Abigail Klein Leichman
March 22, 2016

March 22, 2016 is United Nations World Water Day, a perfect time for the White House Water Summit and announcement of innovative ideas toward building a sustainable and secure water future in the United States.

Among the initiatives approved for inclusion in the summit is an intensive two-week LaunchPad program for Israeli startups run jointly by the Israel-California Green-Tech Partnership and the nonprofit Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI).

The program will give 10 yet-to-be-chosen startups opportunities to pitch their solutions to clean-tech stakeholders including investors, utilities and corporations. The “boot camp” will teach them how to navigate the California regulatory landscape and they will be introduced to potential mentors.

“I work with a lot of startups that want to expand to California, and it’s complicated to get partners and investment. We want to give some of the most promising startups all we can to help them gain a foothold,” says Israel-California Green-Tech Partnership cofounder Ashleigh Talberth, who also heads the Israeli consulting firm @GreenTECH.

Before moving to Israel in July 2015, Talberth was active in the San Francisco Bay Area clean-tech think tank Next Generation and in the US Green Building Council’s Northern California Chapter.

Following its official kickoff last October in Tel Aviv, the partnership participated in a private roundtable discussion in January 2016 with 45 top decision-makers in California brought together by former US Secretary of State George Shultz at his Hoover Institute think tank at Stanford University.

Israeli pioneers in water technology including Netafim (drip irrigation) and IDE (desalination) sent representatives to the roundtable, as did the Jerusalem-based Milken Innovation Center and Israel NewTech, the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry’s National Sustainable Energy and Water Program.

“Since we’re an industry-driven group, we thought about what we could do to start advancing very innovative early-stage Israeli technologies for water and also for energy storage, transportation and agriculture,” Talberth tells ISRAEL21c.

Application deadline is April 20 and the program will begin in July, following Israel NewTech’s Business & Policy Summit in Los Angeles, June 28-30.

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Jason Harris

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