Press Release – The Race to Zero is On: First-Ever California Climate Cup Launches to Identify Innovative Startups Combating Climate Change

Global competition will seek the best innovations for megacities for zero emission transportation and clean energy solutions

Winners to present during Governor Brown’s 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in September

LOS ANGELES (July 12, 2018) California continues its longstanding role as a global leader and innovator in driving progressive environmental initiatives forward.

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) announced the California Climate Cup, a startup innovation competition seeking the next generation of technologies, business models, and platforms that will help megacities—as well as states and regions—accelerate reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and enhance resiliency in the face of climate change.

“To fight climate change, we need innovators with cutting-edge solutions that can be implemented in megacities, like Los Angeles,” said Matt Petersen, President and CEO of LACI. “From my former role as the first-ever Chief Sustainability Officer of Los Angeles and our work with local government leaders, utilities, regulators, and others in our Transportation Electrification Partnership, I know megacities need these types of solutions. This is an opportunity to pitch game-changing technologies on a worldwide stage, and connect with decision-makers across sectors.”

“Cities like Los Angeles, California and others around the world are experiencing the impacts of climate change,” said Danny Kennedy, Managing Director of California Clean Energy Fund. “They are also demonstrating solutions. The Climate Cup is a great platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their most innovative climate change solutions and technologies to the world’s leaders gathering at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September. We will shine a light on the startups and entrepreneurs that will propel us towards a more sustainable and resilient future and speed them on their way to commercial success.”

Startups from around the globe in three areas of zero emissions mobility and goods movement, the energy and transportation nexus, and sustainable cities are encouraged to apply for the competition. Three finalists from each category of the California Climate Cup competition will be selected on August 10 and invited to travel to Los Angeles in September to pitch their startup at LACI’s La Kretz Innovation Campus to pitch their solution before a panel of expert judges.

Category winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to pitch their startup on stage in front of delegates, key climate policy decision makers, and local, state, and world leaders who will assemble at Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 12-14, where the grand prize winner will be released. Partners, including C40, will share the category finalists’ solutions with officials across the world.

In addition to significant exposure to public and private sector leaders, two of the category winners will receive a prize of at least $5,000 USD, and the grand prize winner will be awarded $25,000 USD.

The California Climate Cup application deadline is August 6, 2018.

To enter the California Climate Cup, apply at:

For more information, contact or visit

California Climate Cup Competition Categories

To address the greatest climate resilience and carbon reduction needs in the world’s biggest communities, the California Climate Cup calls on startup companies to submit solutions in the following categories:

  • Mobility and Goods Movement: Zero-emissions innovations are needed in the areas of goods movement and urban logistics, urban mobility and access, first and last mile solutions, and shared mobility.
  • Energy/Transportation Nexus: Platforms and innovations that facilitate deployment of clean energy and electric vehicle infrastructure through EV charging and energy storage, demand response, smart charging, and other grid management needs for transportation infrastructure assets.
  • Digital Solutions for Sustainable Cities: Platforms and innovations that enable sustainable city solutions that improve resiliency, resource efficiency and unlock new markets through solutions that utilize blockchain, fintech, IoT, smart sensor networks, and/or big data.

About LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is a private non-profit organization creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation (working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies), transforming markets (through partnerships in transportation, energy and sustainable cities) and enhancing communities (through workforce development, pilots and other programs). Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past six years, LACI has helped 73 portfolio companies raise $184M in funding, $220M in revenue, create 1,700 jobs, and deliver more than $379M in long term economic value. Learn more at

About California Clean Energy Fund

The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) connects capital to catalytic clean energy investments and ideas. They work across the entire lifecycle of clean energy development, commercialization and deployment. Since 2004, California Clean Energy Fund has leveraged $1.5 billion in investment, invested in over 100 clean energy enterprises, and launched industry leading centers for solution collaboration. Today, they are planning for rapid clean energy adoption, to build equity into the energy economy and to create new jobs in California, the United States and around the world. California Clean Energy Fund operates offices in Oakland, CA and Shanghai, China. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Shawn Dhanak