A Deep Dive into the Future of Climatetech
Week of July 23rd, 2023
Going to Greentown Labs: North America’s Largest Climatetech Incubator
“Greentown Labs has incubated over 500 startups. These companies have raised more than $4b for their technology in climate solutions and generated more than $9.8 billion in regional economic impact.”
Needless to say, it was exciting to have Justin N and I shoot a video about the absolute juggernaut of impact in the world of climate technology and startups. But I’ll admit it – I didn’t know a whole lot about this sector and what kind of products are being built today. It also made me realize part of the reason we do the newsletter, podcast, and now video series: to learn more and share what we discover.
Most startups we interact with belong to a world far technically simpler than what we heard the incredible founders at Greentown Labs doing. For example, Transaera is a startup that is developing a new class of affordable, energy-efficient, sustainable cooling systems and residential air conditioners. The team, led by Sorin Grama, Mircea Dincă, and Ross Bonner, is a blend of experienced entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers. Sorin, one of the founders of Greentown Labs, brings his expertise from his previous venture, Promethean Power Systems, which focused on cold-storage systems for preserving fruits, vegetables, and milk in emerging markets. Mircea, a professor of Energy in the Department of Chemistry at MIT, brings his research on metal-organic materials, with an emphasis on water adsorbing and energy storage materials. Ross, with his background in aerospace and expertise in systems architecture, fluids, and heat transfer, adds another dimension to the team. Their collective efforts are geared towards creating a sustainable future with their innovative cooling systems.
Next, we have Sol Clarity, a company that has developed an Electrostatic Dust Shield (EDS) for solar panels. This technology can remove over 90% of the dust on PV collectors, restoring over 95% of the lost output power. This is a game-changer for solar energy production, especially in arid regions where dust can decrease a solar plant’s energy yield by more than 50% per year. The EDS is a water-free, “flip a switch” dust removal cleaning technology that eliminates water use and transport, thereby reducing the overall carbon footprint. It’s an automated technology that requires no labor and no maintenance, and can clean solar collectors installed with EDS simultaneously in under two minutes.
Lastly, we have H2Ok Innovations, an IoT-enabled analytics platform providing data-driven optimization of industrial liquid systems for manufacturing and data centers. They believe in unlocking previously untapped data to provide a competitive advantage in the way you run your plant or data center– reducing your operating and resource costs while improving operational efficiency. This is a perfect example of the application of Industry 4.0 principles, using data and AI to drive efficiency and sustainability.
These startups are truly amazing, not just for the innovative products they are building, but also for the impact they are having on our world. They are addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our time, from energy efficiency to water conservation, and doing so in a way that is both technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable. It’s been an absolute pleasure to learn about their work and share their stories with you. You can check out the video here:
Stay tuned for more exciting updates from the world of Boston startups!
Thanks for reading,
Justin D @ heyfounded
Discover the future of Climatetech innovation in our latest documentary
Greentown Labs: Unpacking the Largest Climatetech Incubator in North America
In this 21-minute video, we showcase the exceptional Climatetech innovation that Greentown Labs fosters, right here in the Greater Boston Area and beyond.
We highlight three remarkable startups – Transaera, H2Ok Innovations, & Sol Clarity – who call Greentown Labs their home for innovation.
🥁 The Boston Beat
All the juicy gossip, trends, and seismic shifts shaking up our very own startup scene
Optimizing Sales Incentives for Success: A Look at Lusha and Hometap Equity Partners
Lusha and Hometap Equity Partners are redefining their Sales Performance Incentive Fund (SPIFF) programs to drive salesforce motivation and effectiveness. With a focus on aligning incentives with company culture, these firms offer both traditional and modern rewards, including off-site getaways, subscription boxes, and food delivery. Hometap Equity Partners, under the leadership of VP of Sales and Investment Operations, Daniel Amato, encourages sales team members to pursue passions and spotlight achievements. Through these diverse strategies, these companies keep their teams motivated and invested in their shared goals. This article highlights how well-structured incentive programs can create a dynamic, collaborative, and transparent sales culture that promotes collective success.
The Necessity of Reform vs. Diversity of Support: Kirsner Calls for Consolidation in Massachusetts Startup Ecosystem
Scott Kirsner, Globe Correspondent, challenges the status quo of Massachusetts’ efforts to support its startup ecosystem in a post-COVID world. He underlines the disruptions caused by a decentralized, global startup economy and the high cost of living in Massachusetts. Arguing that there’s an excess of uncoordinated reports and initiatives, Kirsner presses for a more consolidated and targeted approach.
However, a counterpoint to Kirsner’s argument could be the benefit of diverse resources and perspectives offered by the current ecosystem. The broad range of initiatives, albeit fragmented, could cater to a variety of entrepreneurs’ needs and sectors, thus promoting a richly diversified startup ecosystem. Kirsner’s call for consolidation and sharper audience focus, primarily on local students, while pragmatic, might risk narrowing the scope and potentially exclude certain segments of entrepreneurs.
Regardless, Kirsner is firm in his belief that a shift in approach — including greater consolidation and biannual events for students in Boston and Amherst — would better serve Massachusetts’ startup landscape and its competitive standing. It’s a challenging balancing act between diversity and focus that requires careful consideration.
July VC Downtrend in Boston-area, Notable Rise in Diversity
In July, VC funding in Massachusetts took a hit, totaling only $277.15 million compared to $717 million in June, mirroring a national trend. On a positive note, 43% of the funding went to female-founded and led companies. Notable fund-raisers included biotech companies like Lumicell, and software startups such as Ubicept. The funds Bain Capital Insurance and Suffolk Technologies successfully closed substantial funding rounds.
Opinion: This data reveals a concerning trend in declining VC funding, which could potentially stifle innovation and growth. While the downturn is worrying, the rise in funding for diverse companies is encouraging, suggesting that the VC community is increasingly recognizing the value of diverse leadership in fostering innovation. However, more needs to be done to ensure other underrepresented groups are given similar opportunities, especially given the relatively low funding for Hispanic/Latino-led businesses.
🛠️ Toolbox & Tactics
Bite-sized wisdom & tech to dodge startup pitfalls
Silicon Valley’s Cargo Culting Problem
Find out the thin line between inspiration and imitation in startup culture! Y Combinator’s Dalton and Michael explore ‘Cargo Culting’—blindly copying strategies without understanding them—in their latest episode. Understand this pitfall to enhance your startup’s journey. Watch the episode now!
🌯 The Wrap
Our final thoughts on this week’s whirlwind, in a nutshell
What Heyfounded Means To Use
A heartfelt thank you for your continued support of Heyfounded. Your engagement has allowed us to grow, branching into a weekly newsletter, a job board, and even a video series with esteemed institutions like Greentown Labs.
Your passion fuels our mission to spotlight the innovation, determination, and success within Boston’s vibrant startup ecosystem. Every story we share, every insight we uncover is for you – the budding entrepreneurs, the seasoned founders, and the curious observers.
Remember, our journey is intertwined with yours. As we continue to share these inspiring tales, we hope to make the startup life feel less alone, less daunting.
So, thank you once more for being a part of our story. Stay tuned for more exciting content and join us at [https://heyfounded.com/] for our weekly updates.
Justin D @ heyfounded