A listicle of incubators and accelerators to assist your green startup business.
Green incubators are companies that support emerging ventures by providing management services, training, office space, and more to new and startup companies. This list focuses on green business incubators that have a proven track record assisting green companies with a focus on the environment and sustainability. Using an incubator service is great for startups or new companies that have a groundbreaking idea in the green space but little business-related resources to execute.
Located out of Bethesda, Maryland, Bethesda Green is a sustainable metropolitan ecosystem that accelerates the growth of sustainable businesses. Bethesda Green achieves this goal through community involvement, education and outreach, government partnerships, and innovative business expansion.
Their Be Green Innovation Lab collaborates with eco-entrepreneurs to incubate and accelerate start-ups and other small businesses. The Innovation Lab assists with the business’s economic development while ensuring environmental responsibility. The opportunity is unique in that it is both an incubator and accelerator program. The program works by providing participants with benchmarking tools, ways to improve the triple-bottom-line, and offers a robust dedicated network of support.
For just $99 you can join the thriving sustainable coworking community known as Green Space. Green Space provides entrepreneurs and remote workers with sustainable office spaces to work within. It is based in Colorado with workspaces in Denver, Winter Park, and Steamboat.
An abundance of plants is strategically placed throughout the workspace to boost creativity and improve indoor air quality. The buildings are outfitted with a total of 160 solar panels which means that your laptops and other electronic equipment will be running off nearly 100% renewable energy. Green Spaces gives out a month of free workspace to startups at an event dubbed as Startup September.
A Montreal-based green incubator that focuses on supporting young entrepreneurs aged 15-25 to create sustainable businesses. Pitch It Green focuses on mentorship, networks, and above all, pitching. The goal of the program is to educate the green leaders of our future that will be a catalyst for change. It started out as a subscription box service but has bloomed into a non-profit that supports our youth in the fight for climate justice.
Referred to as the “Clean Energy Innovation Center, the Rutgers University EcoComplex in New Jersey is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to turning laboratory inventions into usable products. It focuses on clean energy and other environmental innovations. The EcoComplex has dedicated engineering staff and laboratory equipment on-hand for use. It provides assistance, mentorship, networking opportunities, and even financial assistance through angel investors.
Established in 2010, The Bowman Centre For Sustainable Energy has quickly grown into Canada’s largest green business incubator. The Centre is known as a well-established think-tank in the green energy sector. It has committed itself to move Canada closer to a future full of sustainable energy. This is a research-based program that focuses on large-scale solutions to the energy crisis. The Bowman Center is known for its ‘Roadmap to 2050’ which is a manual for Nations to decarbonize by the year 2050.
The Green Garage is the first green business incubator in Germany as its doors opened in 2013. The Green Garage is based at the EUREF campus in Berlin-Schöneberg. It’s a startup space for young entrepreneurs with the belief that “Young founders and future climate entrepreneurs are the best investment in our future.”, said the Director of Climate-KIC. Climate-KIC is funded by the European Union and has already incubated over 1600 companies.
Once a dwindling factory in Chicago, the Green Exchange building was redeveloped into a LEED Platinum building and is a shining example of adaptive reuse. The building was voted #1 amongst the best places to work in Chicago and is home to the United States’ biggest green business community. The Green Exchange is home to over 20 successful green businesses committed to sustainability, a positive social impact, and profit.
LaunchNY is a private nonprofit organization in Upstate New York that provides pro bono mentoring to startups with large growth potential. With over $5 million invested, $65 million co-invested, and over 130+ co-investors, LaunchNY will give your startup the mentorship and economic support to help your company succeed.
LaunchNY’s ECO Incubator program is just one of the incubators governed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The objective of the program is to assist startups with large growth potential in the cleantech space, particularly manufacturing, energy storage, transportation, waste management, and more.
Another New York green business incubator, the Urban Future Lab is the center of cleantech innovation in the state. Over $869 million has been raised to support 63 companies with an 86% survival rate. The Urban Future Lab boasts the creation of over 600 cleantech jobs since it was founded. Its ACRE program is specialized to assist startup companies in the cleantech, smart grid, and sustainable smart city sector. The Urban Future Lab has also partnered with Innovate UK and the Enterprise Europe Network to launch the Global Incubator Programme.
A participant in the Global Incubator Programme, Innovate UK provides small to medium-sized businesses based in the United Kingdom with the opportunity to explore the global market and provides access to world-class mentors and workplaces in the green business space. The Programme has four stages: preparation, participation, pursuit, and exploitation. The preparation stage is a two-day workshop. The participation stage is a market visit as a group. During the pursuit stage, you will be paired with a specialist to refine your development plan. During the exploitation phase, you work with your specialist to exploit your company and acquire funding.
Another participant in the Global Incubator Programme, Enterprise Europe Network is funded by the European Commission and aims to support business innovation and increase exposure to international partnerships. It provides support to small to medium-sized enterprises. The Enterprise Europe Network is currently active in over 60 countries worldwide.
A collaborative workplace in Dallas, Texas of start-ups, non-profits, and creatives, Trinity Groves is home to restaurants, retail shops, event spaces, recreation, and residences. Trinity Groves has a unique restaurant incubation program that is in search of the next great sustainable restaurant idea. It’s also a hub for organic food markets. They provide workspace and infrastructure for sustainable startups.
A robust community of over 140 quality-certified European Union Business Innovation Centres, incubators, and accelerators. Approximately 100 associate members assist entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs as they grow their businesses in the most sustainable, effective, and efficient way possible. ebn35 is home to a vibrant international network of professionals, a projects lab funded by the European Union, and an active event and exchange forum.
The New Mexico State University-based incubator gives startup companies the team, tools, and resources needed to scale their green ideas into real-world products. The Arrowhead Technology Incubator aims to reduce startup risk by assigning a business partner to each startup. The Incubator focuses on startups within four main areas: power technology, information technology, water technology, and agricultural technology.
The University of Texas at Austin-based incubator boasts the success of over 10 IPOs, over 50 MBAs, an estimated $3 billion economic impact, over $1.7 billion raised, and over 300 graduate companies. The incubator program has an impressive track record with a commitment to a circular economy, energy, food and agriculture technology, healthcare, mobility, and water. It was founded in 1989 which makes it the longest-running technology-based green business incubator in the United States.
Cleantech Open holds the title of the world’s largest cleantech accelerator and incubator. With over 1,600 startup entrepreneurs trained, $1.2 billion raised, and over 3,000 clean energy jobs created, Cleantech Open has an impressive track record. The company is famously sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank and is a one-of-a-kind innovation ecosystem. It is a non-profit company led by a team of volunteers.
The Joules Accelerator Program is a blend of an incubator and an accelerator. It is a 90-day program that does not cost anything upfront. It’s easy to apply with a one-page application and two flexibly yearly cohorts. The focus of the program is to identify commercialization opportunities. Funding has been made available to participating companies in both the United States and Australia. Over $200 million has been raised so far from over 35 participating companies.
Climate action at work is the slogan of Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech incubator in the United States based on size with 100,000 square feet of workspace. Approximately 100 companies based out of Boston, MA are working towards a greener tomorrow at Greentown Labs. There is a desk room that can fit over 400 employees, a machine shop, a prototyping lab, a wet lab, and an electronics lab. It also offers an investor program for those interested.
Located out of uptown Oakland, California, Powerhouse is the world’s only incubator and accelerator that encourages intelligent energy tech. It focuses on the storage, productivity, demand response, and grid integration of solar energy. It is also a leader in mobility startups with an extensive network of energy and mobility corporations across the United States. Powerhouse’s partnerships facilitate contracts, investments, and acquisitions.
An Ontario-based company that supports the sustainable growth of startups within the chemical and materials space. GreenCentre is home to state-of-the-art chemistry labs, application testing labs, product development assistance, validation and optimization of materials, scale-up support, and a client-owned IP. Entrepreneurs will find support from a team of highly skilled laboratory technicians to assist the development of your company’s product.
Areas of expertise include water treatment, bio-based products, fermentation downstream processing, consumer product formulation, polymers and coatings, inorganic and electronic materials, resource recovery and value from waste, and fine chemicals.
Further reading: Our Free Green Resources library