Category: LACI News

LACI’s Incubation Program Welcomes 12 New Startups to the Forefront of Sustainability

LACI recently welcomed its 6th Incubation Program cohort—12 startup businesses that are transforming the landscape of zero emissions transportation, clean energy and sustainable cities.

By empowering Cohort 6 and their predecessors, LACI helps grow a new generation of entrepreneurs to lead the 21st century cleantech economy. Admission into LACI’s Incubation Program unlocks a 2-year program for startups in Southern California, offering 4 months of acceleration through workshops and peer learning, diverse funding opportunities and access to LACI’s state of the art campus, $150K+ worth of perks and platforms, and joining a cleantech ecosystem of over 375 cleantech portfolio companies and alumni. LACI’s Incubation Program helps cleantech companies to become more competitive, resilient, environmentally sustainable, and scalable!

As the climate crisis continues to escalate, the work of our Incubator startups is more important than ever. Our current startups offer a beacon of hope for a sustainable future by addressing pressing environmental challenges such as depleted resources, pollution, climate changes, and waste management. LACI startups in this cohort focus on new recycling methods, food waste management and compliance, EV charging, cooling systems, and new forms of electric vehicles to combat fossil fuel pollution. 

Cleantech startups like these not only mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions but are partners in building the green economy by fostering economic growth, creating green jobs, and cultivating a global ecosystem of sustainability. 

This year LACI received 66 applications in total for Cohort 6 of LACI’s Incubation program – a record breaking turnout. As we continue to look to the future, applications for Incubation Cohort 7 and Innovators Cohort 8 are now open – more info can be found on the Incubation and Innovators page.

Please join us in welcoming LACI’s Incubation Program Cohort 6!

The full cohort is listed below:

Zero Emissions Transportation

Batteryze

Website: www.batteryze.com/

Batteryze is a predictive maintenance and revenue optimization platform for distributed battery storage systems with a focus on the $30 billion second-life EV batteries. By leveraging their proprietary digital twin and active testing models, they focus on the bankability of second-life batteries by monitoring state of health and accelerating battery asset monetization.

EV Safe Charge Inc.

Website: www.evsafecharge.com/

EV Safe Charge is a leading provider of flexible electric vehicle (EV) charging technology, providing end-to-end charging solutions to support the demands of the rapidly growing EV market. Their newest technology, ZiGGY, is a mobile EV-charging robot that features interactive, digital advertising screens. This is a major breakthrough in EV charging as it allows facilities, shopping and entertainment centers, hotels, fleet operators, airports and property owners to overcome the limitations of stationary EV chargers. They can provide cost-effective on demand charging without the need for costly electrical infrastructure. ZiGGY’s digital ad server can generate advertising revenue for the facility and display customized information.

Kerb-e Inc.

Website: kerb-e.com/

At Kerb-e, the goal is to make EV charging equitable and ubiquitous within cities by developing scalable products that fit on any street.

Popion Mobility

Website: www.popionmobility.com/

Popion solves the range anxiety and infrastructure challenge for electric trucks. Popion solves the range and uptime dilemma for EV truck and bus fleets with battery swapping stations that are customized and optimized to each fleet. The outcome is a solution with radically improved utilization and total cost of operation (TCO) with limitless scalability.

Stak Mobility

Website: www.stakmobility.com/

Stak Mobility is scaling EV charging in cities to catalyze the transition to EV fleets and individual EV ownership. They combine vertical automation, mobile self-service, and EV charging to increase charging infrastructure while reducing the vehicle footprint and CO2 emissions.

XOTO

Website: xotoinc.com/

XOTO is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of self-stabilizing electric vehicles for urban use. They have developed a new category of Light Urban Vehicle (LUV) that removes many of the barriers to entry for new riders. Their vehicles offer all the benefits of an electric motorcycle in a safer, more affordable, and easier to use format, and they do not require an M1 license to operate on public roads or specialized charging infrastructure. XOTO’s goal is to democratize the use of EVs by providing lighter, environmentally friendly, and sustainable alternatives to traditional, energy-demanding vehicles with 5 or more seats, which can be cumbersome and inconvenient to use in urban environments. They aim to make getting around in the city a more enjoyable and efficient experience for everyone.

Clean Energy

Molecule Systems

Website: www.moleculesystems.com/

Molecule Systems (MS) is a technology platform and proprietary Edge Operating System (OS). Their software fills an architecture gap in edge computing critical to scaling the deployment of digital energy assets, products and services. Think of Android or Windows but purpose-built for autonomous machine-to-machine operation that brings the computing power, security, and intelligence of the cloud to the edge, where energy systems must operate at the speed of life.

Wayside, Inc.

Website: waysideenergy.com/

Wayside, having graduated from a previous cohort of Innovators into this round of those accepted into Incubation, is giving communities the tools they need to build a future they’re proud of. We are doing this through our immersion cooling based energy storage systems that are safer, more reliable, recyclable, and highly manufacturable to meet the scale needed to reach a fully renewable energy sector. 

ThermoShade

Website: www.getthermoshade.com/

ThermoShade, also having moved from the Innovators program into Incubation, is an outdoor cooling company. They aim to make our public spaces more comfortable for people to work, learn, and play—and to make our cities more resilient to climate change. ThermoShade is developing a passive cooling panel that can be retrofitted to outdoor spaces, creating a shady environment that feels up to 20°F cooler than a basic awning, without using any electricity or water.

Sustainable Cities

Dyrt Labs, Inc.

Website: www.dyrt.co/

Dyrt is a food waste management platform that provides visibility and simplicity for large-scale producers of food waste while simultaneously bringing compliance to an evolving regulatory environment.

Encora

Website: www.encora.co/

Encora is a reusable container and inventory management technology for closed loop scenarios.  Our patent pending technology utilizes SaaS, smart collection bins and has advanced data reporting capabilities for reuse, environmental impact and customer ROI.

Lasso Loop

Website: www.lassoloop.com/

Lasso is a recycling system centered around a compact ‘recycling robot’ that recognizes, accepts or declines, cleans, and processes used recyclable materials into high-purity manufacture-ready products. This decentralized system substantially reduces emissions, increases efficiency, can financially benefit stakeholders (citizens and cities), and most importantly, ensures that 100% of materials are recycled.

LACI’s Incubation Program Awards Two Companies with an EPIC Extraordinary Prize of $40K Each

In October 2021, LACI welcomed eight promising cleantech startups to its first Incubation Cohort Pilots program funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) EPIC Program. Each of the participating startups received $20,000 to design and deploy small-scale pilots to demonstrate their technologies and hone their business models. Startups pitched their business concepts and pilot ideas to LACI and LACI’s EPIC Pilot Partners, including LADWP, HACLA, Pando Populus, LA Metro, LA County, Edison International, CSU Dominguez Hills, and the City of LA. As a result of that pitch session, each startup was paired with one EPIC Pilot Partner who provided pilot design and site guidance, technical advice, and mentorship as needed.

Over the course of the six to twelve month pilot program, LACI startups Delphire, Energos, Evolectric, Flick, Humble, Joule, MeterLeader, Olokun Minerals, Rewilder, and SolarFi, successfully submitted pilot proposals, defined KPI’s, and executed pilots that lead to valuable learnings and validation demonstrations. Upon the completion of their pilots, LACI was thrilled to learn what each startup drew from their pilot experience to better understand what obstacles led to pivots in their technologies or partner engagements that turned into customer purchase orders. 

All businesses that successfully completed the pilot phase were eligible to compete for a final bonus prize. With support of the DOE EPIC Program, LACI provided additional pilot funding through the DOE EPIC Extraordinary Prize, in which the recipients of the Prize were awarded an additional $40,000 to further support their Incubation Pilot projects and partner engagements.

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, in collaboration with the DOE EPIC Program and EPIC partners, are excited to announce that Humble and Rewilder are the recipients of this extraordinary prize, each receiving $40K to further scale and grow their companies.

Congratulations to Amit Runchal and Scott Pourroy of Humble, and to Stephanie Choi and Jenny Silbert of Rewilder!

What they do: Humble makes and rents tough, user-friendly electric carts,  specifically designed for entertainment production. The  Humble Cart is a motorized, clean electric cart, engineered to move thousands of pounds of equipment on a multi-day shoot.

Pilot Goal: Testing new product features (daisy-chaining, telematics, remote monitoring – based on customer pain points) in a new software platform environment, facilitating communication to end users across a variety of devices to provide a case study for multiple studios in the customer pipeline, immediately increasing revenue. 

Key Learnings: Check out Humble Final Pilot Results!

What they do: Rewilder is a zero waste design and manufacturing company focused on upcycling and repurposing cross-industry materials destined for landfill.

Pilot Goal: Test a new upcycling process – “Blank Slating” –  which involves various techniques and interventions cutting layers of discarded fabric (i.e. old t-shirts) to make a “new” upcycled fabric that is comparable in treatment and performance to virgin fabric.

The Pilot is essential to determine how to reduce labor time and cost of production and will allow them to gain key insights on material inputs, process costs and production techniques, and validate commercial interest with the case study.

Key Learnings: Check out Rewilder’s Final Pilot results!

LACI’S NEWLY LAUNCHED SECOND IMPACT FUND MAKES INITIAL INVESTMENTS IN WOMEN-FOUNDED CLEANTECH STARTUPS CHARGERHELP! AND REPURPOSE; ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, MELONY AND ADAM LEWIS, OTHERS ARE INITIAL FUND II LPS

Melba, EV Charger, Electric Vehicle Charging Station, Woman, Flex, Muscle

LACI’s First Fund Invested in 17 Early-Stage Cleantech Startups with 29% of Investments in Women Founders and 12% in Black or Brown Founders–In 2022, Less than 2% of All U.S. Venture Capital Was in Invested in Women Founders, 1% in Black Founders, and 2% in Latinx Founders

Los Angeles, CA – March 14, 2023 – The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) today announced initial investments from the newly launched LACI Impact Fund II (LIF II) in two women founded start-ups: Repurpose, whose mission is to eliminate plastic pollution with its sustainable tableware; and ChargerHelp!, the nation’s only on-demand repair service for electric vehicle charging stations. LIF II has set out to raise $30 million in total capital to invest in startups active across all of LACI’s programs–initial investors, or limited partners (LPs), include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Melony and Adam Lewis, and others. 

The announcement also follows the successful deployment of LACI’s first fund, or LACI Impact Fund I (LIF I), which invested in 17 cleantech startups.  Of the 17 investments, 29% percent of startups are led by a woman founder, and 12% by a Black or Brown founder. In 2022, less than 2% of all U.S. venture capital was invested in female founders, 1% in Black founders, and less than 2% for all Latinx founders.. .

“Given the urgency of the climate crisis as well as the institutional and historical barriers to accessing capital for underrepresented founders, LACI is leaning in to scale our startups’ solutions here in Los Angeles and beyond,” said Matt Petersen, LACI’s CEO. “Our mission is clear, and to create an inclusive green economy we need to invest in underrepresented women, Black, and brown startup founders to overcome the huge barriers to equitable access to capital.”

“One of the keys to tackling climate change is empowering and supporting underrepresented cleantech founders through the lens of gender and racial equity,” said Melony and Adam Lewis. “Given the organization is addressing the climate crisis and equity—two of the fundamental challenges facing our society today—together, we are thrilled to be investors in LACI’s second fund.”

“We’re very excited to partner with LACI to drive business expansion and create green jobs, ” said Lauren Gropper, CEO and co-Founder of Repurpose. “Our company believes climate justice is social justice, and being aligned with an organization like LACI, one that believes in the same mission, is very rewarding. As we expand rapidly, having access to capital and other programs to support bringing our idea to life is paramount.” 

We are excited about the continued partnership with Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator,” said Kameale C. Terry, CEO and co-founder of ChargerHelp. “Their investment will help us further expand our technology offering for EVSE reliability and uptime, as well as continue to create new green jobs.”

LIF I–whose investment advisory committee included a representative of Emerson Collective as well as a representative of the Annenberg Foundation–co-invested alongside venture firms such as ArcTern, Aligned Climate Capital, Energy Impact Partners, Trucks VC, Kapor Capital & Mark Cuban Companies. After the investment from LIF I,  many of the 17 startups  have gone on to raise significant subsequent rounds totalling over $300 million including Repurpose, ChargerHelp!, and:

  • SparkCharge–their $30M Series A is bringing mobile EV charging to cities across America.
  • Xeal–their $40M Series A is helping  bring charging to multifamily tenants across the U.S.
  • FreeWire–their $125M Series D helping the company scale their charging solutions globally.

In June of last year, LACI launched a national Cleantech Debt Fund, a $6M first-of-its-kind green loan program. The fund addresses institutional barriers that prohibit underrepresented founders from accessing debt capital and maintaining company ownership. Of the 13 companies receiving initial loans, 33 percent of companies have a woman founder or co-founder, and 83 percent of the companies have a founder or co-founder who identifies as Black or Latinx/ The LACI Cleantech Debt Fund deploys loans across the portfolios of LACI as well as partner incubators Greentown Labs, New Energy Nexus, and Evergreen Climate Innovations.

LACI’s other notable programs include the Transportation Electrification Partnership which is working to achieve bold targets by the time of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, green jobs training programs which places graduates in LACI startups and partner organizations, and the Women in Cleantech initiative, which has collectively supported 120 women founders growing their businesses

 

About Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator 

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy for the people of Los Angeles by unlocking innovation by; working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies; transforming markets through catalytic partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and private sector leaders 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 Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI has been recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI Global. LACI has helped 375 portfolio companies raise over $1 billion in funding, generated $323 million in revenue, and created 2,565 jobs throughout the Los Angeles region, with a long term economic impact of more than $733 million. Learn more at www.laci.org.

LACI AWARDED U.S. DOE PLANNING GRANT FOR ZERO EMISSIONS GOODS MOVEMENT CORRIDOR & TRUCK CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE NEAR PORTS & I-710; GRANT ADVANCES PROGRESS TOWARD THE TRANSPORTATION ELECTRIFICATION PARTNERSHIP’S 2028 TARGETS FOR MEDIUM- AND HEAVY-DUTY TRUCKS

Blueprint Will Identify Where EV Charging Network is Needed to Support Battery Electric Trucks
to Decarbonize Goods Movement and Reduce Disproportionate Pollution in Frontline Communities

(LOS ANGELES) – The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is one of seven recipients nationwide of
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding to accelerate the creation of zero emission vehicle corridors by
expanding critical charging infrastructure to support the growing fleet of medium- and heavy-duty electric
vehicles and reduce the disproportionate air pollution burdening frontline communities from goods
movement.

Given that goods movement is the single largest source of air pollution in Greater LA, LACI’s
Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) set a target of 40% of all short haul drayage trucks to be
zero emissions and 60% of all medium-duty delivery trucks to be electric by the time of the 2028 Olympic
and Paralympic Games. The grant DOE awarded LACI will fund work that lays the groundwork for
achievement of that goal.

In a DOE news release announcing the $688,850 award to LACI, Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said, “A clean transportation sector requires vast investments across the entire industry, including to decarbonize the trucks that move our goods and building more charging ports to get those trucks from coast to coast. President Biden’s historic clean energy laws are making it possible for us to get more EVs on the road by expanding charging infrastructure into underserved communities, while reducing range and cost anxiety among drivers who want to go electric.”

“As we pointed out in our clean trucks for clean air campaign last year, goods movement is critical to California’s prosperity, and yet in aggregate is also the single largest source of air pollution in Greater LA, disproportionately impacting frontline communities near ports, freeways, and warehouses,” said LACI’s President and CEO Matt Petersen. “With this DOE grant, LACI and our TEP members will create a strategy for the deployment of infrastructure to ensure the charging network addresses the diverse needs of medium- and heavy-duty truck drivers and operators while meeting critical equity and environmental justice priorities.”

LACI’s successful DOE application is entitled First to Last Mile: Creating an Integrated Goods Movement Charging Network around the I-710 Corridor. To support the electrification of drayage and delivery trucks, LACI will create a detailed regional investment plan for innovative infrastructure solutions at industrial facilities and commercial zones along critical freight arteries feeding into I-710 freeway. This regional plan will leverage existing goods movement real estate assets (e.g. ports, warehouses, distribution centers, retail locations) to provide charging for different supply chain fleets that can expand the proportion of duty cycles completed by a battery-electric truck, and prepare local city governments to most effectively and efficiently site and permit the needed charging infrastructure.

LACI’s investment blueprint, including specific infrastructure deployments accompanied by vetted business models, will be shared with energy service providers and investors looking to lay the foundation for battery powered electric trucks in Southern California.

“We are grateful that the DOE recognized LACI and TEP’s leadership to accelerate the move toward zero emissions goods movement,” continued Petersen. “This transition is vital to the future to the economy of Southern California as well as the health of communities of color along the I-710 and other goods movement corridors by reducing the burden of toxic and cancer-causing emissions from diesel trucks.”

LACI’s application to DOE was based on the work of TEP and its members over the last 5 years, including a 2018 RFI released by LACI in partnership with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the California Air Resources Board, and California Energy Commission. Based on the responses to the RFI from private sector leaders, LACI and TEP have focused on bringing charging for zero emissions to the ports and along the ‘I-710 corridor. Last year, LACI along with the Mayors of LA and Long Beach successfully advocated for an additional $100 million for zero emissions drayage truck fueling infrastructure to be included in the California state budget.

LACI’s partners in the DOE-funded work are University of California Riverside College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research and Technology (UC-Riverside CE-CERT), East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, and Gateway Cities Council of Governments (COG), with support from the City of Los Angeles and the LA Clean Cities Coalition (LACCC), and aided by Partner Fleets and Energy Service Provider and Community Advisory Groups. LACI will also collaborate with TEP members such as Southern California Edison (SCE), Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), and others in this award.

The news of LACI’s grant was part of a larger DOE announcement of $7.4 million to fund seven projects that will accelerate creation of zero emissions vehicle corridors that expand the nation’s zero emissions truck charging infrastructure in 23 states.

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ABOUT
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy for the people of Los Angeles by unlocking innovation by working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies, transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and market leaders 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 Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI has been recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI Global. LACI has helped 375 portfolio companies raise over $1 billion in funding, generated $323 million in revenue, and created 2,565 jobs throughout the Los Angeles region, with a long term economic impact of more than $733 million. Learn more at www.laci.org.

Statement By Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

Statement By Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI):

The Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator thanks Rep. Nanette Barragán for successfully advocating for the inclusion of language directing the US DOE to fund an innovative electric-vehicle-sharing program for public housing residents in the 2023 Omnibus Spending Bill. The language directs the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to prioritize providing grants and technical assistance to public housing agencies to establish EV car-sharing programs for their residents. The goal is to ensure equity in the rollout of clean electric transportation by creating opportunities for disadvantaged residents and people of color to participate in the transformation now, and reap the benefits of cleaner air and advanced technology.

This language was based on the bill Rep. Barragán introduced in 2022: H.R. 6662, the EVs for All Act, which provides $50 million each year for 10 years to expand access to EVs for public housing residents. The bill idea was based on LACI’s successful pilot EV car-sharing program at HACLA’s Rancho San Pedro public housing project in Barragán’s San Pedro district. Residents paid $3/hour to use two dedicated EVs located at the project. The San Pedro pilot program is continuing alongside LACI’s recently launched e-Bike loan program, Good2Go.

Matt Petersen,
President and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

Reflecting on a powerful 2022 and sharing excitement for what lies ahead in 2023

I hope this note finds you enjoying time with loved ones, having returned to celebrating in person with friends, family, and colleagues once again.

As we approach years end and reflect on 2022, I am inspired by what the LACI team as well as all our entrepreneurs, workforce training graduates, and partners have accomplished and made possible in the last year. As we work to create an inclusive green economy here in Los Angeles—including moving at speed and scale to meet the climate crisis—through advancing equitable solutions, there are a few highlights from the last year that stand out:

  • 58 new companies joined our cleantech incubation and small business impact acceleration programs – read about them and their incredible climate solutions here. One of our startups focused on EV charging recently closed a $40M series A, which demonstrates that cleantech remains strong during these more uncertain times.
  • The nation’s first cleantech debt fund was created by LACI to deploy $6M to cleantech startups needing affordable working capital. The fund does not require personal collateral or credit scores which is both unique and key to remove barriers for female, Black, and Brown founders in accessing capital to scale their business.
  • 122 individuals graduated from our workforce training program, including our first ever all female EV charger maintenance course—that’s almost TWICE the number of participants we served in 2021. Our workforce training program was also highlighted by Mayor Karen Bass in her Affordability policy agenda.
  • We came closer to achieving the Transportation Electrification Partnerships’ targets for 2028 and reaching our equity goals thanks to $100M in new funding secured in the California state budget for zero emissions drayage charging infrastructure thanks to an effort LACI organized with the mayors and ports of LA and Long Beach, labor and community groups.
  • The nation’s first statewide Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Equity Advocate was created in the Governor’s office through SB1251 legislation that was sponsored by LACI and carried by Senator Lena Gonzalez.
  • The Omnibus spending bill passed last week by the U.S. Congress includes two items that LACI worked with Rep. Nanette Barragan to make possible, directing the US Dept of Energy to “prioritize funding for EV car share programs at public housing facilities” (modeled on our San Pedro startup and community innovation pilot) and $1.5M for a heavy duty drayage truck charging pilot near the ports.
  • The La Kretz Innovation Campus returned to its vital role for the cleantech community, and we were fortunate to host several high-ranking visitors who came to learn about our work, tour the campus, and meet our entrepreneurs and workforce trainees. Guests included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, California Governor Gavin Newsom, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
  • We were also honored to have hosted newly elected Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass with whom we look forward to working with to deepen our efforts building an equitable and inclusive green economy for ALL Angelenos.

These victories and milestones translate to impact. And we look forward to doing more together in 2023.

On behalf of everyone at LACI, I thank you for your support. We wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, green holiday and a prosperous, equitable year ahead!

Matt Petersen
LACI CEO

New e-Bike Pilot Program “Good2GoBikes Powered by LACI” Launches to Serve Low-Income Residents of Rancho San Pedro

First-of-its-kind initiative, funded by the California Air Resources Board and developed in partnership with HACLA, provides a new, accessible and affordable transportation solution

SAN PEDRO, November 3, 2022 — The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), in partnership with Pedal Movement, officially launched a new, first-of-its-kind zero-emission, micro-mobility pilot, making e-bikes and e-cargo bikes available for affordable rental to Rancho San Pedro residents. LACI and HACLA also announced their commitment to extend the successful EV Car Share pilot program at Rancho San Pedro for another year.

“E-bikes are going to play a prominent role in the transformation of how we move people and goods emission-free through the greater Los Angeles region, especially in dense urban areas,” said Matt Petersen, LACI’s President and CEO. “We’re glad to bring this exciting new transportation technology to residents who suffer from exposure to the Los Angeles region’s worst air pollution and lack access to transportation. It’s time we brought clean transportation technology to the communities bearing the burden of fossil fuel emissions.”

“Residents of the Rancho San Pedro community rely heavily on mass transportation, but most of their essential destinations are within 2-3 miles of home. E-bikes and e-cargo bikes will fill a neglected  transportation need that is critically important to underserved residents,” said HACLA Chief Strategic Development Officer Jenny Scanlin. “We are proud to host the first e-bike fleet pilot for affordable housing residents, and are excited to collaborate once again with LACI on this exciting innovation in urban transportation.”

“Good2Go Bikes” is funded by the California’ Air Resources Board’s Clean Mobility Options (CMO) Voucher program. It is a statewide public program that empowers under-resourced communities to better understand and overcome mobility obstacles, through vouchers that fund community needs assessments and clean, shared, zero-emission transportation projects.

“Providing zero-emission transportation solutions for historically underserved communities like Rancho San Pedro is a top priority for California,” said Sydney Vergis, chief of the California Air Resources Board’s Mobile Source Control Division. “It’s great to see projects like this one that are designed to truly meet a community’s transportation needs. That’s the idea behind CARB’s statewide Clean Mobility Options program — to meet transportation needs as identified by the people who live there. Congratulations to a great partnership that includes local residents, local and state government, the cleantech incubator and a mobility startup that made it all possible.”

“We believe that when more people use bicycles for transportation, streets are safer and communities prosper,” said Pedal Movement Co-Founder and CEO John Tully. “Good2Go Bikes is a celebration of collaboration to empower communities with transportation solutions that offer residents greater accessibility to economical transportation, and healthier, more prosperous cities.”

“Good2Go Bikes” is a four year LACI pilot that will equip the city’s 21-acre housing project with a fleet of sixteen e-bikes and four e-cargo bikes, along with a portable off grid charging hub, provided by partner Pedal Movement, who will also maintain the fleet and offer technical support to resident riders. Participants become members of the program by registering online to confirm they are RSP residents and obtain access codes to use with the custom app developed to support the program. Riders can choose between a “pay as you go” plan for $2 for the first hour and 50 cents for each subsequent hour; or a monthly plan for up to 20 hours per month for $20, plus 50 cents for each additional hour. Once residents have created an account they can use the app to check for availability and reserve an e-bike in advance, or use the app on-site to simply swipe, unlock and ride an e-Bike.

“Good 2 Go Bikes” is LACI’s fifth community-based pilot and was deployed upon the conclusion of LACI and HACLA’s first community mobility pilot at Rancho San Pedro – a one year EV Car Share program that inspired the EVs for All Act, SB 6662, authorized by Rep. Nannette Barragan. This bill would authorize up to $50 million in annual appropriations from 2022-2031 for a new grant program with the Department of Energy in coordination with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill would help public housing authorities and local governments invest in electric vehicles (EV), EV charging stations, community education and outreach, and other services and incentives to provide access to EVs in underserved communities.

The community commemorated the launch of the “Good2Go Bikes” program with ride demonstrations and a community celebration.

The Rancho San Pedro community is adjacent to the Port of Long Beach and is burdened with some of the dirtiest air in Southern California. A recent Los Angeles Times story reported that just last year, diesel particulate increased 42%, nitrogen oxides grew 35% and sulfur oxides rose 38% at the Port

E-bikes provide many unique benefits to users while advancing the goal of making transportation cleaner, safer and more accessible. E-bikes, powered by rechargeable batteries, allow faster travel than conventional bicycles but with less stress and physical impact on riders, especially on hills and inclines. As the name suggests, E-Cargo bikes are designed to enable riders to transport groceries, packages and supplies. The New York Times has dubbed e-bikes “one of the fastest-growing forms of urban transportation.”

ABOUT

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy for the people of Los Angeles by unlocking innovation by working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies, transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and market leaders 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 Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI Global. In the past ten years, LACI has helped 375 portfolio companies raise $697 million in funding, generated $323 million in revenue, and created 2,565 jobs throughout the Los Angeles region, with a projected 5-year economic impact of more than $573 million. Learn more at www.laci.org.

CMO is a statewide initiative that provides funding for zero-emission shared mobility options to under-resourced communities in California. CMO is available throughout California to eligible disadvantaged communities, as well as eligible low-income tribal and affordable-housing communities, to increase access to safe, reliable, convenient and affordable transportation options. For eligibility requirements, application information and to contact the technical assistance team, please visit: www.cleanmobilityoptions.org. CMO is part of California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.

HACLA
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) was established in 1938 by City of Los Angeles Resolution No. 1241. HACLA is one of the nation’s largest and leading public housing authorities, providing the largest supply of quality affordable housing to residents of the City of Los Angeles. HACLA provides affordable housing to over 83,000 households in its Public Housing and Section 8 departments, and offers a range of permanent supportive housing programs for homeless households, including: Project-Based, HUD – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, Homeless, Tenant Based Supportive Housing, Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids (HOPWA), Continuum of Care and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program. For more information, visit www.hacla.org.

Pedal Movement
Pedal Movement believes that when more people use active transportation, communities prosper. It is our mission to make micromobility and emissions-free transportation options accessible to everyone. Pedal Movement exists to create, enrich, and employ local communities with the transformative power of bicycle transportation. In addition to building operational infrastructure for universal bicycle access, promoting cycling events, and hosting group rides and safety clinics, we also support the professionals who keep it all moving. Pedal Movement equips bicycle mechanics with industry-leading job training, great benefits, and a livable wage. We’re in the business of changing the way cities move — one revolution at a time. For more information, visit www.pedalmovement.com

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LACI Welcomes 34 Startups & Businesses to their Founder Programs

LACI PROUDLY WELCOMES 34 STARTUPS & SMALL BUSINESSES TO THEIR SUITE OF INCUBATION & FOUNDER PROGRAMS

Throughout the Summer and Fall of 2022, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) welcomed 9 startups innovating clean technologies to our light-touch Innovators Program,  9 startups to our 2-year intensive Incubation Program, and 1 company deploying a larger scale impact-focused pilot to our Market Access Program. Beyond the lens of cleantech we also opened our doors to a Cohort of 15 entrepreneurs joining our Founders Business Accelerator Program. These small business founders  have cared for our local communities through their offerings in dining, entertainment, health and wellness services, and so much more.

LACI’s annual Market Landscape Report, analyzes the market and various sectors to identify top priorities in accelerating the commercialization of cleantech and reductions in real and perceived barriers to adoption. Guided by this intelligence, LACI’s recruitment efforts are focused on Zero Emissions Transportation, Clean Energy, and Sustainable Cities. As a result,  we are better able to identify and support startup businesses incubating these technologies and help them develop, test, pilot and bring these key offerings to market and thereby promote environmental, health, and economic opportunities and benefits for communities throughout our market and across the nation.

LACI’s Market Access report identifies three core areas of cleantech from which we recruit and develop founders innovating solutions in these sectors.

We’re eager to advance incoming startups like Veloce Energy that are providing modular energy storage, installation systems, and integration software to electrify everything from vehicles, commercial buildings, and homes. And others like LACI’s Market Access portfolio company Microgrid Labs that makes it easier for medium and heavy duty electric vehicle fleet operators to perform assessments and aggregate electrification plans with their creative platform management solution. We’re also excited for Coralite to demonstrate their waste reduction solution for recycling foam into various applications throughout the automotive & construction industries.

We encourage circularity and help our startup and small business participants focus on impactful outcomes through a progression of programs that help founders scale their businesses and develop proprietary technologies as they advance through these programs. We also provide guidance to help our portfolio companies pivot when new opportunities arise. Take Shred Cycle for example, who participated in our 6-month Founders Business Accelerator Program (FBA). When Shred Cycle’s founder realized her original passion project of recycling skateboard wheels could better serve her mission and the community with an entirely new business model of upcycling polyurethane waste, thereby reducing the impact that industry has on the City of Los Angeles, aided by her Executive In Residence, she made the shift with great success. Companies like those in our FBA Cohort 7, some of who have been in business for 2 years while others are regarded as community legends with operating history of some 20 years, will re-imagine and re-invigorate their businesses and the communities they serve by focusing on sustainable and environmentally conscious business practices that create new jobs, reduce waste, and stimulate economic wealth across our region – especially among historically under-resourced communities.

LACI is proud to amplify these stories, lift-up and empower 34 women founders and 36 founders from traditionally underrepresented groups who are joining the LACI Family this year!

We’re happy to introduce the full roster of 19 startups companies entering LACI’s founder programs across our three sector areas of focus:


APPLY FOR LACI’S INCUBATION PROGRAM TODAY!

CLEAN ENERGY

Global Energy Credit

Hardware solution to unlock the great potential of residential buildings in providing affordable, clean, and equitable energy for residents by making the electric meters intelligent, without costly upgrades.

Mack Designs

Developing a  vertical wall concept device which is comprised of a series of wind  induced oscillating geometries. As the devices flutter in the wind, they produce electricity on a micro scale on the interior encasement of the system.

Wayside Energy

Wayside Energy is creating a recyclable, modular, and rigid single piece injection molded battery pack system with a unique geothermal cooling system that is industry leading in price, reliability, safety, and performance while being cheap and simple to manufacture.

Compo Energy

A new source of renewable energy from a combination of compost and solar heat. The project provides an alternative solution to current waste landfill operation which is not environmentally safe, and does not benefit the surrounding communities.

ZERO EMISSIONS MOBILITY

Veloce Energy

Veloce is creating a platform of technologies to make it easier, faster and cheaper to electrify everything: vehicles, commercial buildings, homes.

Microgrid Labs

Microgrid Labs is launching a pilot with LACI to provide their EVopt planning Software as a Service solution to a network of medium and heavy duty electric vehicle (EV) fleet operators. This pilot will demonstrate  the advantage of our self-service platform for performing EV fleet assessments and the ability to aggregate electrification plans.

BASEstud.io

BASEstud.io is designing Beyond Smart Lighting Infrastructure to provide communities with access, equality, safety and sustainability – core needs for a well-balanced city.

Emissionless Technologies

Emissionless Technologies is an all-electric freight carrier, operating a fleet of electric semi-trucks through a network of supercharging hubs. The X Logistics solution overcomes range limitations  using the Transfer Hub model and connected fleets to keep freight moving, reducing inefficiencies endemic to conventional distribution networks.

Wild Technologies Inc.

Wild Technologies has designed the easiest to manufacture and customize battery pack for the marine industry.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Kit Switch

Kit Switch is a  modular building interiors startup creating a line of plug-and-play kitchens for multifamily housing developments.

Relyion Energy Inc.

Relyion Energy is enabling longer and sustainable use of Li-ion batteries.

VARIANT3D

VARIANT3D is 3D printing on demand for fully customizable textiles using sustainable or recycled inputs.

Shred Cycle Inc.

Shred Cycle Inc. is making sustainability easy and accessible to action sports enthusiasts by upcycling polyurethane waste, from skateboarding wheels and manufacturing  waste, back into useful outdoor products.

Coralite

Coralite is an innovative performance material company –  the Coralite material is made from 100% recycled foam, is fully circular, and has little to no waste in its production.

Galora, Inc.

Galora is the Airbnb of homegrown food. Neighbors can buy, sell or trade what they grow, bake, or make. Every year, 11.5 billion pounds of U.S. homegrown food is  wasted.

ThermoShade

ThermoShade is a “passive cooling” panel that can be retrofitted onto outdoor structures, creating a space that feels up to 20°F cooler than the outside air temperature with zero electricity and zero water.

LACI’s network of cleantech companies continues to grow in membership and as individual startups advance their solutions and demonstrate tremendous success in-market after completing LACI’s founder programs. To date, LACI has helped 340 portfolio companies raise $697M in funding, generated $323M in revenue, and created 2,565 jobs throughout the Los Angeles region, with a long-term economic impact of more than $573M.  Of the Incubation startups from LACI’s rebooted cohort model, EV charging station services provider ChargerHelp! currently employs 32 people and services 20,000 charging stations across 11 states. EV charging as a service provider SparkCharge recently raised $1M from SharkTank’s Mark Cuban. And, Maxwell Vehicles is working with a group of partners and startups to deploy the nation’s first-ever Zero Emission Delivery Zone with the goal of lowering emissions and decreasing traffic.

DIVERSITY METRICS
LACI’s mission of building an inclusive green economy is powered by a diverse range of staff, partners, program participants, and cleantech innovators, many of which are from historically underrepresented populations. As highlighted in a recent Yahoo! Finance story, LACI is leading efforts to create an inclusive green economy in Los Angeles. With a focus on supporting underrepresented founders. Our commitment to recruiting and supporting women, BIPOC, LGTBQ+ founders and other historically underrepresented groups is demonstrated by the diversity of founders represented in our recent cohorts as indicated below:

 

FBA COHORT 7
Founders Business Accelerator welcomed 15 small businesses into the program this fall.

  • Sectors: Founders in this cohort include those in entertainment, retail, wellness, circular economy and food services.
  • Location: City of Los Angeles
  • Diversity: Among 26 founders – 81% women, 96% BIPOC, 15% LGBTQ+
  • This is our most diverse cohort yet with founders who identify as Latinx (30%), Black (32%), Middle Eastern (3%), Indigenous (9%), East Asian (3%), South Asian (6%), South East Asian (3%).


INNOVATORS COHORT 7
We welcomed 9 new startups to this cohort in September. To learn more about these inventive founders and their offerings, please view this Startups Overview Deck.

  • Tech Sector: 44% Clean Energy focused, 33% Zero Emissions Transportation focused, and 22% Circular Economy focused.
  • Location: 3 based in the City of Los Angeles (Global Energy Credit, Emissionless Technologies, Galora)
  • Diversity: Among 15 founders – 6 women (40%), 3 BIPOC (20%)

 

INCUBATION COHORT 5
We welcomed 9 new startups to this cohort in October. To learn more about these dynamic founders and their cleantech solutions, please view this Startups Overview Deck.

  • Tech Sector: 33% Clean Energy focused, 11% Zero Emissions Transportation focused, and 55% Circular Economy focused
  • Location: 3 based in the City of Los Angeles, 2 based in Southern California, and 4 based in Northern California
  • Diversity:  Among 22 founders – 4 women (18%), 5 BIPOC (23%), 2 LGBTQ+ (9%)


MARKET ACCESS COHORT 4

Welcome Microgrid Labs!

The Market Access Program welcomes its newest founders, Narayanan Sankar and Namit Singh, of Microgrid Labs. Microgrid Labs offers Software as a Service for optimal planning, design and operation of electric fleets that provide a low-cost, accurate and scalable solution that can evolve with fleet demands and ease the transition to electric fleets. They have demonstrated cost and time savings with their EVopt SaaS platform across 10 projects throughout the country,  including planning for a fleet of 800 EV school buses.

 

Microgrid Labs’ EVopt planning SaaS Solution Model

 

Microgrid Labs’ Market Access Pilot
During their time in the Market Access Program, Microgrid Labs will deploy a pilot that provides their EVopt planning SaaS solution to a network of fleet operators, demonstrating the advantage of a self-service platform for performing fleet assessments and the ability to aggregate fleet electrification plans. This will generate valuable insights on the shifting of demand on grid load access for multiple fleets.

 

Now Accepting Pilot Partners
Microgrid Labs is now accepting pilot partners in Los Angeles to serve multiple EV fleets including modes of last-mile delivery, light and medium duty, school bus and drayage fleets.

To learn more about how to be a pilot partner for this innovative solution in LA please contact pipeline@laci.org.

LACI is currently recruiting for our Incubation Cohort 6 and we will open the application process for our Market Access Cohort 5 on November 27. For more information, and to join our family of successful startups and small business founders


APPLY FOR LACI’S INCUBATION PROGRAM TODAY!

TEP Partner Spotlight: Pasadena Water & Power

Pasadena Water & Power (PWP) has been a member of the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) since 2020. As a utility for a smaller city, PWP’s partnership has been vital to understanding how we can move the needle towards an electrified future at the local level. The city’s climate action plan encourages EV transportation in order to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gasses, nitrogen oxide and harmful particulate matter emanating from a typical internal combustion engine. As such, PWP has made bold moves to electrify their city, and has demonstrated the importance of local leadership in achieving the Partnership’s Zero Emission Roadmap 2.0 goals through their Power Up Pasadena initiative.

PWP kicked-off the Power Up campaign in 2018, when it introduced new rebates for electric vehicles and EV chargers. They provide incentives for residential and commercial electric customers, which encourages adoption of EVs and EV infrastructure. 

Public Charging Opportunities

PWP is also expanding  charging infrastructure by installing chargers at public parking structures throughout the city, the largest of which is Marengo Charging Plaza. With a total of 44 chargers, 24 superchargers installed by Tesla and 20 fast chargers installed by the city of Pasadena, the Marengo Charging Plaza is one of the largest public EV fast-charging plazas, not only in the city, but in the nation. Within its first months of operation the Plaza captured more than 7,000 charging sessions per month. 

The support of public-private partnerships has proven an effective way to advance EV infrastructure and provide the technology needed to benefit the community. With the help of grants from the California Energy Commission (CEC) and South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), and revenues from the Low Carbon Fuel Standard program, the city was able to construct the entire project without the use of rate payer dollars.

The Arroyo EV Charging Depot is another recent example of PWP’s commitment to the Power Up initiative. With a total of 26 chargers—20 of which are Tesla V3 Superchargers—the Depot helps support the city’s growing demand for EVs. Since the launch of the Power Up campaign, PWP has installed over 100 public EV chargers in the city and plans to continue building more. Pasadena City Council recently approved bringing three additional large charging facilities to Pasadena, including two community centers and a large expansion at the Del Mar Metro Station facility. 

Paving the Way Forward

Pasadena has the distinction of having the highest percentage of EV drivers among all Southern California electric utilities, and plans to continue supporting these drivers through expanded charging infrastructure and generous incentives. The city is focused on placing EV chargers at central locations throughout the city’s 23 square mile boundaries that will help drivers support their daily commute and extend their electric range to reach further destinations. 

This type of bold leadership at the local level is critical to transforming the Greater Los Angeles region in time for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As we near our target date, local leadership will become increasingly important to achieving our ambitious goals. 

Shevonne Sua, LACI Transportation Program Coordinator

The Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) is an unprecedented regional public-private collaboration to accelerate deep reductions in climate and air pollution by the time of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. All of our partners have committed to work individually and collectively to pursue policies, pilot projects, and other actions that are equity-driven, create quality jobs, grow the economy, and help the region reach the bold targets in the TEP’s Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0.

 

Pasadena Water & Power and Tesla electric vehicle charging stations on the roof of the Marengo parking garage at 155 E Green St., Jan. 24, 2020. (Photo by: Eric Reed/Pasadena Water & Power)

Pasadena’s Marengo Parking Structure’s top level is a joint electric vehicle charging station provided by Pasadena Water & Power with Tesla, March, 2020. (Eric Reed/Pasadena Water & Power)

Statement from LACI

As we strive to create an inclusive green economy here in Los Angeles, it is clearer than ever we need to collectively deepen our work in addressing the underlying causes of racial, economic, and environmental inequality and injustice–and we need elected leaders who will do the same. The horrific racist, anti-Black, homophobic, anti-indigenous statements by LA City Councilmembers goes against the grain of our mission, values, and work. Healing requires accountability for all the elected officials involved, including resignation. Only by doing so can Los Angeles return to the work of economic, climate, and racial justice across our region, and in frontline, disadvantaged communities in particular where Black and Brown communities are most vulnerable as well as face the greatest barriers in accessing capital for their startups and businesses, cleantech solutions that lower emissions in their communities, and opportunities to join the green workforce.

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator