March Investor Newsletter: March Madness — Greentown Edition

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Friends of Greentown,

Let’s start with what’s top of mind for everyone: the SIlicon Valley Bank collapse. The Greentown team has been all-hands-on-deck supporting our many members who banked there and we appreciate how the VC community—especially those of you with a focus on climate—emphasized your commitment to climatetech entrepreneurs and innovation through this uniquely trying time. I know we are not out of the woods yet, but with the Federal Reserve’s coverage of uninsured deposits, we are all breathing a sigh of relief and expect that our startups will be able to keep their doors open, pay their hardworking employees, and continue to create positive climate and economic impacts worldwide. Greentown remains wholeheartedly committed to supporting climatetech entrepreneurs and we look forward to working with you as we seek additional startup-tailored banking and project financing resources for our community.

The widespread momentum for climatetech innovations is strong, and nowhere was this more apparent than at last week’s CERAWeek conference (check out CTVC’s recap), where we saw 200+ climatetech startups pitching, tabling, and building the connections they need to finance and deploy their technologies. More than 25 Greentown members participated—pitching at the HETI Energy Ventures Competition and Rice Energy Venture Day, and winning some awards! Criterion Energy Partners won the most promising Series A company AND fan favorite for a double-whammy, and members AeroShield Materials and Pressure Corp won most promising startups at the Rice Alliance’s Energy Venture Day. And as part of the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy (TEX-E)—a collaboration among Greentown, MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship, and universities across Texas to create a powerful, student-driven entrepreneurship ecosystem in Houston focused on energy innovation—we announced the winners of our inaugural TEX-E Prize; learn about them here.

Looking ahead, we have multiple opportunities for you to engage with and invest in our startups—see below for all the ways you can Go Dance with them in March and April (and let me know how I do with my March Madness terminology—I’m more of a football fan!).


We’ve got an absolutely packed schedule if you’re in the mood for competition—climatetech startup competition, that is! Here are eight upcoming events across both our locations that will give you the chance to build your bracket, follow the rankings, and connect with others who can’t wait for The Big (Green) Dance.

  • March 16: Join us in Boston as we host the MIT Climate & Energy Prize U.S. Semi-finals! The prize is in its 15th year, and these student-led climatetech startups will be competing for a chance to advance to the final in April.
  • March 21: Join the Investor Program Team in Houston for an investor roundtable lunch to discuss how to continue building out the Houston investment community around climatetech. Reach out to Dan Cliff for an invitation and for information on future roundtables.
  • March 22: Join us and DivInc’s Clean Energy Accelerator in Houston for a Clean Energy Panel with investors to discuss the emerging clean energy tech industry in Houston and what it means for BIPOC and women founders.
  • March 28: Join us in Boston for the 2023 Cleantech Open Boston Kickoff Party to hear from CTONE Alumni, meet new entrepreneurs in the program, and network with the region’s climatetech community.
  • March 30: Join us in Boston for our March EnergyBar—it’s the Final Showcase for Go Make 2022, a Greentown Go program led by Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas) and supported by the M-Lab Companies focused on decarbonizing supply chains, from production through packaging and distribution. The showcase and speaking program will be livestreamed as well. 
    • Free throw: join me for lunch earlier that day at our first quarterly Investor Roundtable focused on ESG—please reach out so we can add you to the guest list! 
  • April 6: Join us at Greentown Boston with Canary Media and Post Script Media—leaders in climate journalism—for a live episode of the Carbon Copy and a panel discussion with local reporters on decarbonization efforts in New England. 
  • April 20: Join us in Boston for our April EnergyBar, in partnership with the Boston Ballet and the Netherlands Innovation Network, where we will present a multimedia pop-up experience dome of La Mer, a ballet about ocean preservation in celebration of Earth Day! 
  • April 27: Join us in Houston to wrap up the tournament schedule with our April Transition On Tap—you can spend the evening discussing whose bracketology was best!


Last month, we were proud to announce the inaugural cohort for ACCEL—a new accelerator from Greentown and Browning the Green Space designed to support BIPOC-led climatetech startups. If you ask me, this cohort is a slam dunk! 

The group is working on everything from bio-based polymers to sneakers made from food waste. Let us introduce you:

  • Active Surfaces (Salem, MA) unlocks dual land-use applications through its ultra-thin-film, flexible solar technology. Its co-founders are Shivam Bhakta and Richard Swartwout.
  • DrinKicks (Houston, TX) is a sneaker-themed consumer-products company that is focused on repurposing food waste and recycled materials into sustainable goods such as shoes, sports equipment, and clothing, all while educating consumers on the power of the circular economy. Its co-founders are Kristeen Reynolds, Michael Fletcher, and Kristen Lee.
  • EarthBond (Cambridge, MA) leverages group financing and carbon accounting to lower costs and risk in the energy transition of Nigeria’s $14B fuel-based, off-grid generator market. Its founder is Chidalu Onyenso.
  • florrent (Amherst, MA) is a bio-based materials and energy storage company providing solutions to address critical bottlenecks to the global decarbonization and electrification of utilities, transportation, and buildings. Its co-founders are Jose LaSalle, Joe Hastry, and Alexander Nichols. florrent is a current Greentown member.
  • frakktal (Houston, TX) is a B2B materials company developing bio-based polymer processes for the replacement of fossil-fuel-based feedstocks across industries. Its founder is Jhana Porter. frakktal is a current Greentown member.
  • SpadXTech (Worcester, MA) is contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions impacting several industries such as packaging, textiles, transportation, filtration, and construction through the manufacturing of its core and versatile material platform technology. Its co-founders are Lina M. González and Connor Crawford.

Want to learn more about these startups or connect with their founders? Reach out to me and I’ll help you get in touch!


Greentown is a strategic partner for EarthX’s seventh annual, invitation-only EarthX E-Capital Summit taking place from April 19-21 as part of Earthx2023 in Dallas, TX! Why am I telling you? The E-Capital Summit is a sustainability-focused investment and business innovation summit that brings together investors, innovators, dealmakers, industry leaders, and innovation ecosystem leaders. Over the past six years, the summit has convened more than 2,500 participants from over 20 countries, including more than 200 leading investment firms focused on venture capital, private equity, private credit, infrastructure and real assets, and the public markets. Not to mention, I’ll be there in person, alongside a number of Greentown members!
This year, EarthX and the Intentional Endowment Network are co-hosting a new pilot networking event focused on connecting private investment firms and fund managers with fund investors including endowments, foundations, pension funds, and other capital allocators. We encourage the investors in our network to apply to attend here!


Check out the $17.5M+ of bank shots and three pointers by our members and alumni since last month’s newsletter:

  • Carbon Upcycling Technologies, a Carbon to Value Initiative Year 2 participant, received $4.4M in funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta to support the first commercial-scale deployment of two carbon capture and cementitious material production facilities in Alberta.
  • rStream received a $275k Phase I SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation to develop prototypes that will demonstrate the capabilities of its intelligent waste-sorting system.
  • florrent, a startup developing next-generation, high-energy-density ultracapacitors, received a Diversity in Cleantech Early-Stage (DICES) grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and MassVentures. 
  • Greentown member Applied Bioplastics and Greentown Go alum INOVUES were selected for the Future Climate Venture Studio accelerator—run by UConn, R/GA Ventures, and CTNext, with an associated investment from R/GA Ventures.
  • New member SepPure raised a $12M Series A the day they joined Greentown.
  • Katz Water Technologies is a finalist in the DOE Solar Desalination Prize Competition. As a finalist, they’ve won a $750K cash prize and $100K in research vouchers.

If you want to explore investing in our incredible community of startups, reach out to me so we can get you subscribed to our Deal Flow Digest for accredited investors—it’s basically a compilation of Team Sheets for our startups!



Let’s wrap with a multitude of ways to connect with the best climatetech community around:

  • Want to check out the latest (February) Deal Flow Digest or want to get signed up for future Deal Flow Digests? Reach out to me.
  • Want to check out the latest (December) Pilot Digest or want to get signed up for future Pilot Digests? Reach out to Dan Cliff.
  • Know people looking for a climatetech career? Head to our job board.
  • Want more stories on our startup companies? Read the news.
  • Know climatetech entrepreneurs seeking to incubate in Boston or Houston? They can apply here.
  • Interested in realizing all the benefits of partnership? Learn more here.
  • Want to help grow our investor network? Forward this email to a friend and have them sign up here.
As always, we’re here to conspire with you in the name of climate action. Questions or thoughts about what’s ahead? Please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

Until next month,

P.S. – Keep up on all the latest climate action in between newsletters. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and if you’d like to hear from us more often, sign up for our other newsletters here.

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