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Houston innovator on the impact of facade enhancement on the energy transition

Houston-based INOVUES CEO Anas Al Kassas joins the Energy Tech Startups podcast to discuss his company's energy-saving tech. Photo via

Imagine a world where outdated building facades transform overnight into modern marvels without the chaos of construction or the burden of exorbitant costs.

In the recent podcast episode on Energy Tech Startups, Anas Al Kassas, the CEO of INOVUES, unveils a groundbreaking technology that promises just that. This isn't just about a facelift; it's about revolutionizing energy efficiency, embracing smart-class innovations, and redefining the aesthetics of urban landscapes.

The Advantages of Facade Technology

One of the key advantages Al Kassas highlighted was the ability to significantly reduce both the cost and environmental impact of upgrading building facades. Al Kassas explained that by utilizing INOVUES' technology, the existing systems can be updated and improved without the need for removing or discarding the windows. This approach not only saves on material costs but also avoids disruption during installation. Additionally, the fast installation process and lower labor costs further contribute to the overall cost-effectiveness of the solution.

The Role of Design Aesthetics in Building Upgrades

While energy efficiency is a primary driver for building upgrades, Al Kassas emphasized the importance of design aesthetics in the commercial real estate market. He explained that modernizing the appearance of older buildings, which may still perform well but suffer from outdated perceptions, can attract more tenants and make them more competitive. With INOVUES' solution, building owners have the opportunity to improve the aesthetics of their facades by incorporating the latest glass technologies, colors, and frit patterns (translucent patterns on glass). This not only enhances the building's appearance but also contributes to glare reduction and customization options for different tenants' needs.

The Potential for Rentable Facades

During the conversation, Al Kassas speculated about the potential for rentable facades powered by INOVUES' technology. Just as Apple offers an upgrade plan for its devices, this concept proposes a similar model for building owners to continually incorporate the latest technologies every few years. By avoiding upfront costs and providing immediate benefits such as lower energy bills, improved tenant satisfaction, and a more sustainable building, this rentable facade approach could revolutionize the industry and make energy-efficient upgrades more accessible for a wider range of buildings.

The Current Funding Landscape and Future Growth

INOVUES' journey in securing funding, as discussed in the podcast, sheds light on the challenges faced by energy tech startups. The CEO highlighted the importance of timing and identifying the right investors who share the vision and understand the industry landscape. Despite the difficulties, INOVUES has successfully raised capital, including participation from a multinational building technology company. The company's next goal is to secure a series A funding round to scale their operations and expand their footprint in the market.

INOVUES' technology represents a sustainable solution for upgrading building facades without the need for extensive removal or disruptions. The combination of energy efficiency, improved design aesthetics, and the potential for rentable facades showcases the versatility and value of the company's technology. As the demand for sustainable building solutions continues to grow, and regulatory changes support energy efficiency projects, INOVUES is poised to make a significant impact in the industry. By focusing on both environmental and economic benefits, they are positioning themselves as a key player in the energy tech startup landscape.


Hosted by Jason Ethier and Nada Ahmed, the Digital Wildcatters’ podcast, Energy Tech Startups, delves into Houston's pivotal role in the energy transition, spotlighting entrepreneurs and industry leaders shaping a low-carbon future.

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A View From HETI

A View From UH

ACCEL has opened applications for next year. Photo via Getty Images

Calling all cleantech startups founded by innovators of color — an inclusive accelerator program is now accepting applications.

Advancing Climatetech and Clean Energy Leaders Program, or ACCEL, has opened applications for it's second cohort. The program — from Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space — provides access to funding, networking connections, incubation space, mentorship, resources, and opportunities for energy tech founders of color for a year.

“ACCEL is one of the most impactful, meaningful programs we’ve run to date,” Greentown Labs CEO and President Kevin Knobloch says in a news release. “We are eager to expand upon the great success and momentum of year one, and to welcome another incredible cohort of BIPOC-led startups that are developing much-needed climatetech solutions. We’re equally committed to helping these companies accelerate and deploy their solutions, while also helping to build a more diverse, inclusive climatetech workforce—ACCEL sits at the nexus of those two critical efforts.”

The program, supported by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, accelerated six startups this year — Active Surfaces, DrinKicks, EarthBond, florrent, frakktal, and SpadXTech.

“The ACCEL Program directly aligns with our mission to ensure that climatetech jobs and wealth creation opportunities are available to all residents of the Commonwealth,” Emily Reichert, CEO at MassCEC and former CEO at Greentown, says in the release. “We are excited to see the second round of this important program, with our Equity Workforce Fund support fostering a partnership between Greentown Labs and Browning the Green Space aimed at accelerating the growth of minority and women business enterprises in Massachusetts.”

ACCEL, which doles out $25,000 in non-dilutive grant funding to each participant, is also supported by Boston-based Barr Foundation and provides programming from VentureWell, a nonprofit with expertise in climatetech.

“Through our partnership with Greentown and VentureWell, we are able to put our respective strengths together to create an ambitious program to bolster founders of color in climatetech and propel innovations that benefit communities most impacted by climate change,” Kerry Bowie, executive director and president of Browning the Green Space, says in the release. “Opening applications for Year 2 of ACCEL is an important milestone in strengthening critical support for traditionally excluded entrepreneurs in our communities.”

Applications for ACCEL are open until January 5, 2024. While entrepreneurs from anywhere can apply, preference will be given to applicants in Greater Boston and Greater Houston, where Greentown’s incubators are located.

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