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

Larta Institute
Blog, News
February 26, 2024
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February 2024

Welcome to the February Issue of Larta Institute’s Sustainability Innovators Monthly Newsletter! 

As we wrap up the second month of the year, we continue our journey of discovery and innovation in the realm of sustainability. In this issue, we explore the latest advancements, initiatives, and groundbreaking ideas that are shaping today’s landscape. From cutting-edge technologies to impactful projects, we showcase the individuals and organizations at the forefront of this movement, driving progress and redefining what it means to build a sustainable planet.

We invite you to explore and share the latest opportunities and developments below.


— Upcoming Opportunities —

Do you have an idea to make your community more resilient, equitable & sustainable? Applications are now open for the 2nd cohort of our Venture Fellows program. We are seeking to invest in diverse innovators to pilot good ideas that help communities become more resilient in response to the impacts of climate change. Apply here by February 29th.

Benefit from:

  • Support in resources and funding to develop community-based solutions
  • Pilot support for your MVP in a local community
  • Legal fees covered to incorporate your startup
  • Access to investors and grant funding to scale 

Do you have an idea for an innovation that can improve the  health and  wellness of underserved communities in  LA County and beyond? 🩺 Applications are now open for the 2024 cohort of our Heal.LA Bioscience & Healthcare Accelerator program. Participants will receive expert mentorship to nurture their ideas and support to pilot their innovations in LA County communities.

Benefit from:

  • 1:1 mentorship from LA’s top bioscience experts
  • Pilot your innovation with leading healthcare partners
  • Non-dilutive funding and support to apply for grants
  • Investment through access to our curated network of investors


Events Calendar

Join our team at the upcoming gatherings and stay informed to help shape the future of industries and foster collaborative growth.

  • MedTech Color Webinar: The Path to the C-Suite 2.0: The Career Pipeline to Achieving More Diverse and Inclusive Leadership in MedTech (February 28, Online) – MedTech Color & the AdvaMed Women’s Executive Network are collaborating to host a webinar highlighting diverse women voices about their medtech career. The panel will bring a multi-generational perspective to the challenges and opportunities on how to support and advance historically underrepresented groups in medtech. Register here.
  • Accelerating Community-Led Climate Innovation in Miami (March 6, Miami) – Join Larta Institute, alongside our partners Opportunity Miami, Miami-Dade County, for an exciting climate tech meetup. Hear from climate innovators from our latest Venture Fellows cohort (Solar United Neighbors, Phytoflora, and Hyperlocal Farms). These startups are working towards innovating nature-based wetlands solutions, hydroponics, and vertical farming, and increasing solar access for all. A Q&A and networking opportunity with the founders will follow their presentations. Register here.
  • Aspen Ideas: Climate (March 11-13, Miami) – In collaboration with the City of Miami Beach and a diverse group of partner institutions in and beyond South Florida, the Aspen Institute is enlisting global and local policymakers, scientific experts, corporate leaders, inventors and innovators, artists, young leaders, influencers, and engaged members of the public to participate in Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024. Register here.
  • UCLA MedTech Partnering Conference (March 12, Los Angeles) – Connect with innovators, investors, and industry executives to build your network and find out about the latest innovation in the MedTech field. There will be exciting panels with up-to-date developments and highlights of cutting-edge technology. Register here.
  • LABEST 2024 (May, Los Angeles) –  Get ready for LA’s premiere bioscience conference, hosted by UCLA TDG, bringing together industry, VCs, investors, researchers and partners including USC, City of Hope, Cedars-Sinai, CalTech and more. Stay tuned for more information.
  • BIO International Convention (June 3-6, San Diego) – BIO is where business and breakthroughs converge. Whether it’s across hemispheres or across the aisle, BIO brings the industry together to solve the most pressing issues facing our world. Register here.
  • VERGE 24 (October 29-31, San Jose) – VERGE 24 is a leading climate tech event accelerating solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time. It is the center of gravity for the climate community — leaders from business, government, solution providers and startups — working together to address the climate crisis. Learn more 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.


— Ecosystem Spotlights —

We’re thrilled to bring you the latest updates from our portfolio companies, where innovation meets sustainability. Here’s a curated selection of outstanding companies dedicated to pioneering solutions that make a positive impact on industries and the environment.

Larta Program: SBIR/STTR Technology & Business Assistance Program

Impact Area: Cleantech & Energy

Agency Partner: U.S. Department of Energy

Twelve is advancing a process that transforms carbon dioxide into various chemicals, mimicking those derived from fossil fuels. Currently, they’re utilizing this technology to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) known as E-Jet fuel, with plans to expand into other consumer products such as sunglasses, Mercedes parts, and laundry detergent chemicals. Their innovative approach involves a compact electrochemical reactor called O12, which captures CO2 from waste emissions or the atmosphere. Through the use of metal catalysts and electricity, the reactor breaks down CO2 and water, enabling the recombination into different chemical compounds. Twelve’s E-Jet fuel technology was demonstrated in August 2021 through a successful pilot project conducted in collaboration with the US Air Force. Congrats to Twelve for launching their first commercial-scale SAF production facility this month!

“Larta’s involvement was crucial in our early days to validate our value proposition into a cohesive roadmap and business plan.”  Etosha Cave, Ph.D. Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer.


Larta Program: SBIR/STTR Technology & Business Assistance Program

Impact Area: Agriculture & Food

Agency Partner: U.S. Department of Agriculture


3Bar Biologics is the global leader in customized delivery technologies for living microbe products that are used in applications in commercial agriculture. Delivering on their promise of stable, viable, fresh, and pure microbe products, 3Bar partners with innovative companies to formulate the highest quality and most cost-effective microbe solutions. The result is microbes produced with the help of 3Bar perform better in the field, helping to increase agricultural yields.

“Regular meetings and mentoring with our LARTA assigned Principal Advisor was highly valuable in creating a solid commercialization plan and successful Phase II proposal. Through LARTA, access to experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts has helped our company accelerate commercialization efforts.” – Bruce Caldwell, Founder & CEO.


Larta Program: Venture Fellows

Impact Area: Marine & Oceans

Funders & Partners: Wells Fargo, SoCalGas, SoCal Edison, County of Los Angeles, Miami-Dade County, Include Ventures, NOAA: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Loyola Marymount University, Florida International University

Kind Designs is a climate-tech startup that’s addressing rising sea levels by revolutionizing the outdated and traditionally toxic seawall construction industry. Through its use of sustainable materials, and patent-pending 3D printing technology, Kind Designs is producing the world’s first 3D-printed Living Seawalls™️. The Living Seawalls protect coastal communities from floods and storm surges, while creating marine habitats, sequestering carbon, and collecting essential water quality data. Congrats to Kind Designs for installing the first-ever Living Seawall, created using 3D printing, in Pine Tree Drive Circle in Florida this month!


— Portfolio Showcase —

Our Portfolio Companies in the News


— Our Impact —

and Other Resources

Explore our latest Impact Report, which combines a review of our efforts in 2022, including a showcase of startups selected into our portfolio, and a look at our new strategic initiatives in 2023.


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.

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