Why we’re moving & re-opening our doors

When we launched Make in LA, we were often asked by non-locals Why LA and our team wrote a great post about that. But locals would ask Why Chatsworth. And they asked often in various ways —

Why not downtown? Is this still part of Silicon Beach? Why not Santa Monica? Why not Pasadena? Will investors and entrepreneurs make the trip?

We were told that it is easier to get folks from Santa Monica to Palo Alto than Santa Monica to Chatsworth. So on June 10th, we made a decision to move. Not to Silicon Beach to join the other accelerators, but 100 ft north of our current location.

Yes, we doubled down on the San Fernando Valley.

And there are four obvious reasons:

1) The space. We spent the past year proving that people will not only make the trip but be pleasantly surprised by what they find, including a reverse commute from Silicon Beach. We have worked closely with Hexlab Makerspace to build a world class makerspace which also happens to be the biggest in Los Angeles. And, our 20k sqft space is actually pretty darn cool.

2) Cost. There is a flight of the manufacturing supply chain out of Santa Monica to places like Chatsworth, primarily driven by landlords who can charge more rent for offices than for light or heavy manufacturing. This is also a benefit to startup teams relocating to join our accelerator — they can spend more investment dollars building their business than paying for an apartment.

3) Community & reach. As entrepreneurial communities grow around LA and into Ventura County and Santa Clarita Valley, we become a more accessible hub.

4) Talent. There is sprawling talent in the SFV. We’ve met countless makers, artists, entrepreneurs and investors who are excited to build community in their own backyard.

These are good signals for us to take advantage of the opportunity to build out the ecosystem.

Our double down strategy

Step 1 — More events help build out the ecosystem. We have hosted numerous events and see the value of exposing more to the world of startups and making, but we know that it’s disruptive to both Make in LA and Hexlab to host events. Our new event space will be a place to host a variety of events from yoga sessions to pitch competitions, from panels to fireside chats. And we are building out the hardware stack to be able to record and build a following that expands beyond our walls yet attracts people to our community. Have an event suggestion? Email us.

Step 2 — Attract more entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors through our doors. We work with such a select number of portfolio companies that we have not seen the foot traffic that creates magical connections. Selfishly, we believe we can improve the network effects and therefore outcomes of our startups by increasing opportunities for candid conversations. We admire the communities built by Cross Campus and Plug and Play, and have decided to create a coworking space open to the public.

If you know of a hardware enthusiast looking to be in an environment conducive to collisions with potential partners, please direct them to our coworking page below:

www.toolbox.la/cowork

So what are you waiting for? Learn more.

Specifications of the space

Ground floor ~26,000 sq ft, Upper Floor ~9700 sq ft.
Open desk space ~ 5700 sq ft
9 private offices
9 meeting rooms
3 espresso machines
2 kegs
1 fire engine
300 person capacity event space