With funding from Wells Fargo, program to welcome second cohort of innovators in Los Angeles and Miami who are developing solutions to combat the impacts of climate change in communities that are most at risk
October 24, 2023 – 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Los Angeles, CA.—Larta Institute, a non-profit organization accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship, has opened a call for applicants to its 2024 Venture Fellows program. The Venture Fellows program will welcome the second cohort of diverse innovators who are developing solutions to combat the impacts of climate change in underserved communities that are most at-risk to be affected by the changing environment. The program, funded in part by Wells Fargo, supports entrepreneur-led ideas, with the goal of creating more resilient, equitable and sustainable cities in the U.S.
The call for applications from entrepreneurs of all backgrounds is open now through February 2024. The nine-month program will begin in Los Angeles and Miami in April 2024.
“As climate change starts to negatively and severely affect our communities, urban innovators are innovating and developing new ways to make their communities resilient, adaptable and proactive,” said Rohit Shukla, founder and chief executive officer of Larta Institute. “With support from Wells Fargo, we are honored to introduce another cohort of innovators to drive resilience in dealing with the impacts of climate change in their own communities.”
With a theme focused on “Entrepreneurs vs. Climate Change,” the Venture Fellows program focuses on supporting ideas that can be piloted in underserved communities, translated into startups and scaled to help make communities more resilient to climate change.
“Venture Fellows provides practical guidance and funding for entrepreneurs who are coming up with new ideas to address challenges our cities face related to climate change,” said Luis Gonzalez of Wells Fargo’s small business growth philanthropy team. “Our first cohort included startups working on ideas ranging from urban farming to enhancing coastal resilience, and we look forward to supporting the next group of innovators as they develop ideas into sustainable businesses that can serve their communities.”
More information can be found here about the inaugural cohort of startups.
The Venture Fellows program is supported by the County of Los Angeles Chief Sustainability Office, Miami-Dade County, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Include Ventures, Loyola Marymount University and Florida International University.
The nine-month program will fund and support five innovators in each city. There is no cost to participants and no equity is taken. Benefits of the program include:
- $100,000 in resources and funding to develop community-based solutions
- Up to $25,000 in associated pilot costs for validation of a project in targeted community
- 1:1 mentoring and group cohort sessions
- Cohort based learning, knowledge hub and educational content
- Market access support from local cities and NGOs
- Support deploying a MVP or pilot-ready solution in a local community
- Access to investors and grant funding to scale startup
- Support identifying and applying for funding and grants
- Curated sessions with seed investors and Demo Day
- Legal fees paid to incorporate your start up and expert legal advice
“This fellowship is a game changer,” said Carmen Dianne and Kara Still, co-founders of Prosperity Market and members of the Venture Fellows inaugural cohort. “The Larta team took the time to understand our challenges and gaps and have actively provided resources, introductions, assistance and more to help us reach our milestones. Our solar-powered and EV mobile farmers market will be ready to hit the road in no time. It’s also inspiring to be in a cohort of so many other amazing businesses who are doing their part to change their communities.”
The Venture Fellows program is designed to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) #13 — “Take action to combat the impacts of climate change and its impacts.” Also known as the Global Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. In support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Venture Fellows program seeks innovations that relate to:
- Clean Energy, Air, and Water:
Community-led approaches that may work alongside municipalities, like small-scale solar and wind projects, water cleaning projects and the use of non-traditional approaches to cleaning our air
- Food Security and Zero Hunger:
Creative visions for urban farming, city food access, crop diversification, sustainable agriculture, nutrition enhancement, curbing food waste and solutions for populations at most risk for hunger
- Safe, Inclusive, and Sustainable Cities:
Practical solutions that can make modern cities more resilient and adaptable in areas such as public space transformation, smart housing, resource efficiency, education and transportation.
With 48% of Larta Institute’s current portfolio company CEOs or leadership teams identifying as women and/or minority-led, this continued funding from Wells Fargo is designed to enhance support for diverse founders of high-growth, early-stage startups to generate greater societal and environmental impact, stronger communities and prosperity for all.
To learn more or apply to become a Venture Fellow in Los Angeles or Miami, please visit: Larta.org/Venture-Fellows
About Larta Institute
Larta Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship. Our mission is to foster science and technology innovation for a sustainable planet.
Our planet is experiencing significant global problems created by human behavior and policies affecting the environment, food, education, energy and healthcare systems. New science and technology play a critical role in transforming how we sustainably feed, fuel and heal the world.
LARTA was founded in 1993 and funded by the State of California as a Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance to stimulate the economic development of technology-based enterprises. Now known as Larta Institute, the organization has become a national partner for numerous federal government agencies — including DARPA, NIH, DOE, NSF, NIST, NOAA and USDA — to commercialize novel research and innovation.
Today, Larta Institute’s innovation platform and ecosystem accelerate new science and technology from idea to sustainable enterprise by providing a unique combination of connections, resources and funding.
We have helped over 4,500 startups, and our alumni have raised more than $7 billion in external funding.
Together, let’s feed, fuel and heal the world. To learn more, visit: Larta.org
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