OUR MISSION
MiLA Capital is a high-touch Venture Capital firm based in Los Angeles, CA. The team believes that (1) hardware can be brought to market more frugally than in the past and that (2) Los Angeles has the expertise and best resources to support founders who play in the physical world.
SOURCING STRATEGY
We invest globally. MiLA Capital leverages resources across Toolbox LA and other organizations to build capital efficient startups and give our founders a competitive advantage.
INVESTMENT STRATEGY
We fund at pre-seed, seed, and post-seed stages. Check sizes vary across stages and range from $100k-$750k. We like to be small but mighty investors on your cap table and will occasionally lead a deal.

We will accelerate the adoption and revolution in next generation technology systems and have a right to win in several key growth sectors:

AG TECH + FOOD TECH

INDUSTRY 4.0 + ADV MFG

MOBILITY + AEROSPACE

CLEANTECH + MATERIALS

HEALTHCARE + BIOTECH

LATIN AMERICA

The Team

Carmen Palafox

Partner

Carmen’s focus at Make in LA is coaching entrepreneurs in finance and investment, managing fund operations, and developing investor relationships. She was formerly VP at Dimensional Fund Advisors where she scaled operations into new markets, including Latin America, Canada, and Europe. Carmen also served as a consultant to startups in areas such as operations, fundraising, and growth strategy. Carmen has an MBA from Berkeley-Haas, an MA in sports management from USF, and a BA in economics from USC. She is a board member of CCEO YouthBuild, on the advisory board at Santa Monica City College’s Business Department, and a contributing writer for Latinas in Business.

Shaun Arora

Managing Partner

Shaun Arora fights for underdogs and believes that hardware startups can be built in a capital efficient manner. He is a cultural anthropologist, entrepreneur, operator, and startup advisor and board member. In 2015 he spun off Make in LA from NEO Tech (a global contract manufacturer that he helped scale) to improve outcomes for hardware startups. At MiLA Capital, Shaun focuses on leveraging best-in-class resources to support the startups, leveraging his portfolio for best practices, providing world-class programming, and building strategic partnerships for the benefit of the startups. He plays the devil’s advocate, challenging executive teams towards brilliant and uncomfortable thinking, and he can be bribed with spicy vegan food.

Noramay Cadena

General Partner

Noramay Cadena is an engineer and nonprofit leader turned vc. Prior to cofounding Make in LA, Cadena spent 10+ years in aerospace holding technical oversight and program management roles with profit and loss accountability over budgets of $20MM+. Cadena is also active in the community. She cofounded the Latinas in STEM Foundation and led the organization 2013-2015. She serves on the Housing Authority Commission of Los Angeles and is a founding board member for a K-8 charter school. Cadena holds an MBA, a Master’s in Engineering Systems and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering – all from MIT. She’s been a featured speaker in many platforms including TEDx – her talks cover technical achievement, leadership, and overcoming obstacles. Her recognitions include being named one of the top 26 women engineers to watch by Business Insider, one of the top 20 Latinos in Tech by CNET and she’s received national awards from the Society of Women Engineers and Great Minds in STEM.

47

COMPANIES WITH A FEMALE FOUNDER

145

MILLIONS RAISED IN FOLLOW-ON FUNDING

61

COMPANIES WITH AN IMMIGRANT FOUNDER

19

PORTFOLIO COMPANIES

235

FTES HIRED

1

INNOVATION LAB IN HARDWARE PARADISE

Our Founders

We attract and invest in principled leaders who prioritize five values:

#1 Curiosity > Product-Market Fit

#2 Principled > Polished

#3 Creative > Experienced

#4 Hungry > Aggressive

#5 Confidence > Arrogance

Contact Us

Hardware and software founders alike have benefited from our coaching, advice, and resources. How might we help you start or grow your startup?

Office Hours

MiLA investment partners host Retooling Fridays on a regular basis in a 1:1 format, in-person or virtually. We try to add value during these short sprints, and we welcome founders at any stage to sign up.

Funding

You have it all figured out. Your product is amazing and your early customers love you. You are firing on all cylinders. But the capital you raised so far is not enough to get you to Series A, and no one seems to understand this. We should talk. Hope to speak with you soon.

For all other questions or thoughts, send us a message: