Noramay Cadena
Noramay Cadena
Co-Founder & Managing Director at Make in LA
Los Angeles, United States
0 | Track
Company Website: Make in LA

We created Make in LA because we are passionate about hardware innovation. We know the potential to create new platforms and systems, and we know that many people do not fundamentally understand all the hurdles in bringing a hardware product to market.

The accelerator, operated by an experienced team, helps startups avoid costly pitfalls associated with hardware production through a four-month comprehensive concept-to-market program that applies best practices from mentor-driven accelerators, lean startup methodologies, and design for manufacturing principles.

The LA epicenter of hardware entrepreneurship

Make in LA attracts global deal flow, and acceptance into the program is competitive. It’s easy to understand. Los Angeles is one of the best places in the world to make products.

Our team is building a community in LA dedicated to bringing hardware companies to market. Our background ranges from seed-stage businesses to public companies. With the support of NEO Tech and Hexlab, we are able to apply professional manufacturing tools and other resources directly into programs and start-ups to maximize the odds of success.

We empower you and your business by making hardware not hard

Hardware can be costly and time consuming. It can be hard. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Our definition of hardware is broad, but we look for teams bringing a technologically advanced and tangible item to market.

We support technology enabled hardware companies (IoT, robotics, wearables, VR, etc) while building out the LA epicenter of hardware entrepreneurship.

People before company, company before idea

We focus on developing the people behind the products, knowing that a talented team in the right place at the right time will be successful. Entrepreneurs and their business models are stress tested through a 4-month immersive crash-course to get to market.

We bombard you with resources which include access to production level and prototype level equipment, office space, warehouse and logistics, seasoned mentors from the hardware space, ancillary business partners, and good coffee. And checks up to $150,000 in the first year.

What’s in it for us?

It’s fun. There is a thrill of giving back. Helping to create the next big product company gives us a warm feeling. On top of creating amazing products, we allow an opportunity for a few investors to see potential homeruns at an early stage in their company. For institutional investors, we offer an opportunity to invest in a broad range of promising companies without having to manage and evaluate multiple direct investments.

A long term outlook is good karma

Our success, and the success of our investors, is tied to the success of our graduates. With alignment based on equity, we expect to see the return when entrepreneurs bring their businesses to the level of M&A or IPO, which may take 7-10 years. Until then, we are motivated by cultivating an ecosystem for the best hardware start-ups in the world.


High Touch Program

Month 1

We know who our target customer is and how we will make money on them.

Stress testing of product/market fit

Daily customer interviews testing hypothesis, present findings to all startups

Competitor landscape open crits

Pitch to all mentors to validate business plan and match with a mentor

Legal structure of company & equity divide

Patent, trademarks & other IP issues

Business Model Canvas

Prototype/MVP Crits

Intro to Solidworks

Sourcing – identify suppliers

Manufacturing equipment training/certification

Social media momentum

Accounting setup

Revenue model

Month 2

We know how to reach our target customer and what our prototype needs to include to be compelling to them.

Data crunch on works-like prototype

Customer testing of looks-like prototype

Additional hypothesis testing

Rapid prototyping equipment training

Finalize material selection

Marketing plan creation

Crowdfunding planning

Monthly Business Review

How to give/receive effective feedback

Meetups and startup outings nationwide

Month 3

We are ready to take this prototype version to market. We know how much it will take to get a mass following and get the product mass produced.

UX and software development


Customer testing of works-like prototype

Finalize prototype for mass production

Selecting a CM and manufacturing agreements

Fulfillment and logistics

Advanced marketing tactics

Scaling your company

Attracting/retaining the right talent

Trip to China/Mexico/US manufacturers

Month 4

We know how much money we need to raise to have a successful hardware-based business and we are prepared to find like-minded investors for our journey.

Mock due diligence (ex: be able to pronounce EBITDA, the files you need in your dropbox)

Post MiLA plan

Develop metrics – customer acquisition, digital marketing

Building, compensating, and managing a sales force

Building a world class board

Monthly Business Review

Prep for further investment

Mock Pitches

Local media events, line up pitch events