RFP: Native American Venture Acceleration Fund
The Regional Development Corporation in partnership with the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Security, LLC seeks to further the development of tribally held businesses in Northern New Mexico as a way of creating jobs and diversifying the economy.
Purpose: The Native American Venture Acceleration Fund will make awards to companies owned by a federally recognized Indian tribe or businesses owned by an enrolled member(s) of a federally recognized Indian tribe for critical technical services that lead to increased revenues and employment for the company. Awards are made on a competitive basis and are intended to provide services to tribal business entities that allow the company to diversify revenue, leverage other investments, create new jobs and have systems in place that lead to growth.
Award Size: $1,000 Up to $20,000
- Business enterprise must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a tribal member
- A tribal member or corporation of the Pueblos of Nambe, Ohkay, Picuris, Santa Clara, Pojoaque, Taos, San Ildefonso, Tesuque, Cochiti or Jemez.
- Company must be located in the counties of Sandoval, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, San Miguel, Mora, Rio Arriba or Taos.
- Entities which have been awarded in the past are eligible to apply again as long as the company successfully completed prior awards and proposal is for a new line of business or initiative.
Awards may be used to procure equipment or specialized services which will lead to increased revenues and employees. Some examples of the authorized specialty services are listed below. Please note, if you do not see a service you would like to have assistance with please contact us to see if it is an approved service:
- Business Consultants
- Marketing Experts
- Website Developers
- Horticulture Consultants
Awards will not be issued nor approved to pay for regular operating expenses, salaries, gaming, alcohol, tobacco, illegal activities or proposals from a previously awarded entity for the same line of business or initiative. Funding will not be made directly to awardees.
Proposals which meet the eligibility requirements will be evaluated by a committee of local or regional business experts. Proposals will be evaluated on their potential to create new jobs, increase or diversify revenues for the company, and leverage other investments. Scoring will be based on both the written proposal and the oral presentation.
Written Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm, October 20, 2017.
For those selected as finalists, oral presentation will begin the week of November 13, 2017.
Instructions to Apply
To apply for the Native American VAF funding, download this document which can be found at www.rdcnm.org, fill in each question below, and e-mail the document to Carla D. Abeyta at Regional Development Corporation, firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 pm on October 20, 2017 . Please use the subject line “Native American VAF Application” in your e-mail. You will receive a reply e-mail acknowledging your application. The application should not exceed three (3) single-spaced pages. You will be asked to elaborate on the same questions in a presentation and interview if you are selected as a finalist.
- Company Description (up to 10 points)
Describe your proposed or existing company, including:
- Names of owners of the company
- Complete contact information for proposal (contact name, mailing address, phone and e-mail)
- Percentage of company owned by a tribal member
- Tribal affiliation of the owners
- Has the company received a previous award through the Native American VAF? If so, for how much and what were the impacts of the award?
- Date business established
- Location (physical address or addresses of the business)
- Number of employees
- Company mission and/or product offerings (briefly)
- Development status of product or service for which Native American VAF funding is sought
- Annual revenues (if applicable)
- Project Description (up to 20 points)
Provide a summary of the proposed project. The summary should “tell a story” and should be written so that a non-technical person can understand it. The summary may be used later, in whole or in part, in public documents, including press releases, and shall not contain proprietary/trade secret information. The summary should:
- State the amount of funds you are requesting and include a detailed budget.
- Define the business problem you are addressing for the use of Native American VAF funds. (briefly)
- Define your solution. (briefly)
- Describe how the proposed project will increase revenues and total number of company employees both short and long term.
- Describe the significant regional economic and strategic benefits of the proposed project for New Mexico.
- Milestones and Use of Funds (up to 20 points)
Describe the milestones to be completed for the project:
- Describe how the Native American VAF funds will be used and why these funds are critical at this time.
- Describe commercial and technical challenges to be addressed and why solutions to these challenges will increase company revenues and employees.
- State the tasks to be completed and the milestones to be achieved. Include a tentative timeline.
- Describe the expertise of specific firm or entity that will provide technical assistance.
- Give a cost estimate for the work or provide a proposed budget for funding requested.
Milestones are short-term, well defined, goal-oriented events. For example, good milestones might include the following:
- Constructing a prototype within 12 months of receiving Native American VAF award
- Providing specialized training to be completed by a specified date
- Developing a marketing strategy for a new product
Milestones unacceptable for Native American VAF include:
- General development work
- Time-specified rather than task-specified work
- Work for which a tangible result cannot be communicated
- Commercial Impact (up to 20 points)
The proposed project must demonstrate its ability to generate revenue and have a compelling market need. The proposed project’s product or service should be well defined or developed. Some examples of pertinent questions to answer to demonstrate a compelling market need include:
- What problem, for what customer, do you want to solve? How does the Native American VAF project get you closer to solving the problem?
- Who are your competitors?
- Who might purchase the product or service being developed?
- Is your market segment and the overall market growing? If so, how fast?
- Why will people switch from the current solution to your proposed solution?
- What unique advantages does your product or service provide?
- Regional Impact (up to 20 points)
The proposed project should offer value and economic potential that can further develop the New Mexico economy. To the extent possible, quantify the impact by estimating new job creation, new product sales, new investments in the company and/or the region, new regional facilities, etc. Projects that offer primary impact to the economy of Northern New Mexico will be given high priority.
- Team Composition (up to 10 points)
The applicant shall identify the principals who will work on this project and, if applicable, the company’s management team with roles and responsibilities described.
- Include a short, one-paragraph description summarizing the technical, management, business experience and capabilities of the principals.
Written Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm, October 20, 2017. For those selected as finalists, oral presentation will begin the week of November 13, 2017.
For more information about the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund, please contact:
- Carla D. Abeyta, 505-927-8378, email@example.com
- Vangie Trujillo, 505-665-4284, firstname.lastname@example.org
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