Sustainability Innovators: Larta’s Monthly Digest (April 2024)

Larta Institute
Blog, News
April 30, 2024
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April 2024

This month, we’ve advanced our commitment to fostering science and technology innovation for a sustainable planet. Highlights include the launch of our:

The work we do in community resilience and adaptation around climate change is underscored by a recent report from the Center for Climate Integrity, which quantifies the burden LA County faces in shielding residents from escalating climate risks and identifies critical measures for making communities more resilient.

Larta is focused on identifying, nurturing, and scaling locally relevant solutions. We recognize that science-based innovations do not require large funding allocations to demonstrate effectiveness. We are convinced that small-scale projects, piloted for use in communities dealing with climate impact, can move the needle on adapting and combating these changes. Larta is particularly conscious of system-level concerns, and how food, water, heat, and health are inextricably linked. 

As Rita Kampalath, LA County’s Chief Sustainability Officer, who serves on the Steering Committee of Larta’s Venture Fellows program put it so well to the LA Times: “As we’re looking at how to address these impacts, we do need to think about a multi-benefit approach, and what kind of strategies we can put in place that are really going to address a wide range of things — not only climate, but biodiversity and health impacts and the well-being of our communities as well.”

Through initiatives like Venture Fellows and Heal.LA, we support diverse innovators, empowering community-driven solutions. Community-level concerns around adaptation and resilience also confront the reality of other major challenges, such as mental health and wellness. Larta is exploring an AI-powered mental health program, which we will discuss in a later newsletter.

Stay tuned — and don’t miss the opportunities and developments ahead.


— Latest News —

Larta Institute Welcomes 2024 Venture Fellows Cohort

In its second year, accelerator supports innovators in Los Angeles and Miami who are developing solutions to combat the impacts of climate change in communities that are most at risk.

Read the Press Release
Meet the Cohort


Larta Institute Announces 2024 Heal.LA Bioscience and Healthcare Accelerator Cohort

Accelerator welcomes 30 companies working to improve the health and wellness of underserved, urban communities in Los Angeles County.

Read the Press Release
Meet the Cohort


Larta Institute’s 2023 Impact Report

On Larta Institute’s 30th year anniversary, we are proud to share a glimpse into our transformative journey through the lens of our 2023 Impact Report.

Read the Report


— Upcoming Opportunities —

Meet Our Team at These Upcoming Gatherings

  • IGNITE22 (May 2, Los Angeles) — Entrepreneurs exploring the blue tech industry on land and in the water.Register here.
  • Mission Investors Exchange Conference (May 9-10, Los Angeles) — A convening for impact investors in philanthropy. Register here.
  • LA World Affairs Council & Town Hall (May 22, Los Angeles) — Conversation with Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Improvements in Lending for Today’s Business Environment. Register here.
  • LABEST 2024 (May 23, Los Angeles) —  LA’s premiere bioscience conference. Register here.
  • VERGE 24 (October 29-31, San Jose) — A leading climate tech event. Register here.
  • ECO 2024 (December, Los Angeles) — ECO, hosted by Larta Institute, is multidisciplinary festival and ecosystem gathering designed to foster innovation for a sustainable planet. By engaging with communities on the frontlines of today’s most urgent climate change and environmental challenges, we aim to identify and accelerate groundbreaking innovations that can make a real impact. Check out our 2023 festival recap and stay tuned to learn more.


Funding Opportunities

Explore the resources available and apply directly through the links below.

  • The Department of Energy (DOE) announced $45.8 million in new funding for projects to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. Learn more here.
  • Larta Institute and TurboSBIR are partnering to help you take advantage of federal funding opportunities, from Phase I SBIRs to Phase II SBIRs and beyond. Find and apply for new SBIR opportunities here.

— Alumni Spotlights —

Program: Venture Fellows

Impact Area: Food, Water & Energy Systems

Congrats to Solar United Neighbors, The Nature Conservancy, and SELF for Securing $156 Million EPA Grant in Solar for All Initiative!

Solar United Neighbors (SUN) (2023 Cohort) is a nonprofit facilitating solar co-ops for collective home solar panel installations, aiming for an inclusive, sustainable energy future where communities benefit directly and every roof harnesses solar power. Through generating numerous positive news features and facilitating thousands of homeowners’ transition to solar power, they are reshaping the dialogue surrounding renewables across diverse communities—urban, rural, conservative, and liberal alike. 


Program: Heal.LA

Impact Area: Equitable, Healthy & Resilient Communities

Congrats to CpG Diagnostics’ founder Bodour Salhia & USC researchers for developing a blood test for early-stage ovarian cancer!

CpG Diagnostics (2023 Cohort) is working to expand the liquid biopsy approach to ovarian cancer, a disease that is particularly difficult to diagnose. Early detection of cancer by liquid biopsy holds the potential to dramatically improve outcomes for patients by helping physicians diagnose and begin treatment earlier in the progression of the disease — perhaps even before patients exhibit symptoms. 


Program: Commercialization and Technical & Business Assistance Programs

Impact Area: Food, Water & Energy Systems

Congratulations to Symbrosia for leading a groundbreaking study on seaweed oil extract for livestock methane reduction with Cornell University and Danone North America!

Made from the red seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis, Symbrosia’s SeaGraze helps to reduce methane expelled from livestock, a major contributor to climate change. The Hawaii-based company conducted the world’s first commercial trial of Asparagopsis in 2020 and saw a reduction of over 75% in methane produced by livestock. SeaGraze intercepts the formation of methane without impacting the fatty acids that are involved in the production of meat and milk.


— Alumni Showcase —

Our Portfolio Companies in the News


— Our Impact —

and Other Resources

Did you know that Los Angeles is on the cusp of a major food justice revolution? Read our Rooted Horizons Report, a groundbreaking research collaboration between Larta Institute and Los Angeles Food Policy Council, funded by California Community Foundation.


— Our Growing Team —

Join our Team

Visit our Careers page to learn more.

image of los angeles with text join our team in DTLA and a collage of business events

Partner with us to support or sponsor Larta’s programs and initiatives!
Contact Carlos Gutierrez, Chief Development Officer, at cgutierrez@larta.org.


Our mission is to foster science & technology innovation for a sustainable planet.
Let’s feed, fuel, and heal the world.

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About Larta Institute

Each year, we select over 500 founders and ventures to join our startup accelerators. We provide innovators with access to our programs, ecosystem, and funding, which all play a vital role in supporting the development and implementation of their solutions.

Programs Overview

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Publicly-Funded Government Programs

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