About 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.



Southern California’s 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 Southern California 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 have supported wearables, AR/VR companies, IoT, robotics, and rocket launch companies.

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.

Our Team

Shaun solo

Shaun Arora’s Mantras

Front load your mistakes

Have strong beliefs loosely held

Can you dumb it down for me

Make every detail perfect, and limit the number of details to perfect


Noramay Cadena’s Mantras

A long term outlook is good karma


Carmen Palafox’s Mantras

Lean in to uncertainty

Gut decisions are backed by wisdom and knowledge

Options in seed stage startups have teeth

Smart money is on hardware

We are backed by a major contract manufacturer.


NEO Tech has been making amazing things happen since it was founded in 1975 as an independent manufacturer of various standard electronic components. Since then, NEO Tech has evolved into an engineering solutions provider for low-to-high-volume and high-mix assembly services for Fortune 500 companies. After their 2013 acquisition of EPIC Technologies and 2015 merger with OnCore Manufacturing, NEO Tech became favorably positioned among mid-tier EMS manufacturers to “make amazing things happen” and expand further into defense, industrial, medical, energy, and high velocity manufacturing sectors.