Author: Clare Le

LACI welcomes Ecoponex, Isidore, Revoterial, and Sun-Engine to the family

Please welcome four exciting additions to the LACI family: Ecoponex, Isidore, Revoterial, and Sun-Engine.

Reviewing and vetting the folks that apply to LACI is a labor of love, and we see a lot of great people, ideas and companies. Only the best get in. Please join us in welcoming four of the newest companies in the LACI portfolio.
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Ecoponex Systems International

World-class, closed-loop system to produce healthy food, pure water, and renewable energy at 50x the per acre output of land today.

Benjamin Brant invites us to imagine an urban farm… a “living machine” that converts solar energy and natural ingredients into food. It creates fresh, pure water (even from wastewater) as an afterthought. And its done in a system that actually produces more energy than it needs. Now, imagine it in the middle of LA, as a vertical farm that diverts waste, delivers healthy / organic food, and creates good jobs and a learning environment for the community. Oh, and it can be more profitable than most commercial buildings.

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Isidore Electronics Recycling

Woman-owned, triple bottom line social enterprise that combines best practices in e-waste management with training and jobs for previously incarcerated Angelenos who face barriers to employment.

Kabira Stokes isn’t in the commodity business… she’s using it as a metaphor for social and environmental transformation. By re-imagining what “recycling” means, Isidore combines what we all know we should do (re- and up-cycle yesterday’s electronics), with what we all deep down want to do (help people that deserve a second chance). Hardworking people coming out of our prison systems get good jobs with a purpose at Isidore, taking the 75% of electronics that end up in the dump and transforming them back into useful stuff in Los Angeles. What’s not to like?

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Revoterial

Materials that are 100% natural and renewable, incredibly durable, and designed to simplify and clean up the highly toxic fashion industry efficiently and cost effectively.

Yotam Solomon is good at breaking boundaries. As a highly-accomplished fashion designer, he quickly disarms the most skeptical technologists with his knowledge of material science and the nuts and bolts of how the fashion industry works. Good thing too, as he’s bringing to market materials that are tested and safe enough to put into our bodies through surgery, yet promise to deliver clothing and accessories that are 100% natural and recyclable, more durable, cheaper and simpler than anything available today.

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Sun-Engine

Combines breakthrough heat engine with industry-leading solar thermal technology to produce clean electrical energy 24/7, generating 5 to 10 times more kWh per square foot than conventional PV systems.

Tim Biehler and Benjamin Brant (yes, of Ecoponex as well) have learned a few things over their decades of experience in renewable energy, like how to integrate best-of-breed systems. Today, everybody understands solar, as well as its limitations (like, complete reliance on that largest of bodies, the Sun). Well, cloudy days may well be behind us, as these fine folks have figured out how to combine patented systems to deliver 100% renewable energy 24 hours a day, at a greatly reduced cost to today’s solar arrays.


About LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is a private nonprofit founded by the City of Los Angeles to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies in the Los Angeles region. Located in the center of the City’s Cleantech Corridor, LACI offers flexible office space, CEO coaching and mentoring, and access to a robust network of experts and capital. Incubated companies operate in a range of sectors including infrastructure, energy efficiency, energy storage, transportation, water, agriculture, and materials science. LACI works closely with the region’s universities, business community, government institutions, capital markets and utilities to foster innovation and to grow the region’s green economy.

Once the permanent La Kretz Innovation Campus opens in 2015, LACI is expected to sustainably accelerate the growth of dozens more promising companies and entrepreneurs in world-class facilities that include wet labs, dry labs, prototype manufacturing space, conference space, and strategically aligned partners all in one convenient location.  It is anticipated that, over its first five years, LACI can help create over 1,600 direct and indirect jobs.

LACI Receives $200,000 from JPMorgan Chase

Fresh off the wire…

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) announced today that it will create more than 1,000 jobs over the next five years with the help of a $200,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. The grant will fund key programs focused on advancing sustainable technology development and adoption in the Los Angeles region.

Since launching two years ago, LACI has incubated 25 companies that have received more than $24 million in investments.  LACI and those companies have helped to create more than 100 direct jobs and an estimated 180 indirect jobs, while bringing innovative products and services to market.  Incubated companies operate in a variety of sectors including energy generation and efficiency, water conservation, electric transportation, recycling, waste management, sustainable materials and food production. LACI has provided these start-up companies with office space, executive coaching and mentoring and access to a network of experts and capital sources.

“On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I would like to thank the JPMorgan Chase Foundation for their generous support of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “LACI plays a key role creating jobs, building a stronger cleantech industry cluster and generating opportunities to train Angelenos in tomorrow’s green careers, today.”

LACI works closely with the Mayor’s office to identify, attract and accelerate the growth of businesses with clean technologies that will support the city in meeting its environmental, renewable energy, energy efficiency and related goals. In addition, LACI holds a close strategic relationship with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, acting as a scout in the region to identify and accelerate technology that supports their pursuit of innovative clean technologies for water conservation and renewable power.

“We’re thrilled to have a true partner in JPMorgan Chase, whose global reach, deep capability, and strong corporate responsibility will help strengthen and extend our efforts in the Los Angeles region and beyond,” said Fred Walti II, Executive Director of LACI.  “The substantial support of one of the world’s leading financial institutions is symbolic of the effectiveness of our programs and confirms that we’re collectively headed in the right direction.”

“JPMorgan Chase recognizes that economic growth and rising living standards fundamentally rely on the abundance and vitality of the planet’s resources and ecosystems,” said Alice Rodriguez, Chase California Region Business Banking Manager.  “Our strong commitment to furthering these mutual goals fits perfectly with our support of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, which is setting new standards with innovative ways to help promising cleantech companies grow and thrive.”

The JPMorgan grant will enable LACI to expand its core training and educational programs and launch a feasibility study on establishing an Innovation Fund to provide early-stage funding to start-ups.

Construction of LACI’s permanent home – the La Kretz Innovation Campus – is now underway in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District.  Once the campus opens in 2015, LACI is expected to accelerate the growth of dozens more promising companies and entrepreneurs in world-class facilities that include wet labs, dry labs, prototype manufacturing space, workforce training and strategically aligned partners, all in one location.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

About the LA Cleantech Incubator

The LA Cleantech Incubator is a private nonprofit that accelerates the commercialization of clean technologies in the Los Angeles region. Located in the center of the City’s Cleantech Corridor, LACI offers flexible office space, CEO coaching and mentoring, and access to a robust network of experts and capital. Incubated companies operate in a range of sectors including Smart Grid infrastructure, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric transportation, and materials science. LACI works closely with the region’s utilities, universities, business community, government institutions, capital markets and utilities to foster innovation and to grow the region’s green economy.  Learn more at www.newlaci.staging.wpengine.com.

LA Cleantech on Stage: Chase and SCE Host Global Forum November 4-5

On November 4-5, 2013 in Downtown LA, the inaugural Cleantech LA Global Showcase will bring together leaders from Industry, Government, Finance and Academia with some of the region’s leading clean technology startups in an effort to drive innovation, investment and business.

JPMorgan Chase is the presenting sponsor for this important event that features over 70 presenters from 15 global markets and over 20 presenting companies, many of which are LACI Portfolio Companies.

“In addition to being one of the top start-up friendly cities in the world, LA is also one of the most environmentally conscious,” said Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles. Our support of important initiatives like Cleantech LA, that grow green jobs and support innovative solutions to climate change, are at the forefront of creating a clean energy economy.”

Additional support for the event comes from Southern California Edison and California State University Northridge, as well as a host of other organizations, that enable discussion about three main topics:

  1. How can you take your cleantech-venture global?
  2. What are the new models for financing cleantech companies?
  3. How is Los Angeles leading the way?

Here’s what some participants have to say:

“At JPMorgan Chase, we know that supporting a more environmentally sustainable global economy is a challenge with real implications for every sector of modern society, including financial services,” said Robert Lagace, market manager for Chase Middle Market and Commercial Banking. “That’s why we are employing our knowledge and capital to help clients, customers and the communities we serve to respond to the environmental sustainability challenge. We’re also helping our clients take advantage of the business opportunities created by the transition to a more sustainable global economy.”

“New models that give capital markets renewed confidence to invest in cleantech sectors are emerging, and gaining traction,” said Jim McDermott, Managing Partner of US Renewables Group. “This Global Showcase will be a great opportunity to share ideas and examples of what is working and where the market is moving across the globe.”

“The CLA Global Showcase provides a rare forum for countries and companies from around the world to present and discuss their respective markets, capabilities and ambitions in the clean/green tech arenas. The positive reaction of the international business and diplomatic community to the Showcase underscores not only the value of the event, but also the role of Los Angeles as a leader in supporting and fostering the growth of clean/green tech industries worldwide”, said David Nahai, President of David Nahai Consulting Services, Partner at Lewis Brisbois, and former General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Financial Times highlights benefits, challenges of cleantech incubation

Ross Tieman of the Financial Times highlights the challenges cleantech startups face, and the important role incubators can play.  Here’s a short excerpt:

Fred Walti, executive director of LACI, says one of the key lessons since the incubator was set up in 2011 is that “clean tech isn’t media, the Internet or software. This is ‘deep tech’, with serious science and difficult problems. It is difficult to demonstrate market traction in a short period of time.”

For the full article, please visit FT at  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2c3b17b8-2c26-11e3-acf4-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2iaTO8Cyd

The New (Profitable) Model of Cleantech Innovation

Innovation is easy, right?  

Software/Web innovation has their model nailed. The wham-bam-thank-you-Y-Combinator process combined with caffeine and electrons rapidly ramps companies, creates whole new sets of things consumers never knew they needed (but now simply can’t live without), and delivers market index +3 returns to LPs who continue pouring money into the space. It took a market crash and 15 years to get there, but hats off, it works. Software creates money.

But Cleantech creates jobs , and the kind of jobs American cities need most. It’s also species-survial-mission-critical, unless you think all the crazy weather (and mounting insurance and ancillary costs) are just a rogue anomaly.  But building stuff is hard work, and the Valley of Death is a lot longer and more treacherous.  We’re still figuring out the money part, but that’s progressing by leaps and bounds.

What is the right model for Cleantech innovation?

It’s one that fosters technological breakthroughs, efficiently grows companies, ensures investment returns commensurate with risk, and delivers deployment where most needed. The key lesson from the last 7 or 8 years is that the push model that Software/Web utilizes just doesn’t work very well in this sector. We aren’t dreaming up new wants. By and large, the problems Cleantech solves for are understood: use less energy, use less water, create less carbon, etc, and the conditions bounding these problems are pretty well understood too. Even the markets they encompass can be projected with relative accuracy. What is more difficult, however, is the time it takes to get the solutions developed and manufactured, the challenges of deploying against legacy systems and incumbents, and the unforeseen role regulations can play in market structure and economics. All doosies compared to apps that let you blow up smirking pigs.

Cleantech entrepreneurs have the same challenges as others:

  • What to do
  • When to do it (collectively, “experience”), and
  • How to acquire the resources and expertise required (“relationships”)

These are similar challenges to what software entrepreneurs also face, the difference is the time and cost of pivoting. Retargeting Yelp is different from retargeting Solyndra, a kayak turns faster than a tanker, electrons rearrange faster than iron atoms. The end result is that there is a lot less room for error for Cleantech entrepreneurs.

What do they spend most of their time doing? A couple of core things. Learning about their industry, performing market analysis, perfecting their solution and developing networks of contacts. In cleantech you’re generally not creating entirely new markets, you’re fracturing existing ones and that bedrock is dense. Overall, it can be a grossly inefficient and capital intensive process, especially as it’s currently done. So, what’s a better way?

It takes a village to raise a Cleantech startup.  

It takes a village to profitably raise a cleantech startup, which is why a new tough-love-make-a-wish approach is necessary. There are two pieces to the equation.
  • Incubation involves wrapping a team of seasoned mentors, advisors, service providers, and domain experts around the startup, plus a dose of targeted training, office/lab space and technical resources for little or no cost, that provides non or low-dilutive value and is cash efficient. The incubator provides this by being regionally supported (by visionary civic and industry leaders!) and aggregating and coordinating the various components of the ecosystem. It’s like the startup getting an entire team working on their behalf for very nearly free. And free is about as capital efficient as it gets.
  • Market Pull (our Wishlist™ program) involves turning the traditional innovation model on its head. Instead of researchers/entrepreneurs coming up with cool new ideas then trying to find markets that will enable them to make money, we go directly to the market itself and figure out what it needs, then pull the solution across the Valley of Death. As a case study, a large regional utility has identified three technology areas that are critical to their long term growth and sustainability. As part of the project they have: bounded the current problem set (e.g. it costs us $$ per XX to deliver XX), identified the sought after solution set (e.g. needs to produce XX per XX for $$), approximated the addressable and global markets, committed to demonstration testing of promising technologies, committed to provide investment capital ($1M), and promised to deploy the solution broadly within their territory. Our job? Research the verticals globally, figure out the most promising solutions, vet the technology, recruit the entrepreneurs to LA, fund them, incubate them, and help them set up manufacturing locally and go to market. Making the entire process much more efficient for everyone.

What makes this a better model?

In a nutshell, it’s faster and light years less risky. We’ve significantly removed many of the uncertainties around each element of the company’s growth and development:

  • Market Risk: by having the end user define the economics of the problem AND the targeted solution, as well as their own addressable market and the estimated macro market, the entrepreneur has a target to work against and a clear understanding of the economics. No more guessing about what is required for the solution to be successful.
  • Customer Engagement Risk: the end user agrees UP FRONT to demo, test and deploy the technology if it works to spec. All the entrepreneur team has to do is execute against the technology development strategy.
  • Sales Risk: understanding and cracking the sales process and replacement cycle for utilities, large industrials and government is expensive and time consuming. Under our model the entrepreneur is guaranteed access to at least one large customer, and also is able to get an insider’s perspective on how to ramp up sales to others in the sector.
  • Product Validation Risk: the end user provides affirmation to investors and other buyers that the technology is sound, driving growth in other areas of the market.
  • Regulatory Risk: large end users have the resources to track regulatory trends and plan strategically. By defining their core focus areas they are able to give the entrepreneur and investors comfort that the regulatory environment will remain aligned as the technology comes to market.
  • Startup Risk: by embedding the entrepreneur within an incubator they vastly increase their odds of success. 85% of incubated companies are still in business 5 years later.
  • Financing Risk: all of these factors combined contribute to a much lower risk profile, significantly increasing the odds of investor support and favorable terms
How’s it going so far? Curious how we make it happen? We’re going to devote a whole day to talking about it. Come to our November conference to learn about all the details….

Cleantech LA Global Showcase 2013

A conference that brings the cleantech world to Los Angeles to do business

November 4-5, 2013

at the Ritz Carlton/JW Marriott in Downtown Los Angeles

Cleantech Los Angeles (CLA) fosters clean and sustainable technology innovation and adoption in the greater LA region.  An important component of this work includes the promotion of international cooperation and trade. CLA, together with the City of Los Angeles, is producing the inaugural Cleantech LA Global Showcase, to facilitate international green business collaboration.

This two-day conference will cover market dynamics, best practices for conducting international trade, presentations from US and international cleantech companies, and global networking and workshop opportunities.

Who Should Attend

This conference is for organizations and individuals interested in doing business in international markets and learning how to penetrate US markets, including: entrepreneurs, scientists / researchers, investors / capital markets, policy makers, companies, infrastructure players, and government at all levels.


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The Art of Entrepreneurship – LACI Style

It’s not easy saving the planet from the precipice of imminent demise, and the nature of the challenge tends to attract a certain type of person – typically, they’re motivated by a lot of things in addition to money. Instead of desperately hoping for a desk at Goldman Sachs, those who just want to get rich are now heading to Silicon Valley / Beach to write apps and hope for a quick exit to Google / Facebook (can you hear the hollow echoes of empty Wall Street halls?). But cleantech entrepreneurs are colored with different (pin)stripes, they have souls and in addition to all wanting Teslas, they also are driven by the need for purpose and meaning.

When I ask people in cleantech why they do what they do, the most common answer I receive is that they want to make a difference, they want to help, they want to contribute positively. This may also be why cleantech has been so slow to deliver big returns, because philosophically inclined entrepreneurs often care more about solving a problem and doing good. Squeezing out the last ounce of return, growing at lightning speed and brutally conquering their competitors often are secondary considerations (which is also why they need the tough love doled out here, to keep that silly idealism at bay). In the end it sometimes means they’re more focused on the mission, which makes it take a bit longer to learn that you need to make money too to be effective at saving the universe. As Dan Pallotta eloquently describes, doing good but being miniscule is arguably less effective than being profitable and extremely powerful (and still doing good). But this purpose driven tenacity is also what means that cleantech won’t die, despite its naysayers. There are too many really smart and driven people that care very deeply about making our world a better place for them to just quit, give up and go away.

Fast Company ran an interesting article about what makes for good employees and successful companies, which in a nutshell is the intersection of “Passion, Pay and Purpose.” This holy triumvirate leads to fully engaged employees, which means that when you get up in the morning you’re really excited to come to work and do what you do all day long. A common refrain from some of the most successful people I know is “I love this so much I’d do it even if they didn’t pay me” (which, as it happens, for entrepreneurs is usually the case). In cleantech, Passion and Purpose are found in spades, and at LACI, our job is to shepherd the process intelligently so the Pay piece comes sooner rather than later.

Handsome urth

And who are these dedicated do gooders? What’s a day-in-the-life like in the coolest emerging startup scene in the intelligent universe? It starts at Handsome Coffee Roasters for a cuppa of the best coffee in LA, even if the off-the-chart hipster quotient can sometimes be over the top. Then breakfast at Urth Caffe before heading into the office for a few hours (plugging in my EV at the convenient charging station in front of the building).

wurstkuche tuna5

At lunch, a decadent noshing at Wurstkuche, alligator and rabbit brawts with a double order of fries and handmade curry ketchup, and because all work and no play make Jack a less compelling lad, a quick afternoon workout at Trojan Crossfit gets the blood flowing again and tees me up for a solid nose down session until the early evening comes. Since this is the Arts District and we are in LA, everything is better with a dash of style, so it’s off to Apolis for some fine local crafted lifestyle gear, then over to the Woori Market to grab some of the best, freshest, most reasonably price fish available. If I’m happening to get too myopic in my entrepreneurial efforts, the nearby Japanese American Museum reaquaints me with some balance. And when I finally close that Series A or sign that first big customer, it’s off to Bestia for hours of gustatory nirvana.

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The LACI Effect: What makes LACI different from other cleantech incubators? Two words – substance & style. Although engineers like to deny it, aesthetics matter. A technology can’t merely do its job to achieve greatness, it has to move you as well, it has to evoke an appreciation for its form as well as its function. It’s not just that you do something, it’s how you do it as well, the harmonization of purpose and presentation. The grace of intention and image, the holism of the underlying elements and components and how they manifest in the experience of the object and its performance. SCI-ARC is right around the corner, Art Center is right up the road, we are anchored in a culture of design appreciation, some of the elements that being located in Los Angeles, in the heart of the Arts District bring to bear on the process.

sciarc best sci-arc-graduation-pavilion

For all the awesomeness that is the rebirth of the Arts District though, it’s still missing a world class tattoo studio. Guru Tattoo, which boasts the record of having the longest wait list in San Diego to get an appointment (over 2 years), is the renowned Pacific Beach shop owned and led by the inner-galactic explorer and long time friend, Aaron Della Vedova. I’ve been trying to convince him to open a shop up here for a couple of years so if you’re local and appreciate fine ink, ping him <<here>> and let him know we’re waiting for him to come north.

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Otherwise, this place is about perfect. Abbott Kinney has officially been Googlified. Culver City is coming along, but doesn’t have the built infrastructure to enable a world class scene, but the heart of creative LA has undeniably shifted to downtown, and particularly to the raft of early 1900’s era brick and concrete buildings that line the LA river. It’s here, amongst the rebirth of creativity, that cleantech in southern California is making its home, in its own way, on its own terms. So come check it out, get inspired, do great things, find your groove and your style, make your own dent in the universe.

And we’ll provide the love…

New Cleantech Innovation Models – The Rebirth

phoenixThe most common plea from our portfolio companies is for help raising early stage capital, so I spend a disproportionate amount of time working on this issue, which also means watching how the cleantech space generally is evolving and here at the Incubator, experimenting with new models that are sustainable, profitable and repeatable. Sourcing seed or Series A investment isn’t an easy request to deliver on in the current environment and the fallout from the missteps and enthusiasm of the last 5 years of cleantech investing has been well documented, but there is good news. A consensus is emerging that we’re at the turning point in getting smart about how you build cleantech companies, which will begin to return the sector to the interest of investors. What’s up? Rob Day makes a good case for how the industry is evolving and maturing, which I think is spot on. Investors are smarter (or wiser at least), the ecosystem is more cooperatively aware (it pays to play nice with others), entrepreneurs are more experienced (even if somewhat singed) and the rumor mill abounds with stories of 2013 exits imminent, though whether this will just finally flush out the bad news or actually substantiate the mark-to-market and provide LPs some upside still remains to be seen.

Why is the cleantech nut so hard to crack? What are the issues that make cleantech different from other sectors? First, cleantech isn’t software/web/mobile – there are carbon, iron and lots of other atoms involved, not just electrons, neurons and caffeine, hence, pivots take much longer and are much more expensive. Second, products have a much longer timeline for commercialization (trudging across the valley of death) and the risk of the fundamental market dynamics changing by the time a company finally launches is significantly greater (<<insert your favorite cleantech roadkill here>>). Third, regulations and government have a disproportionate affect on market evolution, adding uncertainty and high variability (ITC wind credit), and finally, industry relationships, especially with incumbents, are much more critical to scale up (have you ever tried to sell into a utility?). So the challenge is, how do you deal with these issues in a way that brings competitive investment returns to the sector? And more specifically, how do early stage companies raise capital?

Here’s what we’re seeing from the front lines  in Los Angeles that show early signs of success:

  • Pull Versus Push: incumbent industry, utility and municipal players are becoming more proactive in seeking out solutions they need to address impending regulatory and sustainability issues and pulling them to market instead of relying on entrepreneurs to push products where they hope there’s a fit. This takes a whole bunch of inefficiencies out of the process: entrepreneurs have a much clearer view of real market economics, scope and sensitivities; industry gets the solution they’re looking for, instead of sifting through countless pitches from over the transom, and investors get innovation companies with built in technology validation and customer engagement. Much lower risk of failure. Much faster time to market. Much faster growth and exit. Everybody comes out ahead.
  • All Of The Above Approach: Investors targeting early stage cleantech companies are coming from an increasingly broad range of perspectives: crowdsourced high net worth, professional angels, double and triple bottom line venture funds, foundations, government (Fed, State and local), industry, family offices, incubator attached funds, and traditional venture capital.  Because of the social and environmental benefits connected to sustainability innovation, a much broader swathe of players are attracted to the space. This means many more avenues of funding for entrepreneurs, but also much more complication and effort required to work through the options. It’s not as simple as friends/family/angel – VC – PE – IPO/Acquisition, and complicating things, many of these players are new entrants in the last couple years and still getting their legs under them with regard to deploying capital at scale. The important thing though, is that there is a lot of creative thinking and exploration going on to figure out how to put capital to work.
  • Regional Coordination: However this occurs, whether by an incubator, an industry group, regional center, university or some other public/private partnership, an organization that smooths the interaction among all the players is essential. Entrepreneurs are always short on time, and new entrepreneurs in particular are short on experience and connections. A regional player that brings a virtual support team to get behind companies can vastly improve the odds of success. Think about how much time you spend searching for the right personal connection, think about how much effort it is to understand shifting market dynamics for your product or service, or early stage investment structures, or IP process, or HR issues, or design/branding/marketing on social media, etc. A well staffed and designed regional support center can save entrepreneurs untold hours and missteps by making the learning curve on all of the issues above much flatter. And time saved is money saved.

I’ll be diving into each of the topics above in greater detail over the next few weeks, but the take home message is this. There’s hope, things are improving, we’re probably past the worst of it, and those left standing and still focused on the space will likely see their efforts well rewarded over the next handful of years. Stay tuned and keep the faith, the rebirth is imminent….

 

Slash your utility bill with Chai Energy’s new “Summer Saver” iPhone app

LACI Portfolio Company Chai Energy launched a free new iPhone app – Summer Saver – that helps you easily cut your utility bill.

Chai Energy Summer Saver app

Chai smartly tied the app to So Cal Edison’s “Save Power Days” which encourages customers to use less electricity when there’s high demand on the grid.  With Chai’s Summer Saver app, you earn credits directly on your utility bill, saving up to $20 in a single day.

With reminders, predictions and savings tracking, what’s not to like?  If you’re a So Cal Edison customer, try it out today for free.