Become a Venture Fellow.
Do you have an idea to make your community more resilient, equitable, & sustainable?
The Venture Fellows program is a 9-month hands-on experience – we invest in diverse innovators to pilot good ideas that help communities become more resilient in response to the impacts of climate change.
Since 1993, Larta Institute has helped over 4,500 startups, and our alumni have raised over $7 billion in funds.
Our Fellowship program begins in April 2024.
Apply now to become a Venture Fellow in Los Angeles or Miami.
Tell us about your idea & vision — and our team will be in touch with next steps & more info.
View our inaugural cohort in Los Angeles & Miami.
We had a large batch of impressive applications, each with a unique approach to enhancing urban climate resilience.
Funding & Support for Good Ideas
The current climate crisis is disrupting the health of humanity, our planet, our economies and the future of our world. With modern cities being one of the largest contributors to climate change, population centers must reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase resilience to climate-related disasters and promote sustainable development. We believe the urgent action needed to combat this global challenge can be spearheaded by innovators in the places most impacted, to spark a vision that can then be scaled to many more urban areas.
Clean Energy, Air, and Water
Our communities, especially in cities, are critically affected by polluted air, increasing heat episodes, and clean water availability. These concerns are interrelated and are expected to increase in intensity and effect in coming years. Our communities have a right to clean air, sources of reliable, affordable energy from renewable sources like solar and wind, and water for drinking and everyday use. All of this with the backdrop of accelerating climate change.
We seek community-led approaches that 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
Food insecurity and lack of access to nutritious food is increasingly acknowledged, especially in our cities. In 2022, new disruptions challenge food security and the global food supply chains even in zones previously unaffected, while inflation has driven essential foods into the realm of unaffordability for many communities across the U.S. It is clear cities need new plans to maintain resilience and engage with our communities to reimagine food sourcing.
We seek changemakers with creative visions in 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
City transformation is one of the most critical needs for a sustainable future. High population density and outdated infrastructure make city residents highly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Rapid urbanization means our cities face deepening challenges in air pollution, concrete “heat islands”, infrastructure, services, urban sprawl, traffic, waste management, gas emissions, inequality, rising sea levels, and carbon emissions.
We seek 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.
The Venture Fellows program is supported by our partners.
We want to empower diverse innovators to become leaders in urban transformation and the new green economy – through a mix of mentoring, connections, pilot support, and resources.
Christina Lila Wilson
Larta Venture Fellows Program
Applications are now open!
Join a cohort of social entrepreneurs who are innovating to build a better future for local urban communities.
The Ventures Fellows program is a 9-month hands-on experience offering funding & support to help turn your idea into a scalable startup for impact on local communities.
Become a Venture Fellow — Los Angeles
Los Angeles — Applications open!
Up to 5 applicants who have good ideas for Los Angeles communities will be selected to participate in the 2024 program. Applications will be open from October 2023 to late February 2024. The program is scheduled to begin in April 2024, and will run until December 2024.
Become a Venture Fellow — Miami
Miami — Applications are open!
Up to 5 applicants who have good ideas for Miami communities will be selected to participate in the 2024 program. Applications will be open from October 2023 to late February 2024. The program is scheduled to begin in April 2023, and will run until December 2024.
Program Overview & Benefits
The Venture Fellows Program is a 9-month commitment — helping you move from an idea to startup launch.
Powered by Larta Institute, and funded by Wells Fargo, the program will invest in diverse innovators, entrepreneurs, and founders across the U.S. With a tagline of ‘Entrepreneurs Vs. Climate Change’ – the program will focus on supporting good ideas that can be translated into startups and then scaled to help create resilient, equitable, and sustainable communities in U.S. cities.
The program is housed within Larta Ventures – a new initiative of Larta Institute – that invests in promising founders and impact-focused startups who are working to feed, fuel, and heal the world.
We are seeking climate innovations across a spectrum of stages.
Earlier stage ideas will enter our Pilot Development Track, where our team of experts and curriculum will guide you in developing a proof of concept in areas such as: validation-oriented “studies”, user characterization, market research aggregation around the problem being solved, stakeholder identification, needs analysis, creating and conducting simple user/potential user surveys and focus groups, outreach testing, small scale experimentations such as pop-ups and then developing a “pilot” plan for activation at a later point. This pilot is intended to advance iteration, garner more support, activate natural allies, and open pathways to additional funding.
More mature or developed innovations and teams can enter our Pilot Ready Track. This track would apply, for example, to those who have a product or service which is well established, but may need additional help to achieve and/or overcome “targeted outcomes”; these would specifically help candidates execute their urban pilots during the program itself.
The Pilot Ready track would not necessarily exclude innovations beyond pilot stage. We are open to innovations that may be more developed that wish to extend or create (a) custom offering(s) specifically for the underserved communities of LA and/or Miami.
$100,000 in resources & funding to develop community-based solutions
— No cost program – no equity or fees
— 1:1 mentoring and group cohort sessions
— Connections, Resources, & Funding
— Up to $25K associated in pilot costs for validation of a project in targeted community*
— Cohort based learning, knowledge hub, educational content
*Only selective pilots for funding of up to $25K associated with validation of a project in targeted community
Trial & iterate your idea in local Los Angeles or Miami communities
— Market access support from local cities & NGOs
— Depending on your stage of idea:
— Pilot Preparation: Support for pilot planning, discovery, and research
— Pilot Ready: Deploy your MVP, pilot-ready solution in a local community
Legal fees paid to incorporate your startup
— Legal services provided for incorporation
— Expert advice on creating your startup
— Setup your business with legal support
Access to investors & grant funding to scale your new startup
— Hands-on help to prepare your pitch & materials
— Support identifying & applying for funding/grants
— Curated sessions with seed investors + Demo Day
Thank you to our team of advisors for supporting this program.
Dr. Galen Treuer, Ph.D.
Taj Ahmad Eldridge
Robert H. Hacker
Cassie Rauser, Ph.D.
Christina Lila Wilson
Lewis D. Rowe
Powered by Larta Institute, and funded by Wells Fargo, the program will invest in diverse innovators, entrepreneurs, and founders across the U.S. With a tagline of ‘Entrepreneurs Vs. Climate Change’ – the program will focus on supporting good ideas that can be translated into startups and then scaled to help create resilient, equitable, and sustainable communities in U.S. cities. The program is housed within Larta Ventures – a new initiative of Larta Institute – that invests in promising founders and impact-focused startups who are working to feed, fuel, and heal the world.
The program is open to everyone, and we highly encourage applications from diverse & underrepresented innovators & founders including:
–Minority & women-led ideas and/or startups
–Innovators from marginalized communities
–Academic / student innovators (individuals or teams)
–Social entrepreneurs & grass-roots organizations
The Venture Fellows program is no cost to selected applicants. There are no fees or equity to pay. The program is funded by Wells Fargo.
Applications open October 1, 2023 – and will be open until late February 2024.
The program is a 9-month commitment, from April 2024 to December 2024.
This is a part-time program intended to run alongside your education or job. We expect the hours required per week to vary depending on phase of the cohort.
Thank you to our team of Mentors for supporting this program.
Our fellowship program begins in April 2024.
Apply now to become a Venture Fellow in Los Angeles or Miami.
Tell us about your idea & vision – and our team will be in touch with next steps and more info.
Our program runs for 9 months starting in April, 2024 – December, 2024. All sessions will be hosted virtually but each participating idea should be tested in either Los Angeles or Miami.
This program is open to established startups with traction as well as early-stage concepts who would like to test their idea. Your innovation could be a nonprofit model, a hybrid or a traditional business model. You can be based anywhere, but during the program will test your product in at least one underserved community in Los Angeles or Miami.
We are looking for ideas that are solving a climate change related problem and can be scaled to other urban environments. We welcome applications from any field, sector, or industry that can have an impact on climate change resilience in urban settings. It could be in the categories of water, air, energy, sustainable cities, food security but we welcome applications outside those areas as well. You do not need to be a “tech company” to be considered.
The program is free for all accepted innovations. Ideas must go through an application process to be eligible for this program. We do not take equity in participating concepts.
Participating ideas agree to test their concepts in either Miami or Los Angeles for the 9-month period between April, 2024 – December, 2024.
Each week consists of up to 1.5 hours of facilitated sessions plus assignments, office hours, accountability groups, and occasional workshops. Like anything, you get out what you put in. This program is specifically designed to allow you to focus on running the day to day operations of your business, while layering in support where needed to help you meet key milestones.
Your idea can be very early stage and still a concept, although it will be helpful to have at least a minimal viable product (MVP) with some early signs of engagement. The majority of ideas selected for Larta’s programs are live with their product or service, but exceptions can be made for promising products/founders.
Larta Institute is a non-profit accelerating entrepreneurship and innovation for a sustainable planet. Since 1993, we have helped over 4,500 startups translate their ideas into sustainable enterprises – our alumni have raised over $7 billion in funds. Learn more about Larta here.