of community we’re building and one that will sustain us into the future. Great companies attract great companies, and our members are doing nothing less than solving society’s greatest energy challenges.

Greentown Labs includes sponsors in such diverse areas as software, energy, law, marketing, consulting, technology, venture capital and government. The community also offers networking and promotional opportunities to its members through events such as regular networking events called Energy Bars, and a series of lunch-and-learn educational programs.

All Greentown Labs resident companies pay a rental fee for their space and to help sustain the community and its programs.

Greentown Labs 40 companies Infographics