By Amanda Crater
Home to the many of the nation’s largest cleantech projects, California is a hotbed of “greenovation.” More money is being invested in alternative energy start-ups in California than anywhere else in the world. In fact, the Los Angeles Times reported last month that more than 40 percent of all clean-tech venture capital funding worldwide went to firms in California.
One reason the clean tech industry in California continues to attract funding and create jobs is because it is a multidisciplinary endeavor supported by more than one sector. In Los Angeles, encouraging clean technology calls for collaboration among the public, private and research sectors — all of whom will be represented at an exclusive event at USC November 16 designed to foster green innovation and entrepreneurship.
Featuring a keynote from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the focus of “Building Sustainable Cities Through Green Innovation?” will be technologies that can help build sustainable cities. The USC Energy Institute, OnGreen and CleanTech LA are hosting the event to raise awareness of green innovation and discuss green technology research and development opportunities in Los Angeles.
Referred to by VentureBeat as the “LinkedIn of cleantech investing,” OnGreen is a professional networking and collaboration website that connects clean tech entrepreneurs with potential investors. The site announced November 9th that it raised $1.4 million in funding. CleanTechLA is a partnership of leading institutions to help grow LA’s economy through clean tech investment and research. USC Energy Institute leads USC’s efforts to develop clean and renewable energy.
The Sustainable Cities event will showcase five innovative technology start-ups from OnGreen’s community. OnGreen founder Nikhil R. Jain will also debut the site’s new Patent Exchange, where universities and companies can find buyers and partners for their intellectual property. The convergence of leaders from the academic, venture capitalist and cleantech startup sectors at this event demonstrates Los Angeles’ global leadership in supporting green technologies. Taking place at the Moreton Fig Restaurant and Lounge in USC’s new LEED-certified building, the event comes on the heels of California voters strongly rejecting Proposition 23.
The controversial measure would have suspended renewable energy requirements until the state’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5% for at least a year. While the rest of the country ushered out advocates of climate-change legislation from Congress November 2, California voters showed the world that we see the connection between green business and the bottom line.