Story excerpt provided by Long Beach Press Telegram
Written by Andrew Edwards
Long Beach City College officials on Tuesday revealed the first three companies to receive financial awards through Innovation Funds SoCal, a newly created program intended to foster Southern California startups.
The companies are Pick My Solar, a Los Angeles-based firm that has created an online platform for solar panel contractors to submit bids to interested homeowners; Revoterial, a Los Angeles-based company pitching alternative, nontoxic materials to the apparel industry, and Engine Fitness, a West Hollywood-based startup developing exercise equipment for the consumer market.
Pick My Solar obtained a $100,000, zero-interest no-collateral loan to help its founders develop their business as they attempt to go national. The other firms won $25,000 grants that are intended to help bring their products to market.
In the case of Pick My Solar, the loan will help the company develop new algorithms to connect solar contractors’ bids to individual homeowners, which in turn can give customers a better understanding of whether quoted prices for solar installations are reasonable, company co-founder Chris Blevins said.
“It’s going to allow us to automate our process so we can scale very quickly. Our goal is to be nationwide by the end of the year,” he said following the awards presentation at Long Beach City College.