Tag: LADWP

Vice President Joe Biden Visits LACI

Fred H. Walti, II, CEO, LACI, United States Vice President Joe Biden, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
VP, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and LACI CEO Fred Walti Take Part in Cleantech Roundtable

On Monday November 16, Vice President of the United States Joe Biden visited the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to take part in a roundtable discussion with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LACI CEO Fred Walti and a panel of investors and entrepreneurs to discuss jobs and clean technology.

Panelists included LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards, Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Kelli Bernard, LACI Board Members Jim McDermott, Richard Morganstern and David Nahai, TCW Managing Director Tom Soto, as well as several entrepreneurs from LACI’s portfolio of companies, who got the Vice President’s ear for a few minutes while getting to share with him their innovative technologies.

Biden’s visit gave Mayor Garcetti and LACI’s Fred Walti a chance to show off the newly opened La Kretz Innovation Campus, a facility built and owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and now LACI’s home in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. Garcetti’s opening remarks highlighted the features of the new facility and the impact La Kretz will have on the economy and the cleantech landscape in Los Angeles.

“LACI recognizes that while we face global challenges, what we need are local solutions. Solutions like this… in every city,” said Mayor Garcetti in his opening remarks. “It offers our entrepreneurs, our future workers, our students, our innovators, our darers and our doers 60,000 square feet of space that is theirs to explore the possibilities of what tomorrow may look like.”

“This is where the magic happens…invention, innovation, incubation,” said LACI’s Fred Walti. “This (La Kretz) is a unique place to build a company…a cleantech entrepreneur can take an idea, do research, go down the hall and prototype, then go across the hall to LADWP, and test and get an idea certified…then get a chance to get the idea to marketplace. There’s no other place like this… this is the model for the future.”

Vice President Biden praised the efforts of the Mayor, LACI, and the entrepreneurs sitting at the roundtable. “This incubator brings together innovative minds with the courage to take a chance on a new idea…you have a mayor with a vision…a sense of optimism,” said Biden. There’s power in an incubator… using science and technology to take an idea from paper to product to the marketplace.”

Participating LACI portfolio companies included LACI CIO Ian Gardner from CAGIX, Ka Suen of Chai Energy, Arcady Sosinov of FreeWire Technologies, Chris Blevins of Pick My Solar, Lauren Gropper of Repurpose Compostables and John Walsh of Vena Water.

Biden went on to stress building unity and consensus in pursuing an innovation economy and moving our nation forward, telling the entrepreneurs, “You represent the future.”

LACI Wins Grant in SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

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White House Cabinet Member Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) returned to her hometown Tuesday August 4th to visit the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s La Kretz Innovation Campus in Downtown Los Angeles, celebrating LACI and the City of Los Angeles with a pair of awards that will directly impact L.A.’s small business community.

Ms. Contreras-Sweet presented CEO Fred Walti a check for LACI’s win in the SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, applauding LACI’s efforts working with small businesses and green job creation. The grant will help the organization further its mission of accelerating the commercialization of clean technology to grow the innovation economy and enhance its efforts to include a diversity initiative and more inclusive entrepreneurship for underserved Angelenos.

The SBA chose 80 winners from 400 applicants for the Growth Accelerator Fund. “The entrepreneurial ecosystem in America is incredibly exciting and very powerful,” said Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for Office of Investment and Innovation. “Administrator Contreras-Sweet and I welcome this year’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition winners and the important and inclusive work they do in support of innovative and high-growth small businesses.”

All in all, Tuesday was a win-win for LACI and the City of Los Angeles, as the City received the “Dream Big” Award in the SBA’s “Startup in a Day” Program, a grant which L.A. will use to build an open-source web portal aimed at streamlining business licensing and registration, enabling that process to take place in under 24 hours.
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Fred Walti commented, “We are honored that the SBA recognized both LACI and the City of Los Angeles this way, to invest in our efforts to create green jobs and help build a sustainable city.”


Read the full press release here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/08/prweb12890657.htm
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SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, Victor Parker, District Director, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and LACI CEO Fred H. Walti II – Presentation of “Dream Big” Award to City of LA
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Michael Swords, LACI VP Partnerships, Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator, Fred H. Walti II, LACI CEO – Tour La Kretz Innovation Campus
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Breaking ground at the La Kretz Innovation Campus

Attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony

Construction is officially underway on the La Kretz Innovation Campus in downtown LA’s Arts District, as the groundbreaking ceremony took place yesterday, June 19th, 2013 with over 700 attendees.  Mayor Villaraigosa, LA City Councilmember Jose Huizar, LADWP President Ron Nichols, LA City Engineer Gary Lee Moore, and LACI Executive Director Fred Walti all spoke at the event to commemorate this important milestone in furthering LA’s green economy. 

The 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art building will be the permanent home for LACI that includes 30,000 sf of incubation space, in addition to wet and dry labs, prototype manufacturing facilities, and a training center. In addition, the LADWP will test and demonstrate efficient technologies, many of which will come from LACI Portfolio Companies.  The campus is scheduled to open in the spring of 2015 and will dramatically increase the number of entrepreneurs LACI can nurture under its roof. Additionally, the campus will include a public park, one of the few green areas in the Arts District.

Mayor Villaraigosa speaking about the new campus

The USC marching band providing toe-tapping tunes

Members of 360 Power Group giving a presentation

Hive Lighting demonstrating its products

Executive Director of LACI, Fred Walti

The ceremonial breaking of ground

Mr. Walti outlining LACI’s future plans

Ceremonial shovels in front of the official certificate from the City of Los Angeles

Portfolio Companies delivering presentations inside the facility

An overview of the speeches in front of the facility