PortTech Los Angeles Executive Director Jeff Milanette is leaving the organization to launch an innovation center in Africa. His resignation is effective Feb. 15.
“As a business incubation professional, the opportunity to build PortTechLA, coach innovative entrepreneurs and work with a highly talented management team has been incredibly rewarding,” Milanette said in a prepared statement announcing the move. “I thank PortTechLA’s Board of Directors and the Port of Los Angeles for the opportunity to lead the development of this program. However, start-ups are my area of expertise and I leave PortTechLA well positioned for a new Executive Director to step in and lead the organization into its next phase of growth.”
PortTechLA, located adjacent to the Port of Los Angeles, is a commercialization center and incubation program, promotes and develops companies with technologies that enable enterprises and consumers to meet their immediate and future environmental, energy, security and logistics goals. It’s a cooperative effort of the Port of LA, City of Los Angeles and the business communities of San Pedro and Wilmington.
Milanette was named executive director of the organization by Port of LA Executive Director Geraldine Knatz in October 2009. Since then, PortTechLA has grown from a fledgling non-profit with one client to an organization capable of supporting more than 20 clean technology companies with a combination of onsite and virtual services.
Shortly after taking charge, Milanette established the PortTechForum, a monthly program specially designed for entrepreneurs and members of the clean technology business community to come together to exchange ideas, business tips, marketing advice and benefit from networking opportunities.
Milanette also launched the annual PortTechEXPO, a venture conference and technology exposition designed to introduce the business community to the products and services being developed by PortTechLA clients and other technology entrepreneurs.
“Jeff has built a great foundation upon which PortTechLA is well positioned to become a leading technology center focused on the maritime industry. We wish him well in his new ventures," PortTechLA Board Chair Herb Zimmer said.
Entrepreneur and investor Stan Tomsic has been named the organization’s interim Executive Director. The search for a permanent Executive Director is being initiated by PortTechLA’s Board of Directors.