A project to nurture clean technology businesses opens a permanent campus in Downtown Los Angeles Arts District Friday.
The La Kretz Innovation Campus now houses the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator in a once-crumbling brick warehouse on Hewitt Street along the L.A. River. It's been made over into a modern launch pad for new businesses that have the potential to create local clean tech jobs.
Startup companies can rent inexpensive working space, meeting rooms, and get access to a network of experts. The campus is named for real estate developer and philanthropist Morton La Kretz.
The nonprofit incubator project started in 2011 with backing from the city Community Redevelopment Agency and the Department of Water and Power. Early collaborators include local institutions at the intersection of energy, science and academia -- JPL, UCLA, USC, Caltech and CSUN.
Since then more than 50 companies have attracted some $70 million in investments. Some of the companies hatched there test chargers for electric vehicles, and make eco-friendly food service plates and cups. One company makes motorized bicycles, another hires ex-inmates to dismantle electronic waste.