From 2017 through early 2019, MAKE IT IN LA’s Catalyst program brought together a select community of creators looking to scale their production in Los Angeles. Through workshops, factory tours, online meetups, and peer forums, we helped these entrepreneurs and business owners become part of something larger than themselves and create products and brands that matter.
We invited a diverse group of 96 entrepreneurs, selected from applicants looking to scale manufacturing locally. They came from a range of industries: food and beverage, fashion, consumer goods, hardware, and industrial. From this group, we chose 16 Catalyst Fellows to receive more hands-on help from our Catalyst Advisors.
Unleashing LA’s creative potential
The mission of the Catalyst program was to connect participants to factories, resources, and each other so they could grow their businesses and create jobs. And we succeeded! Based on 39 respondents to a survey conducted in early 2019, our community had a big year in 2018 and has big plans for 2019.
- Launched at least 19 products.
- Hired 62 new employees
- Expect to hire another 85 employees in 2019
- Created or retained approximately 382 local jobs in 2018, at least 251 of those LMI
- Connected with 51 local factories (17 members are now working with local suppliers)
- Invested $6.7M in local manufacturing contracts in 2018
- Plan to spend another $8.6M in 2019
“I feel more confident in local manufacturing as a viable option for our company (rather than outsourcing overseas) now that I know where the resources are located.” – Mylen Yamamoto, Cropmade
“We learned how to calculate the indirect expense of sending manufacturing overseas. Now we are looking to have the packaging…made in the States.” – Camilo Giraldo, LOTUS
“We realized we weren’t placing enough weight on how much customers are willing to pay. [It was a] rethink in how we’ve approached pricing that is really crucial for us as we look to expand our market.” – Lauren Hill, Bella Notte Linens
Our Catalyst Advisors
Our Catalyst Advisors came from a variety of industries and are experts in manufacturing and bringing products to market. They contributed more than 1,700 hours of pro-bono work to the MAKE IT IN LA community, including at least 150 one-on-one meetings with Catalyst Fellows.
We are grateful to our Catalyst Advisors: Kathy McIntyre, Michael Corr, Michael Polier, Mit Vyas, Sean Scott, Zack Hurley, Freya Estreller, Ed Lee, Gustavo Huber, Chad Tulloch, Adam Razik, Connie Huffa, Carolyn Casavan, Adrienne Lindgren, Iosefa Alofaituli, Tracy Gray, and Caue Suplicy.
Our Catalyst Fellows
Below are the 16 impressive entrepreneurs we selected as Catalyst Fellows. They are leading companies we believe have great potential to succeed and expand manufacturing in Los Angeles.
Thanks to our sponsors who made this program possible.
Gold level sponsors:
And thanks also to Red Bull, Kickstarter, and other generous supporters.