Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Climate incubator Greentown Labs cuts 30% of staff

A photo of people milling about the floor of Greentown Labs in Somerville, Mass.

Attendees mingle at Greentown Labs' annual ClimateTech Summit last year. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Greentown Labs on Friday confirmed that it's laying off 30% of the staff at its Boston area and Houston incubators.

Why it matters: The group is one of the most well-known organizations in climate-tech, charged with bringing together early-stage funders and founders.

Catch up fast: It launched as a climate co-working space in 2011, just two years after the Cleantech 1.0 bubble burst.

  • Greentown played an instrumental role reigniting investor interest in early-stage climate startups and building Boston's reputation as an energy innovation hub alongside industries such as health and biotech.

Flashback: Prince William and Princess Catherine stopped at Greentown Labs during a three-day visit to Boston in December 2022, ahead of announcing the winners of the Earthshot Prize.

The latest: The organization said last week that it was shedding 12 workers at its Somerville, Mass., headquarters, and another six staff members at its newer incubator in Houston.

  • The Boston Globe first reported the cuts, citing a letter from CEO Kevin Knobloch. The organization published the letter on its website.

What they're saying: "Greentown Labs grew rapidly over the past four years," Knobloch writes.

  • "This created a structural deficit where growth outpaced revenue. The combination of evolving demands on our services post-COVID, dramatic growth of the team, and significant change in senior leadership have all played a role in our current financial situation."

Between the lines: Greentown in recent years pursued an ambitious expansion, including the opening of its Houston location, and a shift in its revenue model from for-profit to nonprofit.

What's next: Knobloch says the focus right now is on cutting expenses.

Go deeper