“Ready or Not,” Greentown Labs Startups to Move In This Week, With $75K for Retooling Boston Space

4/25/11Follow @xconomy

It’s moving week for the companies launching Greentown Labs, the new cleantech incubator in the seaport area dubbed Boston’s “Innovation District” by Mayor Tom Menino.

The space at 337 Summer Street still looks more or less like a construction site, but the companies helping to get the incubator off the ground will be moving in this week, “ready or not,” says Jason Hanna, president and founder of Coincident and a founding entrepreneur of Greentown Labs.

Other media outlets reported that last fall, Promethean Power Systems co-founder Sam White launched a grassroots cleantech incubator near the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall. In December, the group of companies working there alongside Promethean—Coincident, OsComp Systems, Altaeros Energies, and AirVentions—found out that the owner of the building sold it to be redeveloped as a biotech facility. The group incorporated as a nonprofit in January as it searched for a new home.

Boston and Cambridge have their fair share of co-working spaces offering Wi-Fi and desks, but Greentown Labs is designed to have enough room for the physical equipment—and mess—required to build hardware that goes into these cleantech startups.

“It’s going to be dirty,” says Pedro Santos, CEO of OsComp Systems, a startup quietly working to develop a cheaper, more efficient method of producing natural gas after drilling, which is said to cut the cost of gas compression by 50 percent. “It will be safe and clean, but we want it to feel like a machine shop.”

The roughly 14,000 square-foot incubator consists of a large open space for startups to split up and build their products in, at a monthly rent of $25 per usable square foot, says Hanna. Companies can pay another $75 per month to access Greentown’s impending electronics lab and machine shop. Meanwhile, OsComp plans to run its prototype system in the basement. A dedicated desk in the main area costs $275 per month and includes Wi-Fi and access to the conference room; closed-door offices will run about $950 per month, depending on the size.

Dynamo MicroPower, a developer of a sub-microturbine for power generation, and SolSolution, a nonprofit working to get solar installations in schools, will be joining the five Greentown charter companies who moved from the Cambridge incubator space, says Jeremy Pitts, OsComp’s vice president of product development.

And as far as the charter member companies go: Promethean is working on solar-powered refrigeration systems; Coincident is developing a software- and hardware-based system for better integrating cleantech elements and optimizing energy use in the home; and Altaeros is making … Next Page »

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