Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 8:00 AM CDT|Updated: 5 hours ago

SOMERVILLE, Mass., Oct. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, Saint-Gobain, a multinational manufacturer and distributor of high-performance materials, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), an economic development agency dedicated to accelerating the clean energy sector across the state, have selected five startups for the Healthy Buildings Challenge that are developing technologies that advance building sustainability and wellbeing for building occupants. The latest iteration of the Greentown Launch corporate partnerships accelerator, the Healthy Buildings Challenge is focused on solutions that optimize for the health of people and the climate and aims to foster collaboration between Saint-Gobain and the participating startups, with support from MassCEC.

(PRNewsfoto/Greentown Labs)
(PRNewsfoto/Greentown Labs)

The Healthy Buildings Challenge is focused on solutions that optimize for the health of people and the climate

The Healthy Buildings Challenge received 99 applications from 15 countries, representing a range of innovations in building materials, coatings, and envelope systems, as well as digital platforms, monitoring, and supplemental technologies. After a highly competitive judging and selection process, five companies were chosen:

  • AeroShield (Boston, MA) develops super-insulating, transparent inserts for windows, bringing state-of-the-art thermal comfort and energy savings into buildings at an affordable price.
  • Alkemy Environmental (Somerville, MA) recycles industrial waste streams into structural-grade lightweight concrete aggregates.
  • Enerbrain (Torino, Italy) develops a Plug&Play IoT solution ready for the market that monitors and controls heating, cooling, and ventilation systems in buildings to make them smarter, healthier, and more sustainable thanks to AI and IoT technologies.
  • InventWood (College Park, MD) creates advanced wood material innovations, including strong yet light ‘super wood’ I-joists that can replace steel I-beams in buildings.
  • Zero (Cambridge, MA) develops automation software that enables hassle-free home retrofits to improve comfort and eliminate emissions.

“When we opened the Healthy Buildings Challenge, we wanted to recognize the significant role healthy buildings will play in improving the sustainability of the built environment and promoting occupant wellbeing,” said Minas Apelian, Vice President, External and Internal Venturing, Saint-Gobain. “We are energized by the five finalists and believe their technologies will enhance the performance of buildings and the health of people and the climate, together.”

Over the next six months, the Healthy Buildings Challenge will provide the five participating startups engagement opportunities with Saint-Gobain, opportunities to explore potential partnership outcomes, and unique visibility to Saint-Gobain’s top leadership team. The startups will gain membership and access to the mentor, corporate partner, and investor network of Greentown Labs, and a $25,000 non-dilutive grant to cover the cost of potential proof of concept projects.

“We know the built environment is one of the hardest to decarbonize sectors and we’re thrilled to be working with Saint-Gobain and MassCEC to support these amazing startups tackling various challenges across the built environment value chain,” said Greentown Labs CEO Dr. Emily Reichert. “Congratulations to the startups on their selection to the program—we can’t wait to see the positive milestones they’ll achieve throughout the Healthy Buildings Challenge!”

Eligible Massachusetts-based startups will also learn more about and be encouraged to apply for MassCEC’s Investments and Technology Development grant programs at the end of the Healthy Buildings Challenge. MassCEC provides demonstration grant funding and direct equity investments in Massachusetts-based cleantech companies through its InnovateMass, Equity, and Seed Investments programs.

“In order to meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious climate goals, which include net zero emissions by 2050, we will need to find innovative and cost-effective ways to decarbonize our existing buildings,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Jennifer Daloisio. “The startups participating in the Healthy Buildings Challenge are poised to make tremendous progress in improving both the comfort and the efficiency of the buildings where we live and work. MassCEC is proud to partner with Saint-Gobain and Greentown Labs in driving innovation in this critical space.”

Greentown Labs, Saint-Gobain, and MassCEC hosted a kickoff for The Healthy Buildings Challenge on Oct. 6, 2021; a recording of the event can be viewed here.

About Greentown Labs
Greentown Labs is a community of climate action pioneers working to design a more sustainable world. As the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, Greentown Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, policymakers, and many others with a focus on scaling climate solutions. Driven by the mission of providing startups the resources, knowledge, connections, and equipment they need to thrive, Greentown Labs offers lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, and a large network of corporate customers, investors, and more. With its headquarters in Somerville, Mass. and a recently opened incubator in Houston, TX, Greentown Labs is home to more than 180 startups and has supported more than 400 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 7,800 direct jobs and have raised more than $1.5 billion in funding. For more information, please visit or TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Greentown Labs Media Contact:
Julia Travaglini
VP of Marketing & Communications
[email protected] 

About Saint-Gobain
Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions for the construction, mobility, healthcare and other industrial application markets. Developed through a continuous innovation process, they can be found everywhere in our living places and daily life, providing wellbeing, performance and safety, while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and the fight against climate change. This strategy of responsible growth is guided by the Saint-Gobain purpose, “MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER HOME,” which responds to the shared ambition of all the women and men in the Group to act every day to make the world a more beautiful and sustainable place to live in. For more information about Saint-Gobain, visit or Twitter at @saintgobain.

€38.1 billion in sales in 2020
More than 167, 000 employees, located in 70 countries
Committed to achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050

Saint-Gobain Media Contact
Lauren Howe
[email protected]

About MassCEC
MassCEC is a publicly-funded agency dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since it began operating in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations, creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers.

MassCEC Media Contact
Robert Fitzpatrick
Director of Government Affairs
[email protected]

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