Tag: Los Angeles

VentureWell and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Partner to Accelerate Cleantech Startups

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Los Angeles, CA (October 3, 2016) — VentureWell and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) announced today that they completed the first of two three­-day workshops designed to prepare cleantech­-focused startups for investment and critical partnerships. The program, Accelerating Startup Partnerships and Investment Readiness (ASPIRE), challenges startups to use milestone­ and evidence­-based thinking as they plan not just for product development, but also for development of a strong business case that can attract the appropriate strategic partners and investors necessary to bring these products to market.

ASPIRE is an extension of VentureWell’s E-­Team Program, which has been generously supported since its inception twenty years ago by The Lemelson Foundation. The E­-Team Program helps university innovators move their inventions to market; through tools, training and mentoring, ASPIRE helps a broader community of innovators that have emerged from this and similar programs. “ASPIRE is helping science and technology entrepreneurs better position their ventures to become investment­-ready and secure next­-round funding,” said Phil Weilerstein, VentureWell President and CEO.

LACI has built a strong reputation by working with early stage companies to engage customers, secure first professional investment, prove their business model and scale the business. “VentureWell is a leader in working with companies at their earliest stages of development and a natural complement to our focus on the later stages,” said Erik Steeb, Chief Programs Officer at LACI. “Through the new ASPIRE program, LACI and VentureWell are lighting the commercialization pathways and helping startups navigate the journey from their earliest stages of venture formation through market success.”

The ASPIRE program is supported by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as part of the Foundation’s initiative to fund exemplary organizations that help entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses.

The first ASPIRE cleantech workshop, held on Oct. 3-­5, focused on helping participants evaluate themselves in the context of “the big picture:” identifying key players, questioning assumptions, taking stock of key risks, and assessing the needs of key stakeholders. The second workshop, being held November 16­18, will focus on helping participants articulate how they plan to use key resources in order to achieve specific milestones, while identifying and refining their pitches for partners and investors they hope to engage at each stage.

Examples of startups participating in the workshop include:

  • ADC Energy ­­ DC microgrid lighting system based on DC ‘piggybacked’ onto AC flow with zero conversion
  • MegaMatter ­­ Non­toxic flame retardants for plastics and foams, replacing banned, toxic versions
  • RealGreen Power, Inc. ­­ Modular toilet systems for remote locations that treat and reuse recycled water
  • BioCellection ­­ Biotech platform that can scalably upcycle plastic pollution into valuable biosurfactants for textiles
  • Wavve Stream, Inc. ­­ Cost­effective and biodegradable gel via shrimp shells, for the efficient removal of heavy metals and harmful chemicals in water

The eleven teams will be coached in October on vital issues related to incorporation, governance, and preparation for due diligence.

About VentureWell
VentureWell is a non­profit that fosters new ventures from an emerging generation of inventors and supports the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems that are critical to their success. We do this by building innovative communities of practice, including faculty from multiple disciplines, and by funding and training science and technology innovators at the earliest stages of developing products and ventures with high potential for socially-beneficial impact. Inventions created by VentureWell grantees are reaching millions of people in more than 50 countries. Visit www.venturewell.org to learn more and connect with us.

About LACI
The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is a private non­profit organization helping to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies by offering flexible office space, CEO coaching, mentoring, and access to a robust network of partnerships and capital. LACI was founded in 2011 as a cluster­-driven economic development initiative supported by the City of Los Angeles, LADWP and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles. 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 green economy. In just five years, LACI has helped 60 companies raise $78M in funding, created 1,150 jobs, and delivered more than $230M in long term economic value for the City of Los Angeles. LACI operates out of the La Kretz Innovation Campus with satellite offices in Northridge, CA and Silicon Valley and is the organizer of GloSho and founder of the Network for Global InnovationNGIN. For additional information, please visit: newlaci.staging.wpengine.com.
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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 http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161007005539/en/Grand-Opening-La-Kretz-Innovation-Campus-Celebrates

Contacts

Laurie Peters
Communications Director
LACI
lpeters@laincubator.org
818.635.4101

or

Amanda Parsons
Manager of Media Relations
LADWP
Amanda.Parsons@LADWP.com
213-367-1361
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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!

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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.”

UBI Recognizes LACI as One of Two High Impact Incubation Programs

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada (November 3, 2015) – At the UBI Awards and Networking Event in Toronto on November 3, 2015, it was announced that the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) was recognized as one out of only two High Impact Incubation Programs in North America, based on UBI’s Global Benchmark Study of 2015. LACI was noted for its contribution to the growth of its local economy by catalyzing job creation, providing high-quality incubation services to its client startups, especially on access to fund indicators.

LACI has also been shortlisted for the UBI Global World Rankings Announcement for Top University Associated Business Incubators 2015 on December 15 in Stockholm, Sweden.

This is the second consecutive year LACI has received an honor from UBI’s world-renowned rankings, as the 4 year old incubator was recognized as the #6 Incubator globally by UBI in 2014, from over 800 candidates in 67 countries.

Based on the one of the most comprehensive frameworks to measure incubator performance, UBI Index examines over 66 distinct criteria to determine each incubator’s economy enhancement performance, such as job creation and talent retention, value for their client base, such as access to funds and competence development, and the client’s post-incubation performance (see www.ubiindex.com  for details).
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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to Deliver Keynote Address at GloSho15

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A long-time champion of sustainability and job creation, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will deliver the keynote address on the morning of October 21st, Day 1 of GloSho’15. In April, Mayor Garcetti released L.A.’s first-ever Sustainable City pLAn, a roadmap for accomplishing back to basics short-term results while establishing a path to strengthen and transform LA in the decades to come. By taking on the challenges of the environment, economy and equity together, the Mayor’s pLAn is moving the City of Los Angeles towards a truly sustainable future.

The Mayor’s address kicks off a day of programming featuring compelling keynote speakers, technology demonstrations, and high-level thought leadership panels, featuring top investors who will provide an insider’s perspective on the evolving Cleantech investment ecosystem. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an investor, no other Cleantech conference in North America brings you this kind of access to intellectual capital, business opportunities and investment.

Visit glosho.la frequently for the latest GloSho’15 program.
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Dave Twomey and Juicer

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juicer.pc-fIn the search for authenticity in today’s consumer culture, words like “artisanal”, “one-of-a-kind”, and “custom” get thrown around rather casually, in a longing for a time when mass production and homogeny didn’t define American transportation options.

In a remote garage workshop in the hills of Echo Park overlooking Los Angeles, Dave Twomey combines cultural and artistic inspiration from Southern California’s past with the electric vehicle industry and green movement that are shaping the region’s future to create Juicer Electric Motorbicycles. Hand-built by Dave himself, each bike is a product that combines components of lifestyle, culture, and art in ways that set it far apart from other e-bikes on the market.

Originally from Oakland, California, Dave moved south as a young man to study design at UCLA. Having a deep appreciation for SoCal-born art, Dave cites Robert Williams, George Barris, Big Daddy Roth and Von Dutch as some of his influences. LA being the home of lowbrow art, kustom kulture, and hot-rod culture, these were the forces that shaped the inspiration for what would eventually become Juicer. Looking closer, it’s clear how Juicer pays homage to these artists and movements. “Kids back in the ‘50s would buy the cheapest cars around, leftovers from the ‘20s and ‘30s, and turn them into hot rods, making them special and personal. That’s been going on ever since – Long Beach, East LA, San Diego, and now Hollywood all have this strong car culture. Crazy, imaginative machines come out of Southern California, and I think it’s only appropriate that Juicer be thrown into the mix”. Accordingly, Dave runs Juicer as a custom shop and builds each bike to the buyer’s specifications. For people who share Dave’s love for working with their hands, he builds the Juicer anticipating the prospect of customers “tricking out” the bike with simple hand tools themselves – encouraging a 21st century incarnation of hot rod culture by way of an electric vehicle.

In addition to the cultural influences of Southern California, the Juicer was also inspired by the first motorcycles of the early 20th century. Specifically, Dave references loop frame bikes of the board track era in the 1910s. He points out that for the first time since that day and age, the components of an electric bike are equivalent in power and weight as they were in traditional motorcycles 100 years ago. To him, it’s natural for the Juicer to resemble bikes of that era. While most electric motor vehicles hide their components behind plastic fairings, Dave makes it a point to be honest with the materials, showing them for what they are and arranging them in a visually harmonious way. “Part of the appeal and sexiness of a cruiser bike is that you can see the motor, see the belts and chain spinning, and so far that’s been an unfulfilled niche in two wheeled electric vehicles”. Where motors served as the central focal point of early motorcycles, Juicer applies the principle of form following function to Juicer’s electric battery pack.

Post-JuicerIMG_4986_Photo2The craftsmanship, design, and philosophy behind the Juicer certainly differentiate it from other e-bikes out there. While most of these products are aimed at avid cyclists, Dave’s work aims to appeal to motorheads. “I see the electric bike not as a bicycle-plus, but as its own type of vehicle, one that’s underexplored. Rather than looking for customers who want to pedal around or want a longer range, I’m looking for people who want to ride”. This includes young people in the beach communities who can commute in comfort, ease, and style, and older customers who are moving off their motorcycles but don’t want to totally give up the cruising lifestyle.

Through targeting the latter, Dave feels he can make a larger impact as a green company by widening the net of potential EV customers. Instead of competing with other e-bike companies for the same group of clean-minded consumers, Juicer is a product that “reaches across the aisle”, bringing some of the worst eco-offenders into the clean energy fold, without having to compromise a powerful machine and some of the physical and aesthetic characteristics they’re accustomed to.

Dave is an artist whose work juxtaposes the past with the future, while filling an underrepresented niche in the electric vehicle market. His long-term goal is for Juicer to survive as an idea, and he is looking for partners in the industry to further evolve this new way of thinking about electric cruisers.

“When the EV museum is 50 years old, what will be in the collection of today’s era? I don’t think it’s going to be the plastic scooters or bikes that have disposable battery packs. I’m trying to make something that is repairable, customizable, and serviced by the end user. This seems like an old fashioned idea today, where we throw away our devices as soon as they stop working or the next new thing comes out.”

To that end, Juicer combines a classic aesthetic in form and craftsmanship with modern technology to create something truly authentic, bringing the vitality of Southern California’s cultural and artistic past into the 21st century.

For now, Dave’s days are spent building in his garage, doing what he loves, building on a little-known idea that has the potential to make a big impact – environmentally, culturally, and artistically.

By: Kara Mazareas
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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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A Future So Bright: 10 questions with Pick My Solar Co-founders Max Aram and Chris Blevins

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Since Max and Chris started Pick My Solar in 2013, they’ve taken the company from a two-person operation out of a studio apartment in Northridge to being named 2015’s Small Business of the Year by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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Read on to learn more about Max, Chris, and Pick My Solar’s story – and the bright future ahead for these LA-based entrepreneurs.

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In your words, what is Pick My Solar?

Max: Pick My Solar is an online marketplace that connects homeowners to solar installers through our online bidding platform. We create competition between installers to get the best deals for our customers. As you might know, the solar industry is suffering from a lot of noise that is preventing people from getting the best information. We want to disrupt this market and help homeowners go solar with confidence. The best part is that we don’t charge our customers anything– our service is completely free.

What inspired you to start the company?

Chris: Directly before starting Pick My Solar, I was working in the solar industry in sales, and I found that solar was getting sold for double, sometimes triple what it should be sold for. Salesmen are trained to manipulate and outright lie to homeowners, resulting in a lot of people getting ripped off. At that point, I realized that something needed to be done.

Max: When I started my Master’s degree in Germany, I was exposed to renewable energy and sustainability in general. I came to the US and I realized that the solar market here was very fragmented and totally different from Germany. I knew there was great potential for solar technology to shape the future of our energy model. When I met Chris, we hit it off from the first moment and I realized that he was the partner I needed to start the company I was envisioning.

Where are you from originally? What brought you to LA?

Chris: I’m from Long Island, New York. I went to school in upstate New York, got a mechanical engineering degree, and after that I moved to New Zealand. That’s where I first started to become more of an environmentalist, getting in touch with taking care of the planet because that’s so ingrained in New Zealand’s culture. When I came back, I got a civil engineering job and started a few businesses that were online customer connection services. I flew out to California in 2013 with the hopes of eventually starting a business, but didn’t have a set plan. I crashed on my buddy’s couch for a week, got a job working in solar, and met Max not too far after that.

Max: I left Iran in 2009, 10 days after the fraudulent presidential election. There was chaos and I got into some problems being a student activist. I went to Germany to get my Master’s in global production engineering with a focus on solar. After a few semesters, I had the opportunity to come to the US and I think I made a really great choice. I don’t think an immigrant has the opportunities available here in the states anywhere else in the world. I came here August 2010, landed in Burbank, took a bus to Northridge, and continued my Master’s at CSUN.

How did the two of you meet?

Chris: We met at a solar training course – where solar companies train salesmen, teaching them different tactics before they’re sent into the field. I was there as part of my job, Max was there researching how solar is marketed and sold. Three months later he invites me over to his apartment, tells me the idea he had for a business and we stay up all night talking about it. I didn’t sleep at my house for a week, I kept crashing at his place so eventually I just moved into his apartment.

Max: At the time, we both had full time jobs and said, “ok, this idea is going to be the solution this industry needs. We’re going to disrupt the solar market”. We quit our jobs to dedicate our lives to building Pick My Solar. I had a 600 square foot studio apartment in Northridge, we used boards from IKEA to divide work space from living space. We worked out of there for about 10 months until we joined LACI.

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Why did you apply to be a portfolio company at LACI?

Max: Before joining LACI, there were two of us. We were two young kids with a great idea. When we joined LACI we started gaining more attention and respect from the industry and partners. The introductions that LACI has made for us have directly contributed to many of our achievements as a company.

How has LACI helped your company?

Chris: The mentorship is fantastic. We don’t have the experience of growing a company, but our mentors at LACI have been there and done that. Every single question we had – from how to write a proper business email to which strategic direction was best for the company – they had a meaningful answer.

Running a startup company can be a challenging experience. What motivates you to keep at it?

Chris: Our concern for the environment definitely plays a key role. Additionally, I was disgusted with the way the solar industry was bullying homeowners and trying to rip them off. Time and again I saw well-intentioned homeowners throw up their hands in frustration and give up on going solar. It was messed up that salespeople were destroying this new technology’s image by selling it the wrong way. We wanted to change that.

Max: Personally, since my childhood, I’ve loved to build things. My brain works in a way that when I face a problem, I can’t get over it. Either there’s a solution out there that I have to find, or else I have to create one. The solar industry had a problem. Making the impact on the environment and on people’s finances is something that motivates me every day. Every time we receive an email or on a phone call from a happy customer that appreciates our service, that keeps us going.

How do you like doing business in the Los Angeles area?

Max: As an immigrant, the reason I chose LA is because of the diversity – people are very open-minded. That doesn’t just apply to how people interact with each other, but also to their willingness to accept new ideas. It was easier for us to offer such a different solution and have people embrace it. That’s a great part of this culture in LA – we are blessed to start a company here.

Chris: I think it’s great that a lot of people aren’t from here. Everybody has the same attitude – we all came to LA for a reason, to experience something new – and that really builds off of what we’re trying to create. Our solution resonates well with Angelenos. Of course, the weather is great and electricity rates are extremely high – which makes even more sense for solar.

Tell us about some of the milestones you’ve reached as a company so far

Max: At the end of Q4 2014, we closed over a million dollars in generated sales. We’ve also provided over 15,000 Californians with solar pricing data from our no-obligation online solar price calculator. These were major milestones because they validated our concept and proved that the price of solar on our platform is lower than the market leaders. We were also named 2015 Outstanding Small Business by Mayor Garcetti, which was a big deal for us, showing that the City of LA values our contribution in helping to make it a world leader in the Green movement.

Chris: We recently won a grant from the Department of Energy to develop a first-of- its-kind app called PVimpact. PVimpact will be a universal tool for all solar homes to connect to the information grid. The technology aggregates three pieces of data: the homeowner’s electricity use, solar system production, and contractual details of the solar system. PVimpact will provide homeowners with their system’s true savings in a completely software solution, while providing utility companies assistance in demand side management. The app will be rolled out to all Pick My Solar customers this summer, then expanding to the rest of the U.S. residential solar market in the fall.

What are some of your goals for the company?

Chris: Solar is such a cutting edge technology, but it is predominantly sold the way aluminum siding was sold in the 1960’s – door to door. We are firmly convinced that solar deserves to be sold with the leading technological resource of our era – the internet. We really want to change the way that solar is sold, and the way homeowners think about going solar.

Max: Our long-term goal is to become one of the biggest solar companies in the nation without a single boot on the ground. We don’t need installation crews like these vertically integrated companies. What we’re doing is creating an online market place – a bidding platform that brings homeowners together with the best local installers. We have all seen this model work across numerous business segments, and we know it will become the norm for the solar market.

Learn more at www.pickmysolar.com
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Earth Day 2015: A new partnership for innovation between LACI and Greentown Labs

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LACI partnering with Somerville, MA’s Greentown Labs to expand resources and market access for cleantech startups

Earth Day 2015 marks the beginning of a bi-coastal partnership between the two leading cleantech incubators in their respective markets. LACI and Greentown Labs have signed an agreement fostering collaboration between the Los Angeles and Boston area cleantech ecosystems to benefit early stage environmentally focused companies.

Greentown Labs is the first domestic partner to join LACI’s Network for Global Innovation (NGIN), which brings together innovation institutions around the world aimed at accelerating the commercialization of clean technology on a global scale.

“LACI is very excited to welcome Greentown Labs into the Network for Global Innovation family”, said Fred Walti, President and CEO of LACI. “They are an outstanding example of an incubator building significant cleantech companies and getting them successfully into the market. We’re excited and honored to have them join the rest of NGIN partners in Mexico, Finland, Germany, Italy, China, and Japan”.

In addition to exchanging best practices between startup ecosystems, the collaboration will also allow early stage companies to access each organization’s network of potential investors, customers, and partners. As part of the agreement, LACI and Greentown Labs are both hosting “Landing Pad” programs, a component of NGIN designed to help cleantech entrepreneurs enter NGIN members’ markets in a structured, cost-effective, and risk-mitigated way.

 “We see our partnership with LACI as critical to our startup companies, providing connections to new investors in new markets, both nationally and internationally”, said Greentown Labs CEO and Executive Director Emily Reichert.

LACI and Greentown Labs will offer office space, mentor and advisory services, networking, and showcase opportunities to each incubator’s portfolio companies, providing the foundation for successful market expansion for cleantech entrepreneurs. To date, NGIN partners in Beijing, Berlin, Los Angeles, and now the greater Boston area have Landing Pad programs available to cleantech startups in the network.