Toolbox LA: SoCal’s Largest Innovation Lab
Shaun Arora and Noramay Cadena, founders of MiLA Capital, had a vision for starting Toolbox LA as a workspace for builders, artists, scientists and engineers alike. We founded Make in LA on August 1, 2015, as an early-stage accelerator and fund created to support technology-enabled hardware companies (IoT, robotics, wearables, VR, etc) that has since evolved to MiLA Capital, a high-touch Venture Capital firm that fills a vacuum in the hard tech ecosystem and helps hardware founders get unstuck.
Since 2015, MiLA Capital has seen a gap in SoCal’s startup hard tech ecosystem; talent was incredible but fragmented while capital was plentiful except for seed-stage hardware founders. We addressed that by raising an early-stage venture fund, building an innovation lab known as Toolbox LA, recruiting a values-driven community of founders and mentors, and connecting hundreds of talented founders with the resources they need to impact the world.
Toolbox LA Grand Opening
To celebrate our role in the ecosystem, Toolbox LA hosted a grand opening celebration on Monday, October 1st, 2018. The event kicked off Manufacturing Week in Los Angeles in partnership with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Maker Summit.
Mayor Garcetti hosted a fireside chat with Founder Noramay Cadena to discuss technology, entrepreneurship and the future of manufacturing happening in Los Angeles. There were two additional panels covering a range of topics on robots, jobs, and the future of work. Read the full recap here.
“The fact that Toolbox LA has helped breathe life back into this community by bringing creativity, style, venture capital funding and entrepreneurship, all in one building, is just the spark and I feel the fire is coming.”
– Senator Henry Stern, Rep 27th District
Toolbox LA Today
Since then, we have grown our membership to over 200 members in total. Some of the companies who call Toolbox LA their workspace include Breadware, a multi-disciplinary IoT product Innovation and engineering company, Force Impact Technologies Inc. aka FIT Guard, an innovative device for athletes to prevent against injury, Bullet Train, a Ruby on Rails SaaS in a box platform, JetPack Aviation, the first turbine-powered, fully stabilized vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) personal aircraft ever built, Creator Ink, a full-package branding and product development solution for YouTube influencers, and many more.