Portfolio Companies

Pick My Solar wins US DOE grant for app development

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App will be the first to deliver real-time solar data to consumers

LACI Portfolio Company Pick My Solar was awarded federal funding to develop PVimpact, a tool that aims to make it easy for all solar homes to connect to the information grid. The app is being designed to benefit homeowners, solar installers, manufacturers, and utilities by analyzing homeowners’ energy use in real time.

Keep an eye out for it this summer (free to all Pick My Solar customers), then available to the rest of the U.S. residential solar market in early fall.

Shark Wheel Gains Traction

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“Like most great inventions, you fall into it. It’s an accident,” says the man behind the wheel, Zack Fleishman. It started out as a quirky rendition of a long-board wheel but has been validated as a real innovation that outperforms a normal wheel and has set the skateboarding community abuzz. The company has now sold and delivered over 10,000 wheels.

The Discovery Channel sought out the guys who reinvented the wheel to understand the dynamics of their novelty invention and to test out the Shark Wheel. Positive feedback from happy customers continues to roll in and numerous people have given Shark Wheel their seal of approval – including skateboarding godfather, Tony Hawk…

Since the company’ Kickstarter campaign received over one million views and raised nearly 800% of their goal, Shark Wheel has been engaged by over 200 international distributors and signed up 27 countries for exclusive distribution. Fleishman endeavors to keep the success rolling by seeking out strategic investors to help the company reach its potential and to raise enough funding to stock a sufficient inventory and expand into other markets; these markets may include military vehicles, strollers, roller skating, friction drive wind turbines, wheelchairs, luggage, and almost any market with a wheel.

Here’s a 1st-person perspective of bombing a hill with Shark Wheels…

Get your own set of of Shark Wheels here.

Revoterial and PickMySolar Win $125,000 from Innovation Fund SoCal

Congrats to Revoterial and PickMySolar for winning a combined $125,000 from the Kauffman Foundation backed Innovation Fund SoCal.  The LACI Portfolio Companies nabbed 2 of the 3 funding opportunities available in the initial award today, announced by the fund managers Long Beach City College (LBCC).

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Awardees were selected through a competitive review process that included an initial application and two rounds of pitches before selection panels comprised of a cross-section of professionals with technical, industry, financial, business, commercialization and start-up experience and expertise.

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Yotam Solomon Revoterial

It is a privilege and an honor to work with Innovation Fund SoCal at Long Beach City College and gain valuable financial support and coaching to take our innovative materials to market.

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Max Aram PickMySolar

Innovation Fund SoCal’s support will allow us to expand and scale our business with key hires and perform market validation to change the way solar is bought and sold today. Being selected for the award is an honor and also furthers our goal to provide transparent solar education to homeowners, and maximize the quality and simplicity of our service to push solar towards a tipping point.

Click here for the full story.

Hyperlight Energy Cuts Ribbons and Breaks New Ground

Hyperlight’s innovation will help commercial, industrial and agricultural facilities throughout California to lower both emissions and energy bills. This new technology will make existing facilities more efficient by harnessing the energy from the sun, and coupled with natural gas, can help California achieve its renewable energy goals.

Safeway Endorses Repurpose

Congrats to Repurpose Compostables, who will roll out their products in 500 Safeway stores this summer, just in time for 4th of July BBQs and parties.  We’d love to see more folks use Repurpose to avoid those petroleum-based red cups that always pile up, and never break down.

Repurpose has been a catalyst for change in the consumer products industry by educating people about the necessity to shift current consumption habits away from plastics. Now, retailers are assuaging the demand of their customers and adding plant-based disposables to their inventory.

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.

Skyline Makes the Grade in California

via Forbes

While many players in the solar thermal space have struggled to survive a period of prolonged low natural gas prices, Skyline Innovations … seems to be doing something closer to the opposite.

Earlier this week, Skyline got the green light from regulators in California to use its proprietary monitoring platform for calculating state incentive payments.

Skyline’s proprietary System Performance Monitor

 

Click here to read the full article at Forbes.com

Skyline raises $2M, while SharkWheel kickstarts “square wheel” revolution

What do square wheels and industry-leading solar water heating solutions have in common?  You’ll find them both at LACI.

SharkWheel launches Kickstarter to bring “square” wheels to the masses

sharkwheel ks video capDavid Patrick, while working on technology that guides revolutionary wind turbines and generators, made an accidental discovery… he dropped a cube-formed shape on the ground, and it rolled.  That led to the world’s first “square” wheel, which boasts both speed and traction in a single form.  They’re coming out of the gate with skateboard wheels, a market known for early adopters, and just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund tooling for the first mass production run.

Expect to hear a lot more from this team.

 

Skyline Innovations closes $2 million investment

LSkyline InnovationsACI Portfolio Company Skyline Innovations announced that it has closed a $2 million mezzanine financing round with CCM and DC Community Ventures.  Skyline’s traction in the Los Angeles and Southern California regions has been impressive.  The investment will further expansion, increase its ability to provide underserved communities with solar, and create local job opportunities in construction and project management.