Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Launches Diversity in Entrepreneurship Advisory Council for Women and Minority Owned Small Businesses

Funding from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the U.S. Small Business
Administration to Support Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Diversity &
Inclusion Initiatives

Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
, a non-profit organization
helping promising cleantech companies deliver market-ready solutions and
further economic development for the LA region, announces the launch of
its Diversity in Entrepreneurship Advisory Council to consciously grow
an inclusive ecosystem that integrates women, people of color, and other
underrepresented groups into the cleantech sector. The Advisory Council
builds upon LACI’s current Diversity & Inclusion initiatives made
possible through a $200,000 Small
Business Forward
grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a $50,000 Growth
award from the U.S. Small Business Administration
(SBA) in 2016.

Today, LACI entrepreneurs and staff are in Sacramento speaking about the
organization’s diversity, inclusion, impact and green economy
initiatives with members of the California state legislature. LACI:
Creating the Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s Economy

features a technology showcase where LACI entrepreneurs will have
the opportunity to discuss the economic, environmental and social
benefits of their innovations with key state government decision makers.
The event is supported by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, GO-Biz, the
California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission

LACI is committed to serve as a national and global model for Diversity
& Inclusion by increasing the participation of Women- and Minority-Owned
Small Businesses (WMOSBs) in the Los Angeles cleantech sector.
Leveraging proven successes, including its current woman- and
minority-owned portfolio companies Ayyeka, Avisare, Divining Lab, GRID
Logistics, Project Pals, Rain Systems, Repurpose and recently acquired
Isidore Electronics Recycling (now Homeboy Recycling), LACI seeks to
increase diversity in cleantech through a combination of outreach,
mentorship, and cultural-specific programming. In addition to
establishing the Diversity in Entrepreneurship Council, new programs
include a Women in Cleantech steering committee and opportunities for
young women in STEM programs to learn about careers in clean technology.

“Introducing underrepresented entrepreneurs to the opportunities and
resources available through LACI is a primary goal of the new Advisory
Council,” stated Neal Anderson, COO at LACI. “Diversity is in our DNA
but we know we can do much more with dedicated focus. We aim to attract
more diverse businesses to apply to be LACI portfolio companies and to
increase our own workforce diversity within the organization.”

Last year, LACI was the first incubator of its kind to build a team
dedicated to developing and leading Diversity & Inclusion programs with
the addition of Executive-in-Residence, Tracy Gray, and Director of
Community Engagement, Estelle Reyes. Gray, whose extensive career
includes such high-profile roles as Senior Advisor to former Los Angeles
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Systems Engineer for NASA’s Space Shuttle
missions, and currently Managing Partner of venture capital firm The 22
Capital Group, and Reyes, formerly Executive Director of Network for
Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) for the greater Los Angeles area, are
among those speaking in Sacramento today.

“Diversity in the technology industry has clearly been an ongoing
challenge,” commented Tracy Gray, LACI Executive-in-Residence and
Diversity in Entrepreneurship Advisory Council Chair. “Strengthening the
commitment to build a more inclusive environment in the cleantech world
is not only the right thing to do, but it drives innovation, creates
jobs and builds more successful businesses.”

The newly formed Diversity in Entrepreneurship Advisory Council consists
of experienced and diverse leaders from business, government, academia
and community organizations helping to design programming to best serve
the region’s underrepresented populations. The Advisory Council is
chaired by Tracy Gray, LACI Executive-in-Residence, and includes
representatives from the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Department of
Water & Power, JPMorgan Chase & Co, LA24, LA Coalition for the Economy &
Jobs, REDF, Environmental Defense Fund, Avivar Capital, and LACI
portfolio companies, Avisare and GRID Logistics.

About LACI

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
is a private non-profit
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, Los Angeles Department of Water &
Power and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles. Recognized
as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI,
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 67 companies raise $123M in
funding, created 1,300 jobs, and delivered more than $293M 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 founder of the Network for Global Innovation (NGIN).
Please visit: laci.org


Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Laurie Peters, 818-635-4101
Communications Director