Spreading the Sunshine

Sistine Solar is showing how startups can help our students (and our streets) shine – and you can help their Kickstarter (only three days left)!

Rendering of Parkolation parklet design

Rendering of the soon-to-be developed Parkolation parklet (from Kickstarter) – including green Sistine Solar paneled roof to power cell phone chargers



“To make sustainability sustainable, you need to inspire and create the next generation of green innovators. The Parkolation Project is a perfect example of that”.  
– Senthil Balasubramanian, Sistine Solar


It may be trite to say that children are the future, but when you’re immersed in sustainability efforts on a daily basis, you really see how true it is.  When ask why they do what they do, many of the entrepreneurs at Greentown will recall the teacher or relative who instilled in them a love of the outdoors, or the class or experience that showed them how important environmental efforts are. These experiences at a young age truly do shape the leaders of the future.

That’s why it’s so inspiring to see entrepreneurs like Senthil Balasubramanian who are  helping pass on their love of environment to a new generation of students. Senthil’s startup, Sistine Solar, a Greentown Labs company since 2013, is working with VSA Massachusetts and the Boston Green Academy on the design and construction of a parklet (a park that fits in a parking spot) in Boston.  In addition to providing their specially designed, aesthetically beautiful solar panels for use in the parklet, the Sistine Solar team led the students through an interactive session about solar and entrepreneurship. The students played around with Sistine’s beautiful solar tiles, learned how they are made from scratch, and got to tour the company’s prototyping facility at Greentown. Senthil recalls the session fondly, “The questions that the students asked made me think deeper and learn more about the solar space! That day was an eye-opening one for me, where I understood firsthand that with young minds you need to provide two things – inspiration and curiosity. It is incredible what a curious mind can imagine when sparked with inspiration!”

Building on the success of similar structures in San Francisco, New York, and Montreal,  the parklet construction has already been fully funded, but the Parkolation group is not content to stop there. They want to make their process of making a parklet into an online course, so students across the world can make a parklet of their own!

From the Kickstarter page: “Imagine if kids of all ages, in cities around the world, could have access to these transformational educational experiences! They would learn about authentic urban renewal, civic engagement, sustainable technology and the design thinking process. Most importantly, they would KNOW that they CAN make a difference in their cities. Let’s help young people create a healthier future, and in so doing improve our education system!”

If you want to help make this dream a reality, spread some sunshine of your own at the Kickstarter page here!