Category: N-News

Cleantech Hub Opens in Downtown LA – L.A. Biz

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator are now working side by side at a newly renovated, state-of-the-art green-tech campus in downtown L.A.

The 3.2-acre La Kretz Innovation Campus, located in a former furniture and fabric warehouse at 5th and Hewitt Streets in the Arts District, houses the LADWP’s customer service and engineering staff as well as LACI, a nonprofit that helps cleantech companies delivery market-ready solutions and spur economic development and job creation in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Officially Opens Cleantech Hub

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Officially Opens Cleantech Hub

lakretzThe Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) has officially opened up its La Kretz Innovation Campus, its own building at 5th and Hewitt Street, the incubator said on Friday. The LACI–which is run by the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Department of water & Power, officially cut the ribbon on its new building, which is situated on 3.2 acres and includes 60,000 square feet of office space. In addition to housing clean technology companies, it will also serve as the home of LADWP’s customer service and engineering staff. The LACI said its new facilities include a prototyping center with 3D printing, electronics, robotics, and chemistry labs, a training center, amphitheater, and more. The new building is LEED Platinum certified.

La Kretz is L.A.’s HP Garage

Look out Mountain View and Cupertino, La Kretz Innovation Campus in the Arts District is closing hard.

La Kretz is L.A.’s HP Garage.

It is the place where L.A. entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and policymakers are collaborating, promoting and supporting the development of clean technologies and L.A.’s green economy.

The Innovation Campus was where I was Friday morning, listening to L.A.’s Storyteller in Chief Mayor Eric Garcetti and others talking optimistically about this unusual collaboration between entrepreneurs, the City, LADWP and the private sector.

The Mayor and the other speakers’ enthusiasm is infectious and deservedly so. I hope that enthusiasm extends to Measure M for which the Mayor gave a full-throated plug.

Measure M is the County transportation initiative on the November ballot. While with any luck the Republican nominee won’t be on the ballot come November, Measure M will be, and Los Angeles voters need to support it so that we remain economically viable as a region.

In this time of national division, how great it was to see the mutual admiration the La Kretz partners feel for one another, at least as far as it extends to La Kretz. The current mayor even gave a nice shoutout to former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who spearheaded the Innovation Campus idea during his term in office.

Other than a glitch with the scissors at the ribbon cutting, the event went off flawlessly. Maybe someone at LACI, the non-profit housed at La Kretz which is helping promising cleantech companies deliver market-ready solutions and further economic development, should help develop a better pair of scissors for the City.

After the speeches and ribbon cutting out on the solar covered parking lot, it was time to tour the facility. The 3.2-acre campus features 30,000 square feet of co-working space, 30,000 square feet of lab space, a 175 kilowatt solar farm, a micro-grid research and development center and an advanced prototyping center complete with electronics, chemistry, welding and wireless labs and a 3D printing and laser shop. The Innovation Campus also houses classrooms for job training and a smart home model demonstrating technologies that can save you money on your LADWP bill.

As impressed as I was by the fabrication labs and other displays, I was equally taken with the diversity of innovators housed at the former furniture factory. For example, CicLAvia made the cut because it is an unusually successful example of collaboration in our sometimes siloed and balkanized city. They looked busy getting ready for next Sunday’s Heart of LA open streets event in Boyle Heights, Chinatown, DTLA, and Westlake.

River LA and Climate Resolve are two other non-traditional entrepreneurial organizations that would not likely find a home in a similar business incubator elsewhere. All of the resident entrepreneurs are expected to give back to the La Kretz community by sharing their knowhow and experience.

Like La Kretz, Arts District Park adjacent to the Innovation Campus, is an encouraging feature of L.A.’s transformation. Irrigating the park with greywater is a nice touch. The unfortunate discovery of heavy metals in the soil, remnants of the site’s heavy industry past, required remediation and has delayed the park’s opening.

To borrow an overused term from a highly disruptive technology to describe LACI and La Kretz, the project looks like an uber successful collaboration.

Yours in transit,

LA Opens Cleantech Incubator to Partner with Innovators on Green Technology

LA Opens Cleantech Incubator to Partner with Innovators on Green Technology
“The La Kretz Innovation Campus embodies the ambition and forward thinking that make Los Angeles a world center for green industry,” Garcetti said. “This campus will foster innovation, create jobs and set an example for cities everywhere,” he said …

LA’s Clean Tech Incubator Has New Downtown Campus


A project to nurture clean technology businesses opens a permanent campus in Downtown Los Angeles Arts District Friday.

The La Kretz Innovation Campus now houses the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator in a once-crumbling brick warehouse on Hewitt Street along the L.A. River. It’s been made over into a modern launch pad for new businesses that have the potential to create local clean tech jobs.

Startup companies can rent inexpensive working space, meeting rooms, and get access to a network of experts. The campus is named for real estate developer and philanthropist Morton La Kretz.

The nonprofit incubator project started in 2011 with backing from the city Community Redevelopment Agency and the Department of Water and Power. Early collaborators include local institutions at the intersection of energy, science and academia — JPL, UCLA, USC, Caltech and CSUN.

Since then more than 50 companies have attracted some $70 million in investments. Some of the companies hatched there test chargers for electric vehicles, and make eco-friendly food service plates and cups. One company makes motorized bicycles, another hires ex-inmates to dismantle electronic waste.

Grand Opening of La Kretz Innovation Campus Celebrates New Cleantech Hub for Los Angeles

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LADWP and LACI Launch Full Day of Green Technology Activities with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Featuring Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Leaders

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) today announced the official Grand Opening of the La Kretz Innovation Campus. The fully renovated building located at 5th and Hewitt Streets in the dynamic Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles comprises 3.2 acres and is owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

“The La Kretz Innovation Campus embodies the ambition and forward thinking that make Los Angeles a world center for green industry,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This campus will foster innovation, create jobs, and set an example for cities everywhere. Clean technology is not only smart and responsible but also a terrific growth opportunity. For all those reasons, we should invest our time and resources into making it a huge success.”

“By utilizing this space to showcase all of the latest green technologies, we hope to inspire customers, both residential and commercial, to adopt some of the systems for themselves,” LADWP General Manager David Wright said. “The La Kretz Innovation Campus not only showcases the clean tech available to customers today, but it also allows the innovation and development necessary to create the products of tomorrow – boosting LA’s economy along the way.”

LACI helps manage the La Kretz Innovation Campus, recruiting entrepreneurs, organizations and community thought leaders focused on the region’s clean energy sector to rent space and develop businesses within the building. The shared-space design allows emerging cleantech portfolio companies and LADWP engineers to work side-by-side with leaders in innovation and environmental sustainability, receiving guidance and mentorship as they develop new technologies that both grow Los Angeles’ economy and promote sustainability amongst Angelenos.

Fred Walti, CEO and President of LACI, stated, “The purpose of the La Kretz Innovation Campus is to provide solutions, both in terms of economic growth for the City of Los Angeles and through sustainability innovations and partnerships. We have already had the privilege of hosting Vice President Joe Biden at the campus, in addition to the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, Chair of the LA County Board of Supervisors, Hilda Solis, and many of the world’s top sustainability leaders, including members of the C40 Group.”

LACI, founded in 2011, has already helped 61 companies raise $78 million in funding, creating 1,150 jobs and delivering more than $230 million in long term economic value for the City of Los Angeles. LACI is currently the #3 Ranked Global Incubator by UBI Global. Recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world, LACI identifies local entrepreneurs across multiple cleantech business sectors and guides them to market, creating jobs that advance LA’s

Read the full press release at


Laurie Peters
Communications Director


Amanda Parsons
Manager of Media Relations


SBA’s 3rd Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Awards $50,000 to LA Cleantech Incubator

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), through its Office of Investment and Innovation (OII), Office of Native American Affairs, Office of Veterans Business Development, and its federal partners consisting of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Education, announced the 68 winners of the third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.  The winners include two Los Angeles based accelerators who will receive $50,000 each out of a total of $3.4 million in prizes to boost the economic impact of accelerators across 32 states and the District of Columbia.

In making the announcement, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said:“SBA created the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition in 2014 as a way to make new connections and strengthen existing bonds within America’s small business support network, bringing entrepreneurs and innovators together and connecting them with local and national resources that support small business job creation and growth. These awards deliver on a longstanding commitment at SBA to strengthen and modernize these support systems especially in parts of the country where access to capital has been a major barrier to starting a business. This year’s winners show that our efforts are bearing fruit and further cementing our nation’s most pioneering accelerators, incubators and innovation hubs as major players driving America’s technology startup ecosystem.”

The purpose of the competition is to draw attention and funding to parts of the country where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. While there are entrepreneurial activities occurring nationwide, some are better supported by private sector ecosystems than others. SBA has created connective tissue among the over 200 winning entrepreneurial ecosystems now part of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition program.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, so the Small Business Administration’s decision to allocate resources for clean tech incubators like LACI in LA not only fosters innovation and creativity, but also grows our city’s economy and is welcome news,” said Congressman Xavier Becerra, member of the United States House of Representatives for California’s 34th congressional district and Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Each organization will receive a cash prize of $50,000 from the SBA.  In accepting funds, the accelerators will also be committing to quarterly reporting for one year.  They will be required to report metrics including jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained. This will allow SBA to continue building upon its database of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities.

“California is home to thousands of innovators and forward thinkers.  It’s exciting that LA Cleantech Incubator had added the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program to its toolbox of resources available for our entrepreneurs,” said Victor Parker, U.S. Small Business Administration District Director for the Los Angeles District Office.

Applications were judged by more than 100 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector.  The first panel of judges reviewed over 400 applications and presentations and established a pool of 200 highly qualified finalists.  The second panels evaluated the finalists’ presentations and pitch videos and selected the 68 winners.

“Accelerators serve entrepreneurs in a broad set of industries and sectors – from manufacturing and tech start-ups, to farming and biotech – with many focused on creating a diverse and inclusive small business community.  Through this national competition, we are also empowering accelerators which are led by and support women or other underrepresented groups.  SBA will continue to explore ways to creatively harness this powerful network and connect startups with one another and with available government resources.  We reported to Congress 138 winners from 2014 and 2015 – made up of 5,000 companies that have raised $1.5 billion and employ nearly 20,000 people.  With the addition of the 2016 winners, the number of SBA supported entrepreneurs will significantly grow,” Contreras-Sweet added. 

In addition to the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, SBA’s OII supports investment and innovation in California through two nationwide programs: the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. SBA licenses SBICs and provides $2 in government guaranteed debt for every $1 in private investment. Since the program was created in 1958, over $80 billion has been invested, helping finance 170,000 American small businesses, including companies like COSTCO, Amgen, Apple, FedEx, Staples, and Tesla and Intel. At present, 28 SBICs are located in California and 196 California small businesses received $1.02 billion in financings in FY 2015 alone.

The SBIR/STTR program is a key pillar in the federal government’s strategy to provide seed capital to talented entrepreneurs in science, technology and engineering. Since its inception in 1982, the program has awarded over 158,000 awards with $43.6 billion in funding to early stage companies, including small firms that grew to become many of America’s leading large firms, such as Qualcomm, Biogen, iRobot, and Symantec. The federal government made 1069 SBIR/STTR awards to 570 small businesses in California totaling $465.2 million in FY 2015. In aggregate since 1983, the federal government has made 32,737 awards to 7,558small firms in California for a total of $8.97 billion.

For more information about accelerators and the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, visit:

Energy Commission Funds LA Energy Innovation Cluster to Aid Entrepreneurs

SACRAMENTO August 16, 2016 –  The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator received a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission today to establish a Los Angeles Regional Energy Innovation Cluster (LA REIC) that will support clean energy entrepreneurship and networking opportunities in the Southern California coastal region.

The LA REIC was one of several projects funded through the Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program. The EPIC program funds innovative clean energy technologies and approaches that bring clean energy ideas to market.

The LA REIC will be the central coordinating organization for clean energy start-up companies in the Los Angeles Region and will provide access to resources and facilities to help entrepreneurs commercialize their innovations. The LA REIC will work with key stakeholders in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties to identify the region’s energy needs and connect them with energy technology solutions being developed by early-stage business ventures and universities.

The LA REIC joins the Central Valley Regional Energy Innovation Cluster, the Bay Area Regional Energy Innovation Cluster and the San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Cluster as clean energy entrepreneurship hubs that have received grants from the Energy Commission. The clusters are seen as developmental pathways that will help the state meet its energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals.

EPIC grants were also approved for five projects that identify, test and demonstrate water and energy savings or that develop new approaches that accelerate the deployment of drought resilience strategies. Grants totaling $5 million were awarded to:

  • UC Davis for cooling technologies that reduce heat exposure for dairy cattle
  • Porifera, Inc., for a low-energy barrier system for water treatment
  • Altex Technologies Corp., for a hybrid wet/dry heat exchanger for chiller systems
  • Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC for a wastewater treatment process that reduces desalination costs
  • Kennedy/Jenks Consultants for a pilot test of a technology that minimizes the fouling of membrane surfaces in wastewater treatment operations

The City of Santa Monica received a $1.5 million EPIC grant to plan and design a microgrid that will incorporate renewable energy, energy storage and electric vehicle charging in that city. The grant stems from the Commission’s EPIC Challenge launched earlier this year. Teams made up of private and governmental entities compete against each other to demonstrate innovative strategies that could become models to help accelerate the development of zero net energy communities. Santa Monica’s entry is one of 13 projects selected to compete in the challenge.

To demonstrate the energy savings and increased user satisfaction possible by pairing comfort-sensing ceiling fans with learning thermostats, UC Berkeley received a $1.8 million EPIC grant. Comfort-sensing ceiling fans have built-in technology that automatically adjusts fan speed to the home environment, while learning thermostats automatically adjust home heating and cooling controls based on space conditions and user’s schedule. UC Berkeley will install the integrated fan/thermostat system in low income multi-family housing in disadvantaged communities throughout the state.

About the California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, and preparing for energy emergencies.

Sustainable City pLAn 2015-16

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In LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn First Annual Report for 2015-16, LACI gets called out in the Prosperity and Green Jobs section (chapter 8) for it’s UBI  global ranking among cleantech incubators, as well as it’s success with portfolio companies and jobs created. LACI portfolio company Pick My Solar is noted in Local Solar (chapter 2) for the outstanding progress they made in 2015.

Other local heroes mentioned in the report include the LADWP, CicLAvia, RIVER LA,  Climate Resolve and Homeboy Industries – all saluted for all their continuing efforts to build a sustainable LA.

LACI offers congratulations to all the Angelenos recognized in the Annual Report, hard at work to make the Mayor’s pLAn a success!