"We are thrilled to welcome Greentown Labs," said Susan Davenport, senior vice president of economic development at the Greater Houston Partnership. "Bringing them here helps improve our innovation ecosystem."
Greentown Labs announced its opening details at a kickoff event Feb. 2, also sharing that it has brought on five new partners to its network: CenterPoint Energy, Gexa Energy of NextEra Energy Resources, EIV Capital, Wells Fargo and Williams, bringing the total to 21.
Greentown Labs and its partners have raised $8.3 million but still need another $1.7 million to reach the target construction goal. Plans for the site, the former Fiesta grocery store at 4200 San Jacinto St., call for more than 40,000 square feet of prototyping labs, offices and community space for about 50 startups capable of supporting 200-300 employees, according to a news release.
Greentown Labs is based out of Somerville, Massachusetts, and the expansion to Houston will be the company’s first foray out of state.
“We know we can’t solve the climate crisis just on the coast,” CEO Emily Reichert said during a kickoff event and site tour Feb. 2.
Once opened, Greentown Labs Houston will sit blocks from The Ion, a 270,000-square-foot facility located at the former Sears building at 4201 Main St., which is currently undergoing a $110 million renovation effort. The Ion is envisioned as the anchor of the 16-acre Innovation District.
Both The Ion and Greentown Labs Houston are expected to open within similar time frames, which are coming as the city has committed itself to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 under its Climate Action Plan.
"We are the energy capital of the world, and we are proud of that," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. "We not only lead, but we lead big."
The building’s exterior will be painted gray with Greentown Labs’ brand colors incorporated as accent details. The incubator is also working with the Houston Arts Alliance to identify a local artist to install a large mural on the east side of the building to display Greentown Labs' mission around climate action, community collaboration, and entrepreneurial partnership.