Net Zero Accelerator

We guide, pilot, and promote building technology innovation to empower our net positive future.

Now Accepting Applications for the NZA 2022 Cohort!

Please APPLY NOW via our online form. 

Deadline for applications is March 20, 2022. And while there is no extra credit or gold star for early application, the more time we have to get familiar with your net zero solution the better!

Our promise is to bring targeted expertise, broad awareness, and high-potential to pilot projects at regional building sites with marquee partners in order to remove roadblocks and speed market adoption. Together, and with the support of our partners and advisors, we will  help make zero carbon, zero energy, zero water, and zero waste buildings a reality.

Clean Robotics, Dynamhex, H20ptimize, HyperBorean, National Energy USA, Origen Air, PACEfi, Peak Power, Spectral Materials, Thermenex, Verdigris Technologies, Vero Solutions, Wynd, YellowTin, Zero.

For 2021 we focused primarily on building decarbonization (materials & operations), occupant wellness for all building types (commercial, institutional, multi-family, affordable housing, etc.), sustainable infrastructure (conduits and systems serving the built environment), and clean construction (waste & efficiency). 

Note that this includes not just solutions centered on materials, machines and devices, but also software such as SaaS.

This 7-month program is the only one of its kind focused on developing and guiding pilot projects in the built environment. The 15 pilot-ready companies in the 2021 cohort will benefit from: programs and curricula to fine tune and advance solutions and business models; 1-to-1 advisory services with our leadership team and 30+ green building experts; and increased market exposure with an estimated 100,000+ relevant media impressions and spotlights at MGBCE, NZ21, and the NZA Demo Day.


We’re not your typical accelerator. We aim to rapidly drive measurable adoption of net zero solutions, today. We pair our Cohort companies with experts to encourage scalable solutions, promote awareness of their solutions to the right audience, and focus a strong emphasis on placing technology pilots with building partners that support a net positive future.

  • WE BRIDGE THE GAP between net zero building policy and current technology in use for both commercial and affordable housing sectors.
  • WE BUILD AWARENESS of viable solutions and market innovation of viable solution and market innovations through marketing, media, events and curated networking.
  • WE GET TECH TO MARKET through onsite pilots with committed green building leaders.


There are plenty of great programs in place that help companies with business fundamentals. We look for companies that already have those basics covered. In short, ones that are ready for market entry or already in market and ready to scale.

  • OUR PILOT-READY PLAYERS receive low-cost, focused acceleration to streamline and de-risk adoption.
  • OUR GREEN BUILDING EXPERTS counsel on strategy, fit and viability, while coaching the cohort.
  • PARTNERED PILOT SITES measure, validate, and benefit from low-cost efficient building technology.

“Operators of building types of all kinds across the city have raised their hands to provide pilot sites and their expertise to help us get to net zero with increased focus onresilience clean construction and occupant health. Our goal is to work with our advisors to fine tune the technical and business models of these technologies helping to deliver solutions today in a way that they can scale at an accelerated rate going forward.” ~ Ben Stapleton, Executive Director, USGBC-LA


Collectively, we’re some of the most capable BUILDING OWNERS + OPERATORS, INDUSTRY EXPERTS, FUNDERS, INVESTORS, UTILITIES, and CORPORATES committed to empowering a net positive future for our built environment.

NZA Leadership

Ben Stapleton, Executive Director, USGBC-LA | Part of founding team for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) where he helped 80+ companies to raise $225M+ in funding, create 1,800+ jobs, and deliver $400M+ in long-term economic value for the City of LA; Co-Founder of the DOE-affiliated LA Better Buildings Challenge; founder of JLL’s Cleantech Practice Group; led US Department of Energy (DOE) funded, 3-year Building Technology Pilot Initiative.

Colin Mangham, Director of the Net Zero Accelerator (NZA) | Marketing has contributed to $500M+ in revenues; energy sector including The EPA (Energy Star), Lockheed Martin; Guided hundreds of entrepreneurs, and with incubators including Idealab. Go-to-market specialist, $75M+ in  funding; Certified Leadership Coach; Energy Branding Awards Judge (2020); Bioinspired innovation expert (TEDx, CNN).


Green building experts counsel and coach our pilot-ready companies on strategy, fit and viability. Cohort members receive low-cost, focused acceleration to streamline and de-risk adoption with a curriculum that is customized to their needs and best leverages the expertise of 30+ Advisors.

  • Fundamentals | Mini-audit and gap identification (structure, financials, legal, planning, etc.) to ensure the company is ready to move forward.
  • Brand + Story | Helping the company know and communicate who they are, what they stand for, and how to deliver a compelling and actionable narrative that aligns with targets.
  • Sales + Biz Dev | Expertly guiding how our cohort companies build and manage a pipeline, find the right customers with best practices in business development, and close the sale.
  • Pilot Readiness | Ensuring the company is ready, across multiple operational and logistical aspects, to pilot their technology with a potential high value customer.
  • Project Finance | Financial strategies and options to ensure efficient and timely project completion and mitigate impact on growth-critical cash flow.
  • Sustainability ROI | Creating a financial framework that lays a foundation for successful procurement, aligning with long term corporate and strategic goals.


Together, we will spread the word and work hard to build broad awareness of cohort solutions. STORIES and CASE STUDIES that showcase the cohort, pilot sites, partners and sponsors, and pilot results will be delivered to THE RIGHT AUDIENCE of proven green business leaders, over 3,000 USGBC-LA members, key officials with the City and County of LA, and green building advocates in the broader sustainability world.


Following are some key features and requirements for participation. If you would like to be notified as we near or begin the next application window, please email Colin@USGBC-LA.org.

Mutual Expectations Stage of Development HQ + Markets
  • No equity required to participate; modest subsidized fee.
  • 7-month commitment to dedicate the time and resources to complete the program in Los Angeles.
  • Secured from “Seed” up through “Series A” investment (or equivalent).
  • Ready to pilot technology commercially, or already in market.
  • Domestic and international companies are invited to apply.
  • Los Angeles and California geographic markets must be a strategic priority.
Technology Focus Areas
All early-stage companies with building technologies that support a net positive future will be welcome to apply.  Relevant sectors include BuildingTech, UrbanTech, PropTech, and even AgTech. While not limited to these alone, explicit priority areas for 2021 are Building Decarbonization, Occupant WellnessSustainable Infrastructure, and Clean Construction. As it relates to occupant wellness, there is an overarching emphasis on the Post-Pandemic Market for green building technologies and solutions.



Following the many successes of our inaugural cohort in 2019, we sought and selected, from 161 applicants, what our team and industry-leading Advisors found to be  the 17 most promising net zero building solutions for the 2020 cohort (Read the Press Release). They graduated, as it is said, with our signature Demo Day event in January of this year (2021), and many of them have already received alumni benefits in the forms of additional exposure including Shark Tank style pitches to target audiences and further curation of relationships seeded while in the official program.

“This is an exceptionally compelling group of companies commercializing and scaling diverse solutions that address our shared goals. We're excited to help them overcome market-entry barriers often encountered by new technologies. A big part of achieving this is in how we pair them with green building experts and significant pilot sites throughout our region to increase their momentum and quickly see results optimally before the new year." ~ Colin Mangham, Director, Net Zero Accelerator


“Yotta was able to develop many pilot partnerships [in 2019].  A lot of accelerators promise great things. NZA delivers.” ~ Omeed Badkoobeh, Yotta Energy

“The NZA helped us clarify essential aspects of our business and forge effective relationships that assisted us in establishing a cohesive plan towards being a successful small business.” ~ Charles DeRosa, Angel City Lumber

“The NZA was a terrific experience. The quality of the mentors was top notch, the events were great, and the camaraderie of the cohort was super fun!” ~ Andrew Blume, InHouse Produce

“The NZA was a great opportunity to be matched with industry and product specific mentors that are keen to the nuances that built-environment startups experience. The USGBC-LA ecosystem and network were very helpful and welcoming to our team, and we recommend this opportunity to building technology and materials startups in the Southern California Region.” ~ Jose Urizar, DTE Materials

Learn about opportunities to engage as an advisor, partner or sponsor.

Sponsor and Support the Net Zero Accelerator.


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