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Greentown Labs Moves to Boston’s Innovation District

New Boston cleantech incubator nearly doubles, to 9 companies

Boston Business Journal – by Kyle Alspach

Boston-Business-Journal

Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 3:02pm EDT

Greentown Labs, a South Boston start-up incubator focused on cleantech, has nearly doubled its number of resident companies since moving from East Cambridge in May, the incubator’s founders said Tuesday.

Greentown now houses nine companies and a green business trade group, up from the five original founding start-ups — Airventions, Altaeros Energies, Coincident, OsComp Systems and Promethean Power. The incubator, located on Summer Street in the South Boston “Innovation District,” was set to be opened to the public Tuesday night for a grand opening event.

Tuesday afternoon, the startups busily prepared their prototypes for display, including Altaeros’ massive inflatable wind turbine system and Promethean Power’s solar-powered milk chiller — which was being readied to cool beer for the evening.

The incubator’s founders said they sought out the 11,000-square-foot incubator as a place where they could do the physical work needed to develop their prototypes. The ultimate goal is to add a machine shop and an electronics lab for the space.

“We really did this out of necessity,” said Coincident president Jason Hanna, who’s been the lead organizer for the incubator. “There aren’t any other places with the things we needed.”

Roughly 40 people work at the incubator currently, most of them engineers, said Sam White, co-founder of Promethean Power, who thought up the idea for the incubator with Hanna . “What’s amazing is the collaboration that happens naturally” between the different companies, White said.

Most of the start-ups are in the seed stage and haven’t yet received Series A financing, said Hanna, who’s company is developing residential and commercial energy management systems. But as the companies expand, it’s possible they could stay in the building since there’s space available on upper floors, Hanna said.

The rent for the space is funded by the resident companies, but the incubator — which has organized itself as a not-for-profit entity — has also received roughly $80,000 in services and cash from sponsors, Hanna said.

The four other companies located at Greentown Labs are Arista Solutions, Dynamo Micropower, Fusion Research Technologies and SolSolution, and the Green Trade Association also currently has its office at the incubator.

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