Fostering the New Green Economy

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White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley visited Los Angeles to discuss the Obama Administration's commitment to harnessing clean energy opportunities to create American jobs on Friday, July 22.  She met with business leaders, city officials and top educators from UCLA and other institutions for a lunch and tour of the new LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI), at the future site of LA Cleantech Corridor. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with Chair Sutley, for her to hear from the founding members of LACI personally about our work.

Years in the making, Los Angeles has launched its new cleantech business incubator to accelerate development of startups focused on sustainable solutions that can create both efficient clean technologies and green jobs. The incubator offers flexible ready-to-go office space, lab facilities, and a supportive environment where startup teams can share ideas with other entrepreneurs and fuel innovation. LACI also gives each startup the chance to work with a dedicated mentor, as well as access to a growing network of cleantech and business experts and introductions to prospective investors. LACI is the business equivalent of baseball’s farm system: it identifies local talent, nurtures it, and helps it get to market, resulting in more jobs and a bigger green economy in Los Angeles and beyond.

LACI is a non-profit organization funded by the CRA/LA and the DWP for the City of Los Angeles. In partnership with the City's exceptional educational and research organizations – UCLA, USC, Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory – LACI will help accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies in addition to championing and nurturing the growth of local entrepreneurs who can effectively take on the many challenges we face in creating a more sustainable society. LACI is a result of the CleanTech Los Angeles (CTLA) alliance, which includes the Mayor's office, the City's universities, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the Los Angeles Business Council, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, LADWP and the CRA/LA.

Los Angeles is committed to leading the charge toward a new green economy, and it is our mission to support that growth and be a central resource for the cleantech sector. LA is currently the largest market for electric vehicles and solar installations. Moreover, with state and city policies supporting this transformation, Los Angeles will create thousands of local family-supporting jobs in green sectors in the years to come.

LACI offers its portfolio companies three game-changing services: (1) Fully built-out, furnished, and equipped office/lab space at flexible terms; (2) CEO coaching and mentoring from highly accomplished, senior advisors who have built "been there, done that"; (3) Access to our growing network within the city and greater business community for introductions to customers, financing and expertise.

Statement of Support from Alexandra Paxton, Project Manager, Downtown Region, Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles:

It was very gratifying to have Chair Nancy Sutley visit LA's new Cleantech Incubator on the eve of its launch, as she had been part of the original vision of making Los Angeles a capital for cleantech back when she was our Deputy Mayor for the Environment. As a redevelopment agency, our vision is that the young companies fostered here will move into the surrounding industrial area, revitalizing the district as a place to live, work, innovate, and manufacture.  In this way, partnering with education and workforce development, we will be able to build opportunities and jobs for the people who live in our communities, as well as solve our environmental problems. Ambitious? Yes. Achievable? Absolutely!

To find out more about Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, please visit http://www.laincubator.org/.

Article by Fred Walti, Chief Executive Officer of the new Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

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About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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