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LA Port develops a passion for green jobs

September 15, 2010 |  5:31 pm

PortTechLA, a relatively new business incubator operated by a coalition that includes the port and city of Los Angeles, officially launched Wednesday. The project is looking for office space for a campus that will house and nurture start-up companies with products that help reduce pollution or the port's dependence on fossil fuels.

On Wednesday, PortTechLA hosted a kind of technology beauty pageant at its inaugural Technology Expo and Investment Conference for some of its most likely prospects. About 20 technology entrepreneurs showcased their products before potential maritime industry customers and business bankrollers.

Among those attending were representatives from such well-known start-up investors as the Tech Coast Angels, the Pasadena Angels, the California Venture Forum, the Maverick Angels and the Los Angeles Venture Assn.

Some of the entrepreneurs may find a home at the incubator, which provides assistance with development, testing, commercialization, manufacture and marketing, said Jeffrey C. Milanette, the nonprofit's executive director.

"A typical company will start out with three to five employees and then grow to 10 to 15 by the time they leave the program," said Milanette, a business start-up expert and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. "If you're able to graduate about 10 companies per year, the jobs really start to add up."

-- Ronald D. White