On Earth Day, we were proud to open Greentown Houston—the city’s first climatetech startup incubator—heralding a new and exciting chapter for the energy capital of the world!
The Grand Opening, which drew hundreds of people to an invite-only, socially distanced, outdoor event and hundreds more to the event’s livestream, was a celebration of entrepreneurship, collaboration, and innovation. We were honored to spotlight the hard work our 30 startup members, 27 corporate partners, and collaborators throughout the ecosystem are doing to accelerate the energy transition.
Greentown Houston’s Grand Opening took place just one year after the City of Houston announced its Climate Action Plan, and we are eager to help the city achieve its impressive climate goals by supporting the region’s climatetech ecosystem!
Thank you to all of our incredible speakers:
- Bob Harvey, President & CEO, Greater Houston Partnership
- Mayor Sylvester Turner, City of Houston
- David Leebron, President, Rice University
- Emily Reichert, CEO, Greentown Labs
- Barbara Burger, President, Chevron Technology Ventures
- Ajay Mehta, General Manager, Shell
- Tim Ong, Head of Innovation, BHP
- Scott Burns, VP, Retail Innovation, Customer Experience & Market Intelligence, NRG Energy
- Darryl Willis, CVP Energy Industry, Microsoft
- Jane Stricker, Senior Relationship Manager, Regions, Cities and Solutions, bp
- Katie Mehnert, CEO and Founder, ALLY Energy — a Greentown Houston Inaugural Member
- Trevor Best, CEO, Syzygy Plasmonics — a Greentown Houston Inaugural Member
Check out photos and key quotes from the Greentown Houston Grand Opening below, and watch a full recording of the event here!
“Houston, as the energy capital of the world, has a moral obligation to reduce carbon emissions. That is why one year ago today, we released our Climate Action Plan with the unique ambition for Houston to lead the global energy transition. If we are successful, if the companies based in Houston follow our lead and develop scalable, low-carbon solutions, we have the potential to decarbonize Houston and cities across the planet—and create local jobs in the process.
In this city, we dream big and we make big things happen or we go home—and in Houston, we don’t go home, we lead the way. Today is an example of Houston leading the way.” —Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston
“I’m bullish on Houston leading the energy transition for many reasons, not the least of which is that Houston is home to world-leading energy organizations and incredible engineering strength, talent, and assets that can—and frankly must—be redeployed toward a decarbonized future.
So when we considered where we could make the greatest impact in this decade of critical climate action, Houston, TX was our choice.”
—Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs
“The world is looking to Houston. That’s why opening Greentown Labs here, in this Innovation District, could not come at a better time. I’m a proud alum of Shell and bp, and I want to thank everyone in the energy community for making the investment in this very necessary ecosystem. ALLY is thrilled to serve as an Inaugural Startup Member.
Energy 1.0 was built here, and we can’t wait to work with everyone here to build Energy 2.0.” —Katie Mehnert, CEO and Founder, ALLY Energy — a Greentown Houston Inaugural Member
“I foresee that the effects that Greentown is going to have on our ecosystem are going to be exponential in helping our city grow new and exciting cleantech companies. The birth of this wonderful new future starts today.
If we want to keep energy jobs here in Houston, then we need to get our heads down and get to work. First off, all of you can get engaged with the startups here—amazing founders, like Moji at Cemvita Factory, Katie at ALLY, Anna at Varea Energy, Gary at Katz Water Technologies. Find them, support them—with talent, with investors, with customers.” —Trevor Best, CEO, Syzygy Plasmonics — a Greentown Houston Inaugural Member
“The energy that these startups will bring to my innovation team, being able to interact with them, is really going to supercharge what we’re doing as a company. And hopefully it will be a mutual relationship, where we can bring a lot of knowledge to them as well.” —Scott Burns, VP, Retail Innovation, Customer Experience & Market Intelligence, NRG Energy
“Houston has the necessary ingredients and it has momentum. We have a deep bench in energy, along so many dimensions; we have vision and commitment to the energy transition; and we have tremendous skin in the game. We have a growing and diverse population, with a commitment to ensure innovation is inclusive. Let’s celebrate, and then let’s get busy.” —Barbara Burger, President, Chevron Technology Ventures
“I remember my first interaction with Greentown Labs, at their Boston incubator. I was astounded by the number and quality of the startups there, and more importantly the passion, the infrastructure, and the strength of community that we felt when we visited. It was clear to me, at that point in time, that I wanted BHP to be up on that partner wall.” —Tim Ong, Head of Innovation, BHP
“This is a city that does not stand still. It buzzes with energy, a can-do attitude, and a friendliness that’s truly contagious. There is also a hunger in Houston to remain the preeminent energy capital of the world. Our entrepreneurs are ready to embrace the challenge and opportunities presented by the energy transition.” —Ajay Mehta, General Manager, Shell
“Last year, the City of Houston did something that would’ve been nearly unimaginable five years ago: they launched an ambitious and impactful Climate Action Plan, with a goal of getting Houston to net zero by 2050. Greentown Labs has a key role to play in that plan, driving Houston’s energy innovation system forward.” —Jane Stricker, Senior Relationship Manager, Regions, Cities and Solutions, bp
“We think the future is all about partnerships and platforms, and our mission is to help accelerate the energy transition and to help the City of Houston achieve its aspirations around the transition.” —Darryl Willis, CVP Energy Industry, Microsoft