AeroShield Materials: Featured Startup

The clear choice for energy efficient windows

A hand holds a circular sample of Aeroshield's transparent aerogel in front of the Boston skyline.

Transforming the window industry

If you take a look around, you’ll notice that in any major modern city, glass is everywhere. While windows are important to make our buildings and homes more livable, they are poor insulators and shed over $40B worth of heating and cooling energy to the exterior every year in the United States. AeroShield Materials is a Boston-based startup working to solve that problem.

Making energy efficient windows lighter, thinner, & more affordable

AeroShield manufactures a super-insulating, nanoporous form of glass based on silica aerogel. Their inserts replace the gap in typical double-pane windows to improve insulation, with minimal changes to current window manufacturing and design. The end product is 50% more insulating, with a payback period 3 to 5 times faster than current alternatives of similar performance. AeroShield’s product is made up of 95% gas trapped inside minuscule pores, too small for the naked eye to see. In the words of Aaron Baskerville-Bridges, the company’s Vice President of Operations, AeroShield’s material is brilliant in its boringness.”

AeroShield’s CEO and co-founder, Elise Strobach, developed the idea out of five years of research at MIT. Silica aerogels have unique properties, like ultra-low density and heat resistance, and are most commonly known for NASA’s applications in insulating critical equipment and collecting comet dust. However, AeroShield has optimized the silica aerogels to achieve optimal clarity, surpassing its prior performance, and making applications in the built environment ideal.

FORGE impact: Product development grant

AeroShield first came to FORGE in August of 2020 upon joining Greentown Labs, our sister organization. The startup faced a positive problem – customers were very excited about AeroShield’s material, but in order to land a contract, they needed to show larger sizes and prove that they could be economic at scale. To scale up their manufacturing process beyond 11 inch samples, AeroShield needed to obtain new equipment, initiate regulatory testing, and increase process efficiency. This is what led Aaron Baskerville-Bridges to apply for the FORGE Product Development Grant. Specifically, he applied for funding to purchase a methanol evaporator, since AeroShield uses methanol as a solvent in their production process. They had been using a methanol waste disposal service, but this is neither the most economic nor environmentally friendly option as the company scales.

Aaron Baskerville-Bridges was chosen as a FORGE Product Development Grant finalist, and pitched at the Manufacturing and Innovation Showcase on October 22nd. The expert panel of judges chose AeroShield as the grand prize winner, awarding the startup $10,000 to address this critical challenge and aid their ability to scale. FORGE looks forward to seeing the progress AeroShield makes over the next year, as well as continuing to support their impactful technology through regional manufacturing and supply chain connections.

“This [grant] will really help AeroShield on our mission to deliver new and innovative materials to make homes and peoples lives more sustainable and comfortable”

AeroShield VP of Operations Aaron Baskerville-Bridges

Congratulations, AeroShield!