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Why We’re Expanding to Houston, Texas

In 2019, Greentown Labs’ Board of Directors made two major decisions: to incorporate climate action into every facet of Greentown, and to expand to Houston, TX.

These two steps are intensely interconnected. We know we can’t solve climate change from the U.S. coasts alone—we need all hands on deck at this time. Houston is home to world-leading energy organizations and incredible engineering strength, talent, and assets that can—and must—be redeployed toward a decarbonized future. Therefore, we believe opening our second location in the energy capital of the world, and in partnership with the nation’s fourth largest city, is the best place to broaden our impact to meet the urgent challenge of climate change. Houston has the opportunity to be the energy transition capital of the world; we believe bringing Greentown Labs to Houston will accelerate the shift in this direction. 

Greentown Houston will be the first climatetech-focused incubator in the city. It will serve as an on-the-ground catalyst for climate action in Houston—aiming to bring together civic and business leaders, entrepreneurs, students, and other stakeholders who have already begun the transition and raise awareness of the opportunity for those who have yet to engage. Three years ago, the city and its residents were deeply affected by Hurricane Harvey and experienced firsthand the devastating impacts of climate change and the need for building climate resilience. Houston does not have a convening organization for the cleantech and climate action community, and this is sorely felt by those passionate about our industry there—especially startups. At its opening in Spring 2021, Greentown Houston will provide more than 40,000 square feet of prototyping lab, office, and event space for a community of about 50 startup companies.

Under Mayor Sylvester Turner’s leadership, Houston recently announced its first-ever Climate Action Plan with a commitment of becoming carbon neutral by 2050—the same goal as Boston. Mayor Turner has also served as the co-chair of Climate Mayors since 2017 alongside Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The leadership of the city and the business community in Houston are aware that the oil and gas industry will not be the driving force for Houston’s economy 10 to 20 years from now, and that Houston needs to rapidly diversify its industry base. In fact, Houston has already quietly positioned itself as a national leader in the cleantech and renewable energy sectors. The Houston municipality is powered by 92 percent renewable energy, and it’s home to more than 130 solar and wind companies, the largest concentration in the U.S. 

Finally, with Greentown Houston, we aim to build a bridge between Boston and Houston, to have the best and brightest engineering and business minds working together on our global climate challenge. Boston and Houston are both cities driven by a need to have global impact; we have the ability to do so through our engineering strength and an optimistic, yet pragmatic, approach to addressing our major challenges such as climate change. Our startup community in Boston will benefit from Greentown Labs’ expansion to Houston through access to new pools of capital, new opportunities for collaboration, and a broadened network of entrepreneurs passionate about developing climate solutions for the world. 

We’re thrilled to be launching this next chapter in our efforts to fight climate change. Want to get involved? Here are ways you can join in:

Onwards and Upwards,
Emily

Emily Reichert, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Greentown Labs
#ClimateOptimist