During 2017-2018, Greentown Labs welcomed Battrion AG and SAF Systems as part of MAtCH, a start-up exchange program jointly administered by MassCEC and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). The program provides early-stage Swiss companies an opportunity to explore business development in the U.S., and likewise offers early-stage U.S. companies an opportunity to explore business development in Switzerland.
In Massachusetts, international cleantech start-ups have the unique opportunity to gain customers, seek investment, find partners, network, and take advantage of the robust innovation infrastructure of incubators, accelerators, business councils, research facilities and university labs. The clean energy sector contributes $11.4 billion in economic activity annually to the state of Massachusetts and the sector grew by 4% in 2017 to account for 2.3% of the Massachusetts Gross State Product. MassCEC’s MAtCH Program provides a soft-landing at a Clean Energy Incubator for start-ups from Switzerland for up to three months to explore these business development opportunities in Massachusetts. In the pilot round of the program, SAF Systems and Battrion AG spent three months at the Greentown Labs incubator improving their technologies, making strategic connections, and learning about how their products fit into the Massachusetts and Northeast U.S. clean energy marketplaces.
Battrion AG has developed an innovative fabrication technology for fast-charging lithium ion batteries. Deniz Bozyigit, CTO, stated that “the most beneficial part of the MAtCH program by far was the connections to investors and industry experts.” Finding manufacturing resources can be a major challenge for international companies wanting to enter the U.S. market. Deniz from Battrion expressed that being at Greentown exposed them to important contacts with manufacturers and said that they “plan to approach existing battery manufacturers in the Boston area” via these connections made through Greentown Labs.
SAF Systems is a sustainable architecture firm that outfits houses with integrated PV cells to generate renewable energy power for home systems such as heat pumps. This process creates zero net carbon (ZNC) homes. Eric Nelson, Founder and CEO, explained that being at Greentown Labs helped them tremendously because they were able to “meet potential partners, team members, collaborators and investors in the construction and sustainable building field.” Connecting with Massachusetts manufacturers and partners while at Greentown was a major advantage and both companies plan to continue fostering the relationships.
After participating in the MAtCH Program, both SAF Systems and Battrion AG plan to continue pursuing business opportunities in Massachusetts. Their next steps are incorporating their companies in the United States and utilizing their new networks of manufacturers and partners to host demonstration projects. MassCEC is delighted to have helped two promising clean energy companies begin their journey in Massachusetts and we look forward to supporting additional fruitful international outcomes in the future. You can follow the progress of SAF Systems and Battrion AG on their websites.