Greentown Labs, MIT, Texas Universities Reveal New Student Entrepreneurship Program

Houston, Texas, Oct. 27, 2022 — Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, today launched the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy (TEX-E), a first-of-a-kind collaboration among Greentown Labs, MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship, and universities across Texas to create a powerful student-driven entrepreneurship ecosystem in Houston, focused on energy innovation and implementing lessons learned from building a successful ecosystem in the Greater Boston area. 

“Houston has long been known as the energy capital of the world, but to lead the world’s energy transition, the city must create a strong, vibrant innovation ecosystem to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and energy companies,” said Lara Cottingham, Chief of Staff at Greentown Labs. “TEX-E will build upon Texas universities’ deep and long-standing connections to the energy industry by helping to attract and retain the world-class talent needed to supercharge Houston’s innovation ecosystem.” 

TEX-E’s mission is to train and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs to lead the energy transition and to share in the massive economic opportunity it entails, while also addressing the existential threat of climate change. As part of the program, participating students have access to mentorship with Greentown Labs’ climatetech entrepreneurs, networking events, career opportunities, and cross-learning with MIT, including the TEX-E energy ventures short course that was held at Greentown Labs Houston this fall. 

“Boston and Houston might seem like an odd pairing, but they complement one another beautifully,” said Ben Soltoff, Ecosystem Builder and Entrepreneur In Residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. “The Boston area has a strong community-driven ecosystem around climate innovation, including MIT’s pioneering Climate and Energy Ventures Course in Cambridge, which has spawned over 30 companies. But often when MIT startups need to scale up, they look towards Texas, where they can find talent, space, and industry knowhow in spades. Together, these two regions are unstoppable.”

The partnership spanning two of the United States’ great cities—Houston and Boston—will have benefits that extend far beyond the boundaries of university campuses. In Houston, it will help ensure that the city remains an economic leader as the future of the energy industry evolves. In Boston, innovation from universities will find fertile ground to scale in partnership with energy industry leaders. Nationally and globally, this partnership will accelerate efforts toward solving a massive, generational challenge.

The founding institutions of TEX-E are Rice University, Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, University of Houston, and The University of Texas at Austin. Over time, the collaboration may expand to include other universities.

Interested students and university representatives are encouraged to sign up for the TEX-E newsletter and attend an upcoming event.

“Like our state of Texas and city of Austin, The University of Texas at Austin has always been deeply committed to entrepreneurship, developing marketable and innovative solutions for societal challenges, and harnessing students’ creative potential through practical experiences,” said UT Austin President Jay Hartzell. “This collaboration is a perfect fit for UT’s Energy Institute and the Cockrell School of Engineering, along with Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Energy Center. As part of the TEX-E ecosystem, they will offer our students yet another opportunity for both mentorship and impact around energy innovation.”  

“At Texas A&M, we are committed to providing a transformative education that prepares today’s students for tomorrow’s world,” said M. Katherine Banks, President of Texas A&M University. “We are proud to be part of this collaboration and are confident that by providing this hands-on learning opportunity to student entrepreneurs, great things will happen.”

“Rice University is extremely excited to be part of this important initiative,” said Yael Hochberg, Head of Rice Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “MIT Trust Center has been a leader in this space for years, and the collaboration between our Texas universities and their experience and knowledge is a tremendous opportunity to help Texas lead the way in the energy transition space.” 

“The TEX-E collaboration will provide valuable opportunities to our students, and Houston is a natural location to create such an ecosystem,” said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, vice president for energy and innovation at the University of Houston. “Training new talent and supporting their pursuit of innovative ideas are vital in addressing the growing global need for affordable, reliable, and environmentally sustainable energy.” 

“Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) is enthusiastic about the partnership with Greentown Labs through the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy (TEX-E) initiative,” said Magesh Rajan, Vice President of Research and Innovation. “PVAMU is committed to nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem within its campus and the region surrounding it. The PVAMU students interested in starting new ventures for the energy transition, entrepreneurship, and climate action will greatly benefit through this initiative.”


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 incubators in Somerville, Mass. and Houston, TX, Greentown Labs is home to more than 200 startups and has supported more than 450 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 8,400 jobs and have raised more than $2.2 billion in funding. For more information, please visit or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Greentown Labs Media Contact:

Julia Travaglini
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