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!