#025 - How to benefit for your startup from the one and only hardware accelerator of Southern California, with Shaun Arora of Make in LA, USA

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By Balint Horvath, Balint Horvath: Entrepreneur, and Innovation Specialist. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

My guest is Shaun Arora, co-founder and Managing Director of Southern California’s only hardware accelerator, Make in LA.

Besides being the Managing Director, he’s an angel investor in 35 startups, and sits on the board of the contracting manufacturing company he helped build for over a decade of exponential growth (NEO Tech). He has a diverse background, which I see as one of his strengths, since before NEO Tech, he worked as a cultural anthropologist for alcohol brands and CPG companies.

In this podcast I’ve had so far 2 accelerators on the show, Brinc from Hong Kong and an accelerator with several hardware verticals from Switzerland, Kickstart Accelerator. I’m glad to feature Make in LA now from sunny California. In this episode we discuss topics such as his journey before and during Make in LA, what their program is about, including what they offer. Shaun talks about LA, why it’s a hot place due to its hardware ecosystem. He talks about examples of startups that successfully graduated from their program, and apart from successes, he is also open to talk about mistakes he made which he could learn from.

Learn more about this episode via the highlights as seen below.

Raw transcript is available at: https://www.thehardwareentrepreneur.com

  • What is Make in LA all about? – [2:43]
  • Offers and strengths of Make in LA – [4:42]
  • Types of hardware topics that are addressed in the accelerator – [7:56]
  • Finance offerings to startups and the accelerator’s business model - [9:02]
  • Successful startups as examples that graduated from the accelerator – [10:40]
  • How does Make in LA implement its follow-on funding? - [12:30]
  • What is a B corp and how does it add a social element in the work of Make in LA? - [14:48]
  • How does Shaun “prevent people from falling off the cliff?” - [17:43]
  • How and until when companies can apply for the only accelerator in Southern California? - [19:03]
  • Mistakes Shaun made along the journey and what he could learn - [21:15]
  • If you could time travel to the time when you were younger, what notes would you give yourself? – [23:33]
  • Which book had the biggest impact on his career? – [26:04]
  • “If you measure, you’re going to improve” – [27:50]
  • Some striking cultural differences that Shaun had to overcome in his work– [29:58]
  • What is the best way to reach Shaun? – [31:31]

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