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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LA Tech Week Day 5: Social Highlights
Evan Xie

L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

Here's what people are saying about the fifth day of L.A. Tech Week on social:

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LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know
Samson Amore

At Lowercarbon Capital’s LA Tech Week event Thursday, the synergy between the region’s aerospace industry and greentech startups was clear.

The event sponsored by Lowercarbon, Climate Draft (and the defunct Silicon Valley Bank’s Climate Technology & Sustainability team) brought together a handful of local startups in Hawthorne not far from LAX, and many of the companies shared DNA with arguably the region’s most famous tech resident: SpaceX.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: LeaseLock, Visgenx, PlayVS and Pressed Juicery Gains New CEOs

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: LeaseLock, Visgenx, PlayVS and Pressed Juicery Gains New CEOs
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.


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