Have a Great Idea for a Tech Hardware Product? This Accelerator Program Wants to Give You $75,000

A Los Angles-based accelerator wants to help founders and entrepreneurs of color realize their tech hardware dream company.

Attention tech hardware startups: Make in LA is accepting applicants for its Accelerator Program now through June 11, 2016 for a cohort running August 1-12 of this year.

Make in LA is building a community in Los Angeles dedicated to bringing hardware companies to market. Successfully launching an actual product can be difficult for startups. Hardware can be costly and time-consuming, as it involves research and development as well as manufacturing. Backed by NEO Tech, Make in LA applies professional manufacturing tools and other resources directly into programs and startups to maximize the odds of success.

Four to six startups will be selected, and these candidates will be placed into a 100% hardware-focused, four-month program. All startups receive initial funding of $75,000. As the program progresses, one startup will receive an additional $75K.

Selected startups will also receive free office space, maker space, and a manufacturing partnership. The program has an industrial designer in-residence. Additionally, there is one-on-one mentoring as well as coaching with over 50 mentors.

The Make in LA program is a year old, and it has already graduated two cohorts. The startups involved with the program are launching a variety of hardware including wearables, sports technology, virtual reality tech, education tech products, and more.

“There is a big gap in the market for any type of hardware activity in LA,” says Noramay Cadena, co-founder and general partner of Make in LA. “Northern California [Silicon Valley] has a lot of high visibility and hardware accelerators. We are the only hardware accelerator in LA,” she says.

Cadena says that the tech hardware space is vast and getting larger. “We currently have more connected devices than people on the planet now. That number [of connected devices] will increase to 40 billion,” she says.

For underserved founders and entrepreneurs, this connected device/IoT (Internet of Things) explosion presents huge opportunities. “We are giving them an opportunity to be successful,” says Cadena.

The program is accepting early stage hardware startups with a tech-advanced product and a proof of concept or early prototype from anywhere in the world.

 



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