Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Launches Green Loan Fund

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

​SparkCharge founder and CEO Josh Aviv, whose startup has received lending from LACI's new Cleantech Debt Fund.
Courtesy of LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) has launched a new loan program that aims to provide early-stage clean tech startups with non-dilutive debt funding.


The $6 million LACI Cleantech Debt Fund will be loaned out in $25,000-to-$250,000 increments to approximately 100 early-stage startups nationwide over the next five years, the incubator said Wednesday. Unlike venture capital, the debt offers founders a way of raising capital that doesn’t dilute their ownership in their company.

LACI said it is particularly interested in extending loans to female, Black and brown founders, who have historically faced institutional barriers in raising capital for new businesses. In that spirit, the debt fund will not require founders to put up their own assets as collateral and will not require their personal credit scores as part of the underwriting process.

The fund is an important step in LACI’s goal of bringing a more diverse set of voices to the clean tech table, LACI CEO Matt Petersen told dot.LA. “What’s most exciting in the clean tech entrepreneurial space is we’ve seen a bias against women and Black and brown founders, but we’re beginning to see some things change,” Petersen said.

To launch the fund, LACI partnered with anchor investors Sobrato Philanthropies and Homecoming Capital, while the debt vehicle’s initial operating costs and loan loss reserves will be covered by a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.

The fund builds on the success of a pilot program that provided more than $300,000 to nine startups, including Massachusetts-based mobile electric vehicle charging company SparkCharge and Culver City-based electric car-sharing service Envoy. That pilot debt program has subsequently “had zero defaults and no late payments,” according to LACI.

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Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Inflation hit cities with tech-heavy workforces hard last year. Tech workers fortunate enough to avoid layoffs still found themselves confronting rising costs with little change in their pay.

Those national trends certainly touched down in Los Angeles, but new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the city of angels was the only major metro area that saw its wage growth grow by nearly 6% while also outpacing the consumer price index, which was around 5%. Basically, LA was the only area where adjusted pay actually came out on a net positive.

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samsonamore@dot.la

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

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How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
How These Ukranian Entrepreneurs Relocated Their Startups to LA and Found Success
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

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