Last Month, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) hosted its Third LACI Power Day, which brings together stakeholders in the California clean energy ecosystem to celebrate innovation accomplishments that have resulted from bold policy commitments.
The event opened with a welcome from LACI’s President and CEO, Matt Petersen who acknowledged the continued devastating wildfires and heat waves and applauded the accelerated clean electric grid by 2035 commitment that the LA City Council.
Meg Arnold, SVP of Market Transformation at LACI, then joined the stage to highlight LACI’s accomplishment over the past 5 years as LA’s Regional Energy Innovation Cluster and its programing extension over the next 5 years granted by the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investments Charge (EPIC) Program.
Power Talk Panel: Pilots Success
In the first panel session of that day, LACI gathered companies from last year’s pilot pitch showcase – TBM Designs, Maxwell Vehicles, and SEED – to discuss how their pilot projects are making a positive impact on LA communities and the clean energy transition. The Panel was moderated by Kate Schox, Founding Partner of TrucksVC, who invested in one of LACI’s companies as a result of the 2020 Power Day event.
Incubation Pilot Pitches
As part of LACI’s Incubation Program, LACI offers up to $20,000 in financial support to advance startup development. LACI’s Incubation Cohort 2 program showcased their proposed pilots that will soon launch. We look forward to showcasing some of their successful projects in 2022. Startups included: ChargeNet Stations, Chargeway, ElectricFish Energy, HIVE, GreenTek Packaging, IQHi Inc., PLUS, Rent-a-Romper, Sensagrate, Verity Packaging.
Power Talk Panels
The second part of the event, LACI hosted two panels focused on industry challenges. The “Building Electrification” Panel focused on the momentum we have seen accelerate towards building electrification with an emphasis on an equitable transition. The panel was moderated by Kyle Cherrick, the VP of Business Development at Electrum who steered the conversation among Vida Asiegbu, Principal at Energy Impact Partners; Srinidhi Sampath, Sustainable Housing Policy and Program Manager at the California Housing Partnership; and Kevin Clark, Region Sales Manager of Utility and New Construction for Rheem Manufacturing Company.
The “Lessons Learned from 2021 Summer Grid Conditions” Panel was led by Simran Suri, Investor at Equal Ventures who navigated the panels through a reflection on what this summer has taught us and how we can continue to collaborate to ensure the health and safety of our communities as we transition to a zero-carbon grid. The panel brought together Lauren Faber O’Connor, Chief Sustainability Officer of the City of LA; Michael Backstrom, VP of Regulatory Policy for SCE; JP Harper, Global Leader of Itron‘s Distributed Energy Management; and John Westerman, Director of Microgrid Project Development at Schneider Electric.
Keynote Speaker Address
After the panels, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot provided a keynote speech. The Secretary discussed the impact California’s economy and government have had on the state’s clean technology growth and how California continues to catalyze clean energy innovation in the nation.
Innovators Lightning Pitch Showcase
In the early afternoon, we showcased LACI startup companies in our Innovator’s program through a quick pitch showcase. The Innovators Program is a free, one-year program sponsored by the California Energy Commission that enables LACI to support cleantech entrepreneurs with commercialization support services in LA, Orange, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. The startups featured were Biozen Batteries, MeterLeader, Rhoman Aerospace, Rivieh, The Hurd Co., and Veloce Energy.
Remarks from California CCA Executive Director
In the last part of the day, California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) Executive Director Beth Vaughn provided remarks on how CalCCA will support the state’s energy goals and strengthen local resilience. Beth closed by giving praise to the strides cleantech entrepreneurs have made and the hope they and LACI continue to give her as we work together to support a sustainable future.
Recently LACI welcomed 10 startups into its 3rd Incubation Cohort and 13 startups into its 6th Innovators Cohort that will have the opportunity to participate in next year’s Power Day and other events LACI hosts in the Clean Energy Innovation Ecosystem. We look forward to next year’s Power Day as we continue to collaborate with the ecosystem to achieve an inclusive green economy.