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Navigating the Boston CleanTech Startup Scene - Who to Know, Where to Go

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

Boston has been a leader in the environmental space for decades - including, but not limited to, cleantech, greentech and climatech. In more recent years, the business world has caught up with the need to create new technologies and ways of powering our world to address urgent priorities around climate change and environmental sustainability.


Below, we explore the New England and Boston Greentech, Cleantech and Climatech startup scene. This is by no means exhaustive and will be the first in a series of pieces to get better acquainted with this space.


CleanTech Startups to Watch

Here are a few startups in the Boston and New England are you’ll want to keep eyes on:


Electric Grid Energy Storage:

Ambri — is changing the way power grids operate by increasing the contribution from renewable resources and reducing the need to build traditional power plants.


Form Energy — is developing a new class of cost-effective, multi-day energy storage systems that will enable a reliable and fully-renewable electric grid year-round.


Electric Vehicle Batteries and Charging:

Factorial Energy — is an industry leader in the development of solid-state battery technology for electric vehicle (EV) applications.


SparkChangeis the first company to create an EV charging system and network, single-handedly creating Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS).


Energy Efficiency Software & Monitoring:

Ekotrope — provides innovative software tools for raters and providers, utilities and utility program administrators, building product manufacturers, and lending institutions that aid in the construction, improvement, and financing of energy efficient homes.


Sense — offers a wide range of uses including monitoring their home appliances, determining whether they left appliances running and identifying major energy drains in their home so they can eliminate energy waste and live more sustainably.


Sustaine — brings low-cost energy, renewables and energy efficiency to businesses and institutions. Through proprietary software, Sustaine recommends best-fit options for each client, then matches the preferred option with best-in-class solution providers for fulfillment.


Agriculture:

Clean Crop Technologies — is translating groundbreaking research on ways to reduce molds, toxins, and pests into commercial scale services for agriculture.


Freight Farms — builds hydroponic, vertical farming solutions inside shipping containers, empowering anyone to grow food anywhere.


Solar & Renewable Energy:

BlueWave — is on a mission to revolutionize energy with simple, powerful solutions. As a pioneering solar developer, BlueWave has developed and sold more than 155 MW of solar projects to date. As built, these projects collectively generate enough solar energy to avoid roughly 119,490 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

Raptor Maps — offers an advanced software platform to standardize data, analyze insights and collaborate across solar to help customers optimize their PV assets.


REsurety — is the leading analytics company empowering the clean energy economy. Operating at the intersection of weather, power markets and financial modeling, we enable the industry’s decision makers to thrive with best-in-class value and risk intelligence, and the tools to act on it.


Solstice — is a hybrid organization that strives to make the clean energy revolution work for everyone in America by marrying innovative technology with community power.


Sunwealth — invests in a better energy future by financing and managing solar projects that benefit diverse communities through clean power, carbon reduction, cost savings and job creation.


Swift Current Energy — develops, constructs, owns and operates highly competitive wind and solar energy projects in North America.


Air & Water Quality:

Aclarity — is a venture-backed water technology company based in Massachusetts that designs, integrates and deploys proprietary electrochemical water treatment systems.


enVerid — is a leading provider of Sustainable Indoor Air Quality solutions. Their mission is to make the world a cleaner, healthier place – both inside and out.


R&D / Manufacturing for Climate:

Boston Metal — is delivering a future where primary steel production is free of carbon emissions. Their Molten Oxide Electrolysis (MOE) technology provides the metals industry with a more efficient, lower cost, and greener solution for the production of a range of metals and alloys from a wide variety of feedstocks.


Commonwealth Fusion Systemswas spun out of MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center to leverage the decades of fusion research combined with the innovation and speed of the private sector. Supported by the world’s leading investors in breakthrough energy technologies, the CFS team is uniquely positioned to deliver the fastest path to commercial fusion energy.


Nth Cycle — works with battery recyclers and miners to recover production-grade critical minerals from separated e-waste and low-grade mine tailings. Their electro-extraction technology enables customizable, clean and consistent recovery of the critical minerals for the energy transition.


Sublime Systems — is developing technology to make low-carbon cement. They make cement using ambient temperature electrochemistry instead of high-temperature fossil fuel-fired kilns.


Verdox — is making scalable, cost-effective carbon capture and removal a reality by commercializing its electroswing adsorption (ESA) platform technology, originally developed at MIT, to remove carbon dioxide from industrial emissions and the air with 70% energy savings versus conventional approaches.


Movers and Shakers in the Green/Clean/ClimateTech Space

Stay on top of the conversation in the greentech, cleantech and climatech space by following these industry movers and shakers:


Amy Duffuor - @AmyDuffuor - Climatech VC at Prime Impact Fund and Azolla Ventures


Beth Zonis - Follow on LinkedIn - Senior Director at CleanTech Open Northeast/NECEC


Cayman Somerville - @CaymanJillian - Operations at Azolla Ventures and ClimaTech Fellow at On Deck


Dan White - Follow on LinkedIn - CEO and Co-Founder of Clean Crop Technologies and an AgTech entrepreneur


David Bradwell - Learn More - CTO and Co-Founder of Ambri; played a pivotal role in advancing the Liquid Metal Battery technology


Jason Jacobs - @jjacobs22 - Partner at MCJ Collective; bio states he’s 100% focused on climate change; Podcast Host of My Climate Journey


Katherine Woolford - Follow on LinkedIn - Program Manager at BlueSwell; environmentalist and marine enthusiast supporting entrepreneurs


Megan O’Connor - Follow on LinkedIn - Founder and CEO at Nth Cycle


Siyu Huang - Follow on LinkedIn - CEO and Founder of Factorial Energy


Networking Groups, Accelerators and Incubators for Green/Clean/ClimateTech Startups

Interested in networking and learning from others? Check out these great organizations:


Activate Boston — is a two-year fellowship to turn technology concepts into products. They work with Boston-area research organizations, including UMass Boston’s Venture Development Center and Greentown Labs, to support fellows developing energy and climate technologies.


BlueSwell - an initiative of SeaAhead and the Boston Aquarium and an incubator — formed to support the creation and growth of startups with scalable solutions that enhance ocean health, sustainable ocean industry, and global resilience.


Greentown Labs - the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America.


MCJ Collective — powers collective innovation for climate solutions by breaking down silos and unleashing problem-solving capacity. They’re a platform for the flow of information, ideas, and capital needed to accelerate individual climate journeys and enable collaboration.


NECEC — is based out of Greentown Labs and is the only organization that covers all of the clean energy market segments in the Northeast, representing the business perspectives of investors and clean energy companies across every stage of development.


Investors in Green/Clean/ClimateTech

Below are a few New England and Boston-based investors investing in greentech, cleantech and climatech technology and startups. Check them out:


Azolla Ventures — founded by Prime Coalition, a nonprofit organization that partners with philanthropists and other mission-driven investors to support market-driven innovations designed to catalyze, deepen, or accelerate solutions for climate change.


CapShift — an impact investing platform that empowers philanthropic and financial institutions, along with their clients, to mobilize capital for social and environmental change.


Climate & Energy Prize @ MIT — the largest and longest-running competition for student-led climate startups in the world with over 550 applicants, over 200 mentored teams, and over $2.8M in awarded cash prizes.


Grantham Foundation for the Environment — invests to redesign our energy systems; to improve soil health; to spare the ocean from acidification; to directly recapture carbon from the atmosphere – and more.


Maine Angels - makes investments across a wide-range of industries in New England, with an emphasis on Maine


Massachusetts Clean Energy Center - invests at the earliest stages of the company across the cleantech and climatech landscape


MCJ Capital — collaborative capital backing ambitious founders scaling climate solutions.


MM Catalyst Fund — enables the growth of technology and sustainability driven business in less-developed regions of the commonwealth and drives growth and capital for business expansion into financially underserved Black businesses.


Prime Impact Fund — an initiative of Prime Coalition and invests in transformative technology companies with the potential for gigaton-scale climate impact.


Stay tuned with the latest updates on the Boston Green/Clean/ClimateTech Startup Scene!

The space is constantly changing and new players enter the game. We try to keep our resources up to date, but if there’s anything we missed send us a message using this link. Thank you!


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