Itron Idea Labs continued its partnership with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) this week with two exciting events! On Monday, Sept. 10, Luke Scheidler, Itron senior production manager, and I attended the first ever California Climate Cup, a startup innovation competition seeking the next generation of technologies, business models and platforms that will help megacities—as well as states and regions—accelerate reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and enhance resiliency in the face of climate change. Over 100 companies submitted pitches for consideration, and 10 finalists presented on Monday (Aclima, Inc., Ampaire, Ecomedes, EnZinc Inc., Evee, EVmatch, Inc., LO3 Energy, Solstice Energy Solutions, Wheeli, EP Tender).

The 10 finalists were grouped into three categories: Mobility and Goods Movement, Energy/Transportation Nexus and Digital Solutions for Sustainable Cities. Judges included Luke Scheidler of Itron Idea Labs, Samantha Huang of BMW i Ventures, Sergej Mahnovski of Edison International, Kojo Ako-Asare of Emerson Elemental, Katie Fehrenbacher of GreenBiz, VERGE Transport and Ian Meikle of Innovate UK.

Winners of each category presented at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on Sept. 13, where the winner of the $25,000 grand prize was announced. It was a great event and Itron is proud to support the innovation these companies are bringing to our industry. Congratulations to EVmatch, Wheeli and Solstice Energy Solutions.

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, I had the privilege of joining Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti and Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo at the Tom Bradley Building in Los Angeles City Hall to announce the launch of the C40 Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative and the ZeroEmissions Roadmap to help reduce GHGs ahead of 2028 Olympic Games. Itron Idea Labs is a founding member of the partnership to develop the roadmap, read the full press release here.

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Elena Vasconi
Elena Vasconi is an innovator and marketer for leading-edge technologies that are driving the digital transformation of cities and utilities. As an evangelist for Itron Idea Labs, a lean start-up style group, Vasconi is leveraging her vast experience in working with entrepreneurs and executives to discover and create the next big thing using the Internet of Things.
She began her career in San Diego at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Science as a research assistant tasked with developing software to simulate the performance of a novel telescope for extra solar planetary search. Moving from academia to the government contracting, she applied her digital image processing skills and abilities to sonar and satellite communications for military purposes.
Vasconi was recruited to Silicon Valley where she joined the ranks of companies like Apple Computer, Adobe, Palm and Paul Allen’s Interval Research before branching out on her own. Throughout her career, she has worked with entrepreneurs, start-ups and public companies, to help leadership teams identify their core competencies, strengths and weaknesses and, more importantly, refine or develop their own voice, both within their organization and to the broader marketplace in which they operate.
Vasconi volunteers with the San Jose Piano Competition, hosting international contestants in her home in summer. She received her Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of California, San Diego, loves to garden and is an avid home cook.