Rebuilding LA’s port communities one business at a time

submission by PortTech

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

PortTech Los Angeles, International Trade Education Programs (ITEP), Port of Los Angeles High School (POLAHS)

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):


Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


PortTech connects entrepreneurs, industry and community to advance innovation, solve port/global environmental challenges, and create jobs.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


The PortTech Pitch program provides comprehensive outreach, education and mentoring services to promising tech startups focused on solving global challenges. Through dedicated one-on-one mentoring, we begin the process of transforming these startup teams into thriving businesses. At the Pitch Competition and PortTechEXPO, we provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors, industry and civic leaders, students and researchers to explore new technologies and connect with innovators.

Please write a sample tweet to describe your submission.


Our @LA2050 vision: @PortTechLA is growing an #entrepreneur ecosystem in LA's #port communities

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valey

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County:

Harbor area communities surrounding the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):


Inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs

How will your proposal improve the following “Create” metrics? (check all that apply)

Employment in the creative industries

Arts establishments per capita

Concentration of manufacturing activity in LA

Federal research grant funding

Patents per capita

Jobs per capita

Minority- and women-owned firms

Gini coefficient

Number of high growth startups

Venture capital investment

Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”) (Dream Metric)

Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions (Dream Metric)

Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating (Dream Metric)

Unemployment rates (and opportunities) for the formerly incarcerated (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to create.


PortTech helps entrepreneurs transform high-aspiration ideas into high-performance companies to solve pressing global challenges by supporting innovative technology startups linked to the ports/goods movement industry.

Through the PortTech Pitch program, PortTech identifies emerging technologies that address transportation, energy and environmental challenges. Many of these solutions address the impacts of port operations on local communities. The PortTech Pitch program is comprised of three phases – entrepreneur mentoring followed by the Pitch competition and EXPO.

First, PortTech prepares startup companies for growth. The months-long Pitch program provides entrepreneurs with one-on-one coaching, constructive critiques and mock judging sessions to prepare them to vie for markets, audiences and resources to grow.

Second, PortTech’s Pitch Competition Finals readies startups for real-world competition. Finalists chosen from startups participating in the mentoring program present their companies to a panel of experts who judge their viability. The day-long contest draws hundreds of participants – entrepreneurs and investors, industry and civic leaders, students and researchers – who view the event live or via webcast. For many entrepreneurs, it’s the moment they pull the wraps off their idea and launch their company into the real world.

Third, the PortTechEXPO engages Los Angeles-Long Beach port communities through top-notch speakers, tech demonstrations and industry panels. The EXPO attracts media attention and 600 professionals annually. Through the EXPO, PortTech provides meaningful education opportunities for local students and community members to learn about technology and innovation during panel discussions, guided tours, and conversations with entrepreneurs and port leaders.

This comprehensive three-pronged program is key to PortTech’s success and the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. It embodies the important work we do as we coach startup companies, showcase their good works publicly and explain to the broader community what our work is about.

As our entrepreneurs succeed they contribute to the local economy by creating jobs in marginalized communities adjacent to the Ports. By 2050, PortTech will be the nexus of a thriving technology and advanced manufacturing-based business cluster. The Ports will run cleaner, greener and more efficient. And the Harbor area will be an economic development engine in the L.A. region.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


In the short term, we measure success as follows:
1. Outreach: We track the level of participation in social media, attendance at events (professionals and students) and the number of applicants to the PortTech Pitch program.
2. Education: We analyze the quality of our programs and events through surveys, allowing us to continually refine and improve our offerings.
3. Mentoring: We videotape the entrepreneur presentations and mentor comments so that presenters can review their performance and incorporate feedback. We also video the final competition presentations. The “before vs after” presentations verify the tremendous improvements of entrepreneurs and validate the efficacy of the program.
4. Student Participation: Follow-up interviews are conducted with teachers to solicit feedback for program improvement.

Over the long term, we measure progress using the following metrics:
- Jobs created
- Dollars invested
- Pilot projects initiated
- Businesses established in the Harbor area

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

15 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

As a portfolio client of PortTech LA our small, minority-owned business has gained significant traction. Through their guidance and direction, we were able to become technology partners with one of the world's largest Filter OEMs and are working on a number of innovative sustainable products with them. We expect that as these products are launched, which should be early next year, we will be able to build market share and increase staff. PortTech staff has always provided very professional advice and counsel.

by bobhammer
6 months ago

This is a partnership for the future a Win/Win project, thanks PortTech LA and Goldhirsh Foundation for believe in the youth creativity and capacity promoting their concerns about the environment and orienting their dreams towards green business entrepreneurships. Today’s world is more interconnected than ever and here is where young people are most active and where they can make this dream grow big. Thanks!

by ITSEnvironmental
6 months ago

ITEP makes a difference in the lives of students in the Harbor area. With the assistance of LA2050, ITEP can partner with PortTech to engage the next generation of STEM entrepreneurs - many of whom may be missed other wise. These are great organizations and a great effort to support.

by jhowland
6 months ago

With ITEP involved, this is an investment in the workforce of the future

by Mvenieris
6 months ago

POLAHS students benefit from the Expo and Pitch Competitions, learning about the latest ideas in green tech, and seeing entrepreneurs bring these innovative technologies to "life" in our port communities. Our 980 students are educated and inspired!

by eloveridge
6 months ago

This project connects today's technology entrepreneurs with tomorrow's STEM leaders. We need your vote!

by amygrat
6 months ago

ITEP is excited to partner with PortTech and POLAHS to create exciting opportunities for our Harbor youth through exposure to and engagement with entrepreneurs and innovators. Today's student is tomorrow's entrepreneur. The mentorship and support provided through this program is an investment in our region's future!

by amygrat
6 months ago

Support POLAHS youth by supporting PortTech!

by eloveridge
6 months ago

Thank you to the Goldhirsh Foundation for supporting programs to make LA a better place to CREATE, LEARN, LIVE, CONNECT and PLAY. We are grateful to our partners, ITEP ( and POLAHS ( and to all of the entrepreneurs that work with us.

We invite all LA2050 stakeholders to connect with us to further the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southern California.

by PortTech
6 months ago

Thank you Marianne!

by amygrat
6 months ago

POLAHS is an important partner to PortTech. Besides being our nearly next-door neighbor, we appreciate the students' and faculties' commitment to the harbor area communities. The environmental engineering and maritime students are engaged, thoughtful and eager to participate with the entrepreneurial community. We can't wait to see them grow into tomorrow's entrepreneurs and STEM leaders.

by PortTech
6 months ago

Well said Amy!

by PortTech
6 months ago

JHowland --
We are so pleased to work with ITEP. The students are interested, engaged and poised to be the future leaders of our harbor area communities.

by PortTech
6 months ago

Jhowland ---
Thanks for your comments. We are so pleased to work with the ITEP students. They are interested, enthusiastic, and poised to become tomorrow's leaders in our harbor area communities.

by PortTech
6 months ago

Thanks for the shout out, JHowland! STEM is our future, and ITEP and PortTech are working together to help our youth make the grade.

by amygrat
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015