New SoCal Tech Center to Promote Alternative Fuel & Advanced Vehicles

Fresh off the wire, and a great win for SoCal…

The California Energy Commission has awarded funds to a consortium of Southern California-based organizations led by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to establish a Southern California Center for Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Technology. The Center will consist of one virtual hub and two physical locations—one in San Diego, which will be managed by the California Center for Sustainable Energy, and one in Los Angeles, which will be managed by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. The Center will serve the counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

“Southern California already boasts tremendous assets in driving the consumer-side of the advanced transportation market,” said Bill Allen, President and CEO, LAEDC. “Our goal with this critically important Center is to also leverage these assets to ensure that we’re a leading developer, designer and producer of these lower-emission technologies to add the high-value jobs and wages as well as the tax revenues that will result from a thriving advanced transportation cluster.”

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), a nonprofit organization that administers the statewide Clean Vehicle Rebate Project for the California Air Resources Board, will operate the San Diego Center.  “Southern California already leads the state in the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles, but we are a long way from where we need to be to reach the state’s ambitious goals for reducing petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions,” said CCSE Executive Director Len Hering, RADM, USN (ret.). “These two new centers and the online component will help municipalities, government agencies and industry partners better focus and direct their efforts to grow the market for cleaner transportation throughout the region.”

The Los Angeles Center will be managed by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) at the La Kretz Innovation Campus in downtown Los Angeles. “LACI is thrilled to leverage its incubation programs and state-of-the-art campus to further advance the commercialization of alternative fuels and vehicle technologies in Southern California,” said Fred Walti, Executive Director of LACI. “The deeply committed and capable partners cooperating in this initiative represent an economic development powerhouse.”

“This project will be a great asset for our region,” said Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee. “Not only will they be developing alternative fuels and clean technology, they’ll be creating jobs that will drive economic growth for years to come.”

Additional partners receiving funding include the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center and the Luskin Center for Innovation, Advanced Sustainability Institute, California State University-Los Angeles and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.

The California Energy Commission contract is scheduled to begin in June 2014. The project will also use $1.6 million in matching funds from advanced transportation industry leaders. For more information about the Center, visit www.AdvancedTransportationCenter.org.

About the LAEDC

The LAEDC, the region’s premier economic development leadership organization, is a private, non-profit organization established in 1981 under section 501(c)(3). Its mission is to attract, retain, and grow business and jobs for the regions of Los Angeles County. Since 1996, the LAEDC has helped to retain or attract over 190,000 annual jobs in Los Angeles County with an estimated labor income, including wages and benefits, of approximately $12 billion. Learn more at www.laedc.org.

About the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

LACI 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, transportation, and materials science. LACI works closely with the region’s utilities, universities, business community, government institutions and capital markets to foster innovation and to grow the region’s green economy. Learn more at www.laincubator.org.

About the California Center for Sustainable Energy

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) is an independent, nonprofit organization that accelerates the transition to a sustainable world powered by clean energy. CCSE helps consumers, businesses, governments and others adopt energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean transportation technologies. Learn more at www.energycenter.org.

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.laincubator.org.

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

LA Cleantech Incubator is getting room to grow

Work is set to begin on the 3.2-acre La Kretz Innovation Campus in L.A.’s arts district, which will give the nonprofit 10 times more space to nurture start-ups…

Read the full story here.

Article by Catherine Green, Los Angeles Times

“We have access to the resources and the connections and the ability to use local government, yet we’re run by entrepreneurs,” said Fred Walti, executive director of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. (Bob Chamberlin, Los Angeles Times / June 18, 2013)

“We have access to the resources and the connections and the ability to use local government, yet we’re run by entrepreneurs,” said Fred Walti, executive director of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. (Bob Chamberlin, Los Angeles Times / June 18, 2013)

Wins & Deals

The latest on some terrific milestones for Chai Energy, ACCESS microPower, and E-Waste Systems…

Chai Energy

Chai Energy Wins at FLoW

Hats off to LACI Portfolio Company Chai Energy for their win at the US Department of Energy FLoW competition.  They took 2nd place out of over 100 competitors judged by blue-chip investors at Caltech’s Resnick Institute, and are soon off to Washington DC to compete in the national finals.

It’s great to see them get further validation of their breakthrough approach to change the way homeowners understand and change their energy use.  We’re certain you’ll be hearing a lot more from Chai in the near future.

AmP

Access microPower (AmP) joins LACI Portfolio Company program

We’re excited to welcome Vincent Kapur’s AmP to the LACI family.  Their vision to provide turnkey, high-quality, affordable solar charging docks to the developing world is a big and vital mission.  Whether its providing power for charging mobile phones, or bringing safe light into homes, AmP aims to leverage great technology to raise the standard of living for millions.

The opportunity?  Currently, 1.6 billion people live without access to electricity, with population growth outpacing all best-case scenarios for utility grid service expansions in the developing world. In India alone, $2.2bn is spent annually on kerosene fuel by 78 million un-electrified households.

 

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E-Waste Systems acquires California’s Surf, adding $1 million in annual revenue

LACI Portfolio Company E-Waste Systems (EWSI) announced an agreement to acquire Surf Investments, a registered California collector of eWaste and authorized center for repair, returns, and resale by major OEM manufacturers including Hewlett Packard, Toshiba, Lenovo, Compaq and Fujitsu.

Bringing Surf into the EWSI family will give them a solid base of operations in California and add $1 million in annual revenue.

New Deals, Programs, Faces and Collaborations

Skyline Innovations

Skyline Innovations announces major Southern California deal

LACI Portfolio Company Skyline Innovations announced a new deal with AMCAL Housing to provide solar water heating solutions to 11 multifamily properties in Los Angeles and San Diego.  AMCAL and the 2,100 residents it serves will receive an instant 30% savings for 10 years.  Skyline continues to impress the market with their model that guarantees significant water heating savings with completely managed solar solutions at no upfront cost for commercial and affordable housing clients.

Expanded Programs at LACI

LACI is launching two high-impact programs that evolve the suite of services we offer to continue to accelerate commercialization for startups and the market:

Investment Intensive is a novel training and preparation program for startups seeking capital.  We provide many of vital services that an investment bank would provide (investment prep, pre-audit readiness, investor identification, industry database access, comps analysis, etc.) without the steep costs and fees.

Market WishList turns the traditional innovation model on its head.  Instead of trying to find markets for new technologies, we go to the market and get them to define their most pressing problems, clearly aligning nascent technology with market needs.

repurpose cups

Repurpose Compostables joins LACI

LA-native Repurpose is fast emerging as a true leader in plant-based, compostable consumer goods that replace plastic (think cups, plates, cutlery, etc.).  Oprah thinks they’re great.  Bed, Bath and Beyond, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms believe in them too. We’re excited to have them join LACI, and look forward to helping them in their meteoric rise.

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Efficiency collaboration with US DOE Better Buildings Challenge Los Angeles

We’re proud to collaborate with this important initiative that drives the City of Los Angeles’ goal to achieve 20% energy savings by 2020 across 30 million square feet of existing building as part of the Better Buildings Challenge, a national leadership initiative, which calls on public and private sector leaders to demonstrate the benefits of modernizing America’s existing buildings.

CCSEGreen Jobs collaboration with California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE)

LACI is excited to announce a joint initiative with CCSE to help further develop L.A.’s green job market by conducting an in-depth assessment of industry needs and available job training. Funding for the research and cleantech workforce report comes from a $50,000 donation by the Union Bank Foundation.

Ian GardnerIan Gardner joins the LACI team as VP Development, Entrepreneur in Residence

We’re thrilled to welcome Ian Gardner to the LACI family.  He brings a true wealth of relevant experience, and will lead crucial and creative new initiatives that will help us further our mission to solidify LA’s spot as a global cleantech leader.  And, he does it with style.

 

Region’s Leading Cleantech Initiatives Unite

Clean Tech Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator join forces to increase both efficiency and impact

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The region’s leading clean technology initiatives – Clean Tech Los Angeles (CTLA) and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) – are unifying to increase both efficiency and impact toward their complementary charter: champion and continue Los Angeles’ standing as a green economic powerhouse and world-class innovation hub. The CTLA Board of Directors has transitioned into a joint Leadership Council while a formal plan for combining both CTLA and LACI into a single entity is developed. In the interim, a single team with proven success will co-manage both organizations, led by executive director Fred Walti.

This new structure will bring together two organizations that are key to developing a vibrant clean tech economy in Los Angeles. CTLA convenes, markets, connects, and advocates for clean technology initiatives and constituents throughout the region. LACI helps commercialize promising clean technologies throughout Los Angeles by offering flexible office space, executive coaching and education, and access to a robust network of experts and capital to qualified startups. Together, they work to build and sustain a regional ecosystem that supports research, innovation and commercialization of clean and sustainable technologies.

As sister organizations, both CTLA and LACI emerged from the Mayor’s regional vision to build and sustain a world-class green economy in Los Angeles, rooted in the strengths of the region. Los Angeles boasts one of the largest global markets, world-class research and academic institutions, international trade dominance, and a talented workforce, all of which combine to make the region attractive to any business. With substantial policy mandates and practical commitments to sustainable, renewable and clean technologies, Los Angeles is already a dominant cleantech force. Both CTLA and LACI have leveraged these regional assets with strategic initiatives and programs aimed to grow the Los Angeles green economy into an international model for success.

“This integration has very clear benefits for both organizations. CTLA has achieved a great deal over the past five years. Combining staff and resources with LACI will reduce costs and increase output, critically important during these challenging economic times. This new management structure will eliminate staff redundancy and allow for a more efficient approach to operations in the long term. Moreover, functions such as human resources, facility and accounting will be combined, providing additional savings,” said Michael Swords, Board Chairman of CTLA.

Swords added, “Fred Walti and Neal Anderson have done an outstanding job at managing the development of LACI, and we believe that they will be able to leverage the assets of the combined organization in a way that will benefit the entire region.”

“As two organizations that are so highly aligned, formalizing that alignment and becoming more clear and efficient about what we do just makes sense,” said Fred Walti, Executive Director of LACI and CTLA. “Cooperation is key to making LA’s green economic leadership position a long-term one. This cooperative move is symbolic for what’s happening here in Los Angeles. With our market size, talent pool, research institutions, and growing pool of hard and soft incentives, if you’re in cleantech, Los Angeles is the place you want to start, build, grow, and headquarter your company.”

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 Smart Grid infrastructure, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric transportation, 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.

Clean Tech Los Angeles (CTLA), is a multi-institutional collaboration between UCLA, USC, Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Business Council (LABC), Central City Association (CCA), Central City East Association and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), to establish Los Angeles as the global leader in the research, commercialization, and deployment of clean technologies.

For press information or images, please contact:
Gypsywing Media
Lolo Siderman
310-445-8877
laci@gypsywing.com