Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space (BGS) recognize the climatetech industry must change its status quo to put historically underrepresented groups in the position to lead technology-driven companies, support the development of a diverse workforce, and advocate for the deployment of climatetech solutions in underserved communities. That’s why today Greentown and BGS are introducing the Advancing Climatetech and Clean Energy Leaders Program (ACCEL), seeking applications from entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) and are building climatetech startups.
ACCEL combines startup acceleration with a curated curriculum, incubation at Greentown, and extensive mentorship from Greentown and BGS’s networks of industry experts. The recurring, year-long program will focus on product and technology development, market development, fundraising, and management and team development. Selected founding teams will each receive a non-dilutive $25k grant to support their startup’s growth.
This program is a unique partnership between Greentown, the largest climatetech startup incubator in America, and BGS, a nonprofit dedicated to making clean energy and other climate-related fields more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. ACCEL is supported by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a state economic development agency dedicated to accelerating the growth of the clean energy sector across the Commonwealth, and the Barr Foundation, a Boston-based foundation with a regional focus, working in partnership with partners to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond.
“The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is committed to fostering a thriving diverse, equitable, and inclusive climate and clean energy economy across the Commonwealth,” said Jennifer Daloisio, CEO of MassCEC. “We are proud to support ACCEL through our Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises grant program, and look forward to seeing the innovative ideas these entrepreneurs have for helping us meet our net-zero goals.”
“The Barr Foundation’s climate program has made a commitment to centering racial equity in the energy transition,” said Kathryn Wright, Senior Program Officer, Clean Energy at The Barr Foundation. “We are excited to support this crucial opportunity to provide education and mentorship for underrepresented climate entrepreneurs in our region. We look forward to seeing the impact of the ACCEL program in the coming years.”
ACCEL builds on elements of Greentown’s successful incubator programming and its Greentown Go accelerator programs, along with BGS’s expertise in company building and supporting underserved communities. The curriculum for ACCEL will be led by VentureWell, a nonprofit with deep expertise in the climatetech space that funds and trains innovators to create successful, socially beneficial businesses.
“We need all hands on deck to solve the climate crisis and foster a just energy transition,” said Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. “We are proud to partner with Browning the Green Space on this important program, and are eager to support more underrepresented founders through ACCEL to help build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable climatetech industry.”
“We are excited to work in partnership with Greentown Labs to build critical support infrastructure for entrepreneurs of color and accelerate the equitable development and distribution of climate solutions across all communities,” said Kerry Bowie, Executive Director and President of Browning the Green Space. “ACCEL will help us move closer to where we all should be collectively, and create the opportunity to change the face of clean energy as we know it.”
“We’re proud to partner with two aligned organizations in the design and delivery of this program,” said Christina Tamer, Director of Early-Stage Innovator and Venture Development programs at VentureWell. “We’ll leverage our Venture Development Framework to assemble a curriculum that creates an accessible and impactful experience for these early-stage innovators and brings out the best of the diverse cohort as individuals and a community of climatetech startups.”
Applications for ACCEL are due by Dec. 23. Interested entrepreneurs can learn more about the call for applications by visiting the website or contacting accel@