After a decade at Boeing, Cadena opened a shop incubating hardware innovators and businesses in Los Angeles. Make in L.A. is now a premiere leadership and business development operation. Before it was trendy, she co-founded Latinas in STEM. Cadena is a busy woman, and she keeps it on a level surrounded by the community she’s built in her backyard.
Noramay Cadena is an engineer, entrepreneur, investor, and former nonprofit leader. She’s the Cofounder and Managing Director of Make in LA, an early stage hardware accelerator and venture fund in Los Angeles. Since launching in 2015, Make in LA’s venture fund has invested over $1.5MM in seed stage companies who have have collectively raised over $25MM and created jobs across the United States and in several other countries.
Prior to cofounding Make in LA, Cadena spent over 10 years in aerospace with The Boeing Company. Her roles included technical oversight, shop floor operations management, and program management with profit and loss accountability over budgets of $20MM+ and the delivery of complex technical systems.
In the community, Cadena is active civically and in the nonprofit sector. She cofounded the Latinas in STEM Foundation in 2013 to inspire and empower Latinas to pursue and thrive in STEM fields and led the organization through 2015. She also serves on the Housing Authority Commission of Los Angeles and is a founding board member for a newly approved K-8 charter school in Los Angeles.
Cadena holds an MBA, a Master’s in Engineering Systems and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering – all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She’s been a featured speaker in many platforms across the country including TEDx and the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship – her talks and recognitions cover technical achievement, leadership, and overcoming obstacles. She’s also received numerous awards and recognitions including being named one of the top 26 women engineers to watch in 2016 by Business Insider, one of the top 20 Latinos in Tech by CNET in 2014 and receiving national awards by the Society of Women Engineers and Great Minds in STEM.