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

Larta Institute
Blog, News
March 28, 2024
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March 2024

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

As we reflect on this past month, we’d like to express our gratitude for the spectrum of opportunities and conversations that have unfolded to elevate thought leadership and collaboration in the sustainable innovation arena. Thanks to our gracious partners, Opportunity Miami and the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Larta Institute co-hosted a Climate Tech Meetup (pictured below), where three members of the 2023 Miami Venture Fellows Cohort presented their pitches in front of a diverse audience of community organizations, investors, local government agencies, and like-minded entrepreneurs. 

In this issue, we’re highlighting the latest advancements, initiatives, and groundbreaking ideas that are shaping today’s world. 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.

Stay tuned – and don’t miss the opportunities and developments ahead!


— Upcoming Opportunities —

Events Calendar

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

  • Larta Institute’s Road to ECO Launch Mixer (April 22, Los Angeles) – Join us for a special celebration as Larta Institute hosts our “Road to ECO” launch mixer event on April 22nd, Earth Day, from 5-7PM. Located in our newly renovated innovation studio in DTLA, this gathering marks the debut of our thesis/impact areas, the release of our 2023 Impact Report, and the introduction of our new Heal and Venture Fellow cohorts. Capacity is limited and RSVP is required — 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. 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, bringing together leaders from business, government, solution providers, and startups 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.

Program: Venture Fellows

Impact Area: Food, Water & Energy Systems

Congrats to Aquaria and Co-Founders, Brian and Eric Sheng, for recently joining the ranks of Forbes 30 Under 30!

Aquaria aims to safeguard access to water against disruptions, drought, and the effects of climate change. Aquaria taps into the humidity in the air as a new and renewable source of water. Aquaria’s atmospheric water generators (AWGs) act as a backup or alternative water supply that can be installed on-site in hours. Aquaria puts control back to the consumers, crucial for those who are facing water stress challenges, access challenges, or contamination.


Program: Heal.LA

Impact Area: Equitable, Healthy & Resilient Communities

Congratulations to Next Life Sciences on raising $2.5 million to develop “Plan A

Plan A™ is being designed to finally bring non-hormonal, long-lasting, and reversible male contraception to the world. The Plan A™ design utilizes Vasalgel® – a proprietary hydrogel that is intended to stop the flow of sperm through the vas deferens, the tubes that transport sperm. Instead of permanently cutting the vas deferens, as in a vasectomy, the hydrogel is designed to act as a flexible filter that blocks the flow of sperm. Vasalgel® is designed to then be removed on-demand and flushed out of the vas through a simple follow-up clinic visit – in order to restore the previous flow of sperm for the patient.


Program: Commercialization and Technical & Business Assistance Programs

Impact Area: Food, Water & Energy Systems

Congrats to Nitricity for recently securing investment from Chipotle Mexican Grill to scale up the company’s production of nitrogen, build out infrastructure, and support the launch of its first commercial product within the next two years.

Traditionally, nitrogen fertilizer production heavily relies on fossil fuels and involves a complex supply chain that often overlooks developing economies. This results in limited access to this essential product where it’s needed the most. Today’s innovative approach aims to change that. 

Nitricity, a Bay Area-based alumni company, has developed a cost-effective solution that can produce fertilizer for both established farms and developing markets while minimizing environmental impact.

The company has been supported by Larta’s SBIR/STTR USDA program, through which they worked with an advisor to further develop their commercialization plan, market research, customer discovery, and market sizing. 


— 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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