$150K from LBCC's Inaugural 'Innovation Fund' Spread Amongst Three Businesses

InnovationFund2014

Two Los Angeles and one West Hollywood company will receive generous financial awards from Long Beach City College’s inaugural Innovation Fund So Cal.

The fund—announced and launched earlier this year—is a partnership with LBCC and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and seeks to do one thing: provide funding and mentoring for up-and-coming entrepreneurs attempting to build their startups.

Pick My Solar, a Los Angeles-based company that caters to solar panel contractors by connecting them directly to household consumers online, scored a $100K loan at zero-interest—and will help the co-founders, Mazyar Aram and Chris Blevins, generate more sophisticated algorithms that will benefit both consumer and contractor.

“Exponential growth and volatility of the residential solar market, lack of transparency and knowledge have caused many homeowners to overpay for their solar system in the last few years,” the co-founders said in their bid for the prize. “Pick My Solar has created an online market place which educates homeowners on solar and creates direct competition between solar providers through a bidding platform to find the best valued bids for homeowners.”

Two smaller prizes—each for $25K—were given to Revoterial of Los Angeles and Engine Fitness of West Hollywood.

Revoterial is a material development company which has a material technology that goes by the name of Silxt that ultimately replaces toxic materials used to manufacture everything from belts to bags.

“Silxt is an extraordinarily versatile and durable material composed of a natural silk protein that is organic, renewable, cost-effective, and non-toxic,” said Revoterial founder Yotam Solomon in his bid. “Silxt is engineered for complete integration into mass manufacturing and provides significant cost advantages over conventional materials. And, unlike its competitors, Silxt can be used to manufacture all components of hard fashion accessories, which until now have needed over 100 different material components.”

Engine Fitness, found by Brian Abercrombie and Kristin Anderson, is attempting to generate better workout equipment through innovative design and high-end quality material to help with the health boom occurring in SoCal. The company’s first product—the Pilates Wheel—is a “multi-directional two wheeled apparatus that provides assistance and resistance in a variety of movements.”

After the production of the Pilates Wheel has begun, they hope to move onto other fitness machines and contraptions.

The Innovation Fund SoCal’s next cycle dates have not been announced.

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