USGBC-LA Selects 2023 Net Zero Accelerator Cohort, Helping Drive Viable Building Tech into Desirable Los Angeles Market, Delivering Valuable Pilot Opportunities
LOS ANGELES (July 19, 2023) The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) is proud to announce the 2023 cohort of the world’s first Net Zero Accelerator (NZA). The NZA helps position selected pilot-ready, building-focused technologies for success by accelerating their market entry throughout the greater Los Angeles region and beyond through collaboration with marquee partners and advisors who provide guidance, connections, and participation in pilots. Since the accelerator’s inception, 80 companies from around the globe have participated, with more than 60 pilot opportunities initiated.
Net Zero focus areas and the selected 2023 cohort members aligned with them include:
- Advanced Materials: Adept Materials; Ramo
- Building Systems: Kit Switch
- Building Decarbonization: Carbon Title; QuitCarbon
- Data Analytics & Platforms: Forever Flight; Incentivize; RUNWITHIT Synthetics
- Energy Efficiency: Hearth Labs
- Energy Resources: PowerStack; Swyched
- HVAC & Air Quality: Venaera
- Occupant Health: Thermoshade
- Water Conservation: RainStick Shower
Most of the companies are headquartered outside of Los Angeles, located in multiple states (CA, MA, NY, OR, RI, TX) and four companies are headquartered in Canada, and three of those are extending engagements begun in the accelerator’s partnership with the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles. All have prioritized the city and region for market validation and scaled adoption, understanding the opportunities here due to both the state’s and city’s significant and time-sensitive goals toward a net zero future.
“The potential for scaled impact and the focus on implementation with the group of companies in the program this year is simply phenomenal. From directly addressing home energy assessments and heat pump retrofits for electrification to modeling climate resilience challenges across the region, these companies are delivering solutions today to help us achieve a more net positive future,” states Ben Stapleton, USGBC-LA Executive Director.
The first of its kind and believed to be the only “net zero” focused accelerator in the world, the NZA focuses on removing the biggest barriers to viable building technology reaching the market. The selected property-focused technologies (aka proptech) can come from anywhere in the world, with the qualification of being pilot ready and/or commercially available solutions that help make zero carbon, energy, water, and waste buildings a reality for the region today.
During the nine-month program, they have multiple opportunities to: connect with potential investors, advisors and pilot hosts; participate in workshops focused on best business practices; and receive individualized guidance from Stapleton and Accelerator Director Colin Mangham, who have guided the success of more than 150 startups generating $300M+ in venture funding.
The one-on-one guidance, introductions, Meet & Greet, and Demo Day (which closes out the cohort) events have resulted in pilot project placements with key players in the Southern California region. Successful pilot implementations with past cohort members include ByFusion and CleanRobotics:
CleanRobotics recently supported Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) with optimized recycling through an impactful 17-week pilot involving six AI-powered TrashBot smart recycling solution bins. The result of this upgrade included an efficient method that sorted 8,753 items collected at the hospital’s cafe and five other locations with an accuracy rate of 96%. Previous manual collection efforts yielded an accuracy rate of 30%. After presenting along with other Net Zero Accelerator members at the Net Zero conference, CleanRobotics has continued its mission by teaming with dynamic partners such as CHLA. Details on the success of this pilot and the machine learning capabilities that CleanRobotics has developed are available in the Net Zero Accelerator Case Study. The CleanRobotics blog also features regular updates including a June 2023 partnership with Pittsburgh International Airport and recent interviews about the TrashBot on the renowned Builder Nation podcast.
As the first co-branded case study in the NZA’s partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, Los Angeles-based ByFusion expanded the growth strategy for its building material products utilizing ocean plastic waste in a successful pilot with the City of Boise and other prominent partners. This pilot diverted a total of 80 tons of hard-to-recycle plastics from landfills. The Certified B Corporation was founded by CEO Heidi Kujawa and joined the NZA’s first cohort after Kujawa decided to merge environmental sustainability with a lifelong passion for building. The company’s proprietary micro-diversion platform Blocker System produced its trademark advanced new building material ByBlock, featured in influential outlets including Fast Company and CNN Business. With a full production unit capable of recycling 450 tons of plastic annually, ByFusion was cited on Fast Company’s “The best bricks of 2022” list as it strives to recycle 100 million tons by 2030.
The complete case studies for ByFusion, CleanRobotics, ePAVE and several others are available on the accelerator’s website, as is the Flight Manual, which spotlights case studies along with current pilot opportunity specifications developed for and with the NZA 2022 cohort companies.
“I’ve guided the success of hundreds of entrepreneurs, and I can say that the caliber and commitment of the people and companies this program engages is truly top shelf,” states Mangham. “Plus, the focus on real world pilots getting vital solutions right to market makes our work all the more fulfilling. I’m excited to guide and learn from this next group of green-minded change makers.”
Current partners in the NZA include (alpha): Arup, Blue Bear Capital, BuroHappold Engineering, CSUDH, CSUN, CIM Group, City of Los Angeles, Community Corporation of Santa Monica, Environmental Defense Fund, Fairstead, Fifth Wall Ventures, Frederick Fisher and Partners, Gensler, Green NRG Institute, HDR, Hudson Pacific Properties, Integral Group, IQHQ, JLL Spark, Kilroy Realty Corporation, LivCor, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, LA Metro, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, Metropolitan Water District, Momentum, NRDC, NREL, Rising Realty, Skanska, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, UCLA, USC, VCA Green, and Verdical Group.
For more information on the Net Zero Accelerator (the companies, and being a pilot location, advisor or supporter), visit https://www.netzeroaccelerator.org/ or contact Colin Mangham at email@example.com. For information on USGBC-LA, please visit USGBC-LA.org or contact Ben Stapleton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles
Founded in 2002, USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation. Our mission is to accelerate all aspects of sustainability in the built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition and networking. Learn, Share and Lead Green. (www.usgbc-la.org)