About Greentown Learn ...

Greentown Learn was established to take the tremendous know-how embedded in the  125+ companies that have been part of the Greentown Labs incubator and make that knowledge available to future cleantech entrepreneurs. Broadly, we are dedicated to helping create a world where the use of renewable resources predominates and environmental sustainability is in sight. This means supporting companies that are creating technologies and deploying solutions that add mutual value to their customers and the planet. Specifically, our role is to help startups scale in sectors such as energy, water and agriculture get through the critical period from prototype to product deployment. We believe we have a unique contribution to the success of startup companies at this critical stage of development and we make that contribution through educational programs.

Our belief is that cleantech companies--and in fact all companies making complex engineered products or commercializing new science--have a longer road, with greater potential for failure than the software startups typically touted in the entrepreneurial press. In order to realize the promise of essential innovations for people and the planet, we have to find a better way to help these companies get their innovations to scale.


The cost of creating a software company has dropped significant in the last decade, facilitated by scalable services such as AWS and by accelerator programs designed for software startups. Software companies can iterate their products quickly because their product iteration times are short. Innovations can either be tested on consumers live without much worry or be deployed in a sandboxed environment for the enterprise and released only when quality has been assured. Progress has also been made to help consumer hardware companies advance more quickly, with the same type of "lean startup" methologies deployed by software companies. But companies developing more complex and industrial products face quite different development challenges.

Further, for investors the increased time to market for software companies has made the contrast with more traditional engineering and science companies quite stark. Cleantech companies face much more significant challenges at each stage of development with much smaller margins for error. Investors have therefore become ever more wary of the long development times they'll confront in supporting cleantech.

In order to deploy game-changing industrial-oriented innovations in sectors like energy, water and food, entrepreneurs have to be smarter, fail less, and be supported more. That's where Greentown Learn comes in. We believe that we can leverage the experience of the entrepreneurs and mentors who have struggled to create great companies in challenging sectors in the past. By doing so we can help new entrepreneurs do a better job in the future and therefore better serve their customers and the planet.

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