Working to Advance Economic Development in Northern New Mexico Since 1997

11 Jul

2018 Request for Proposals: Native American Venture Acceleration Fund (NAVAF)

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

 

Eligible Applicants:

  • 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:

  • Accountants
  • 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.

 

Selection Process:

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.

 

 

Deadline: 

Written Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm, August 3, 2018.

For those selected as finalists, oral presentation will take place August 20-23.

 

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 Val Alonzo at the Regional Development Corporation, val@rdcnm.org by 5:00 pm on August 3, 2018.  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.

 

  1. 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)

 

  1. 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.

 

 

  1. 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

 

  1. 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?

 

  1. 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.

 

 

  1. 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.

 

Deadline: 

Written Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm, August 3, 2018.

For those selected as finalists, oral presentation will -take place August 20-23.

 

 

For more information about the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund, please contact: Val Alonzo, 505-231-3550, val@rdcnmn.org, or Vangie Trujillo with Los Alamos National Laboratory at 505-665-4284, vangie@lanl.gov

 

11 Jun

Seven Northern New Mexico Businesses Awarded Funds to Boost Growth

Seven Northern New Mexico Businesses Awarded Funds to Boost Growth

Venture Acceleration Fund awards companies from Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Taos and Los Alamos Counties

Española, N.M., June 11, 2018—The Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) awarded a round of funding to seven diverse northern New Mexico businesses. The VAF awards are a collaborative investment in the region’s economy and are managed by the Regional Development Corporation (RDC). Established by Los Alamos National Laboratory operator Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) in 2006, the RDC has been working with VAF community partner investors to add jobs in Northern New Mexico since its inception.

“This year’s seven winners promise a lot of growth to our northern New Mexico region,” said Val Alonzo, executive director of the RDC. “The seed capital that VAF provides is often critical to early-stage companies and helps create jobs in the area.”

The 2018 Venture Acceleration Fund awardees, located in four counties in northern New Mexico, represent a broad range of business pursuits, from chocolate production to custom antibody libraries for the biopharmaceutical industry. The selected companies are:

    • Chokola Bean to Bar, Taos: a small-batch, organic, crafted, bean-to-bar chocolate maker. The award will be used to purchase equipment to increase capacity and reduce process time in order to meet production demand.
    • HoneyMoon Brewery, Santa Fe: pioneers of an innovative and proprietary fermentation technique, marrying the traditions of wine, beer, and kombucha brewing into a new adult beverage category. The funding will be used to purchase and install brewing production equipment at the company’s tasting room in Santa Fe.
    • NeuroGeneces, LLC, Santa Fe: developer and manufacturer of a device that strengthens slow-wave sleep. The funding will be used to conduct pilot testing.
    • Rancho Manzanares, Rio Arriba: sustainable farming enterprise producing quality pastured meat products. The award will be used to purchase equipment to expand product lines.
    • Santa Fe Spirits, LLC, Santa Fe: manufacturer of craft spirits including whiskey, vodka and gin. The funding will be used to purchase equipment to increase production and expand sales outside New Mexico.
    • Specifica, Inc., Santa Fe and Los Alamos: developer of custom human antibody libraries for the biopharmaceutical industry. VAF funding will be used to build a new “Generation 3” library.
    • Verde Food Company, Santa Fe: organic café and manufacturer of cold-pressed juice. Funding will be used on a delivery truck to increase distribution.

This year, the Regional Development Corporation hosted workshops to address issues common to startups and improve VAF applications. Topics covered in workshops included lean start-up methodology, market assessment and strategy, finance, and the basics of equity investing and intellectual property.

“The Laboratory wants to support the region’s businesses as much as possible,” said Kathy Keith, director of the Community Partnerships Office at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “Each year the VAF application process draws more and more qualified companies. Los Alamos National Security invests in the VAF to provide capital to companies that allows them to grow, add new jobs more quickly, and contribute to the broader economy.”

To date, the VAF program has assisted 66 New Mexico companies through marketing and technology development activities such as proof-of-concept, prototyping, developing market share, product launch or leveraging funding. The VAF award is structured as a zero-interest loan, with repayment required only if a company is acquired, leaves New Mexico within a certain timeframe or fails to provide support to the northern New Mexico startup community.

Originally created to commercialize technologies developed at the Laboratory, the Venture Acceleration Fund has diversified from exclusively funding technology companies to include businesses that manufacture and sell products outside New Mexico. Those companies not selected for an award are often connected with other resources that can help them meet their goals.

 

About the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF)

The VAF was established in 2006 by Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the company that manages Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), to stimulate the economy by supporting growth-oriented companies. This year, partners who invested alongside LANS include the City of Santa Fe, Los Alamos County, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and Santa Fe County. Learn more at www.rdcnm.org/vaf.

About the Regional Development Corporation

The Regional Development Corporation is a non-profit economic development organization based in Española, New Mexico, with the mission of creating jobs and attracting additional revenue to the northern New Mexico region. Learn more at www.rdcnm.org.

09 Feb

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: VENTURE ACCELERATION FUND (VAF)

NOW ACCEPTING 2018 APPLICATIONS
Applications Due March 12, 2018

Española, New Mexico, February 9, 2018 – Applications are now being accepted for the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) from Northern New Mexican technology and manufacturing firms. Applications for the 2018 calendar year are due March 12th to the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), the program’s administrator. Selected companies will receive financial awards to assist in taking their innovations to market more quickly. The median award amount has averaged $36,000.

“This is the twelfth year that Los Alamos National Security, the company that manages the Laboratory, will invest in northern New Mexico companies and entrepreneurs,” said Kathy Keith, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Partnerships Office. “The VAF has provided valuable assistance to many of our small businesses in Northern New Mexico as they grow and create new jobs.”

“At the RDC, one of our primary concerns is jobs for Northern New Mexico, and the VAF program has helped create and retain more than 693 jobs since the program launched in 2006,” said Val Alonzo, Executive Director of the RDC.

History
Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) launched the VAF in 2006 and the RDC has been the fund’s administrator since its inception. Since then, the VAF program has assisted 60 New Mexico companies through marketing and technology development activities such as proof-of-concept, prototyping, developing market share, launching products or leveraging funding. This year funding LANS remains the primary funder with additional funding provided by the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, Los Alamos County, and the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Eligibility
To be eligible to apply for VAF, companies must be technology or manufacturing firms and must be headquartered in one of seven northern New Mexico counties-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Taos, San Miguel and Mora. Preference is given to firms that can demonstrate their ability to stimulate job growth and attract additional revenue to the region. To accommodate the increasing number of applicants, past VAF awardees are not be eligible to reapply.

Structure
The VAF award is structured with repayment required only if a company is acquired, leaves New Mexico, or fails to provide mutually agreed-upon support to northern New Mexico’s start-up community. The repayment trigger was instituted in 2013 to help make the fund sustainable and support future entrepreneurs.

This year the RDC is offering Market Strategy and Finance for Startups in February to help businesses address application issues most commonly cited by VAF review committee members. VAF applications are reviewed by an independent panel comprised of entrepreneurs, investors and economic development professionals. Those companies not selected for a VAF award are often connected with other resources that can help them meet their goals.

More information about the Venture Acceleration Fund, including the VAF application, terms and conditions, eligibility criteria, and workshop schedule are found at www.rdcnm.org/vaf.

About the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF)
The VAF is a collaborative investment established by Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) in 2006. This year LANS, along with funding partners Los Alamos County, the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, and the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) are investing in the economic health of New Mexico via their support of growth-oriented companies. The fund is managed by the Regional Development Corporation of Española, New Mexico. Visit www.rdcnm.org/vaf.

About the Regional Development Corporation (RDC)
The Regional Development Corporation is a non-profit economic development organization based in Española, New Mexico, focused on creating a diverse and sustainable economy in northern New Mexico. Visit www.rdcnm.org.

30 Jan

Grants Spur Growth in Pueblo Businesses

 

Investments in Northern New Mexico help create jobs, boost revenue

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Jan 23, 2018—A record nine Northern New Mexico Native American–owned and –operated businesses have received a total of more than $50,000 in the 2018 grants from the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund. The fund was created by Los Alamos National Laboratory operator Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) and the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) to help the recipients create jobs, increase their revenue base and diversify the area economy.

“These investments create jobs for pueblo-owned businesses and help strengthen the area’s economy,” said Kathy Keith, director of the Community Partnerships Office at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

To date, more than $330,000 has been invested in the regional economy through the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund. The investment comes from LANS, and the fund is managed by the Regional Development Corporation, as part of its work assisting Northern New Mexico communities and small businesses with economic development activities, furthering job creation in the region.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Cochiti Pueblo Development Corporation, Cochiti Pueblo: to purchase a water metering and billing system for a water conservation program with tiered billing that will save water and increase revenues.
  • High Water Mark, LLC, Cochiti Pueblo: to purchase hardware and software that will support the company’s growth as they work on federal contracts.
  • Jacqueline Gala Jewelry, Taos Pueblo: to purchase a ventilation exhaust to ensure safety and a buffing machine that can be used indoors, allowing year-round production.
  • Jemez Community Development Corporation, Jemez Pueblo: to help with website development and graphic design to raise awareness of the corporation.
  • Native Arts Gallery, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo: to implement an inventory control system and purchase a computer/printer to manage costs and increase revenue, with a view to hiring another employee.
  • R and M Construction, LLC, Santa Clara Pueblo: to fund development of a marketing strategy and website to improve outreach and grow the business.
  • Smoke Signals Peacepipe Production Company, Taos Pueblo: to support an upgrade to the company’s workshop, making production more efficient, and to fund website development that enables online ordering.
  • Taos Pueblo Preservation, Taos Pueblo: to purchase construction material for a shed to protect the organization’s adobe and viga/latilla inventory used for restoration efforts by homeowners and Preservation employees.
  • Tiwa Restaurant and Outdoor Oven Bakery, Taos Pueblo: to purchase kitchen equipment to help share traditional culinary arts, and to improve public spaces around the outdoor ovens.

“Native American entrepreneurs are building new companies and creating new jobs. We’re happy the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund can play a role in supporting these successes,” said Val Alonzo, executive director of the RDC.

In addition to the financial support, grant recipients will also be provided with technical assistance from the RDC and other organizations.

More information about the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund is available from Vangie Trujillo (vangie@lanl.gov) of Los Alamos’ Community Partnerships Office or Val Alonzo (val@rdcnm.org) of the Regional Development Corporation.

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About Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.gov)

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, the Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS Corporation for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and global security concerns.

About the Regional Development Corporation

The Regional Development Corporation (www.rdcnm.org) is a non-profit economic development organization based in Española, N.M., with the mission of creating jobs and attracting additional revenue to the Northern New Mexico region.

 

10 Jan

AllTherm/SolarLogic Merges With AMENERGY

AllTherm/SolarLogic Merges With AMENERGY; Forms New Mexico’s First Comprehensive Renewable Energy Company

 

In recent years, AllTherm/SolarLogic has attracted the attention of the Northern New Mexico business and economic development community. Since the solar hydronic technology company was founded in Santa Fe in 2008 by Bristol Stickney and Fred Milder, it has steadily set the standard for integrated solar heating systems. The company began to attract notice not only for its innovations, but for its steady job growth.

 

This is what led to the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) honoring SolarLogic with a Northern New Mexico 20/20 Campaign award, designed to recognize high-growth companies adding jobs and increasing revenue to the region, in 2015. Previously, SolarLogic received two New Mexico Small Business Administration (NMSBA) grants. The family of solar hydronic heating products the company has developed and manufactures offer unprecedented ease-of-use and flexibility for customers. Continue Reading

10 Jan

VAF Spotlight: Southwest PPE

Venture Acceleration Fund Boosts Growth for Southwest PPE

Espanola business blazes forward with new equipment, software with VAF investment

 

Southwest Personal Protective Ensembles (PPE) is on fire this year. The division of Española’s Mountain Air Cleaners that is fully certified to clean, inspect, repair and reconstruct personal protective ensembles was granted a zero-interest loan by the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) in 2016.

 

Southwest PPE cleans and repairs the suits that firefighters use to fight both structural and proximity fires as well as forest fires and wildfires. Six years into the company’s evolution, employees and owners noticed that human error plus the sheer amount of time spent on paper billing were obstructing potential growth for the company.

 

Enter the VAF, the only organization in Northern New Mexico that provides seed money for early-stage technology startups and growth-oriented business who lack the collateral for debt financing. Funded primarily by Los Alamos National Security (LANS) and administered by the nonprofit Regional Development Corporation (RDC), the VAF has assisted Northern New Mexico businesses at critical junctures since its inception in 2006. This year, LANS is joined by Los Alamos County, the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, and the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) as funding partners.

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10 Jan

VAF Spotlight: Vizzia Technologies

VAF Funding Helped to Fuel Vizzia Technology’s “Internet of Things” Laboratory

Tech company’s focus on giving back to the community energizes Northern NM economy and brings internship and job opportunities to STEM students

 

Vizzia Technologies is a boon to the Northern New Mexico business community. Locally minded, and committed to the people it employs, the company is rooted in Santa Fe but has a global marketplace. Formed in 2005, Vizzia Technologies is a leading provider of RTLS (real-time location systems) and RFID (radio frequency identification) equipment tracking mechanisms for the healthcare field

Continue Reading

10 Jan

VAF Spotlight: UbiQD

UbiQD Expects its Quantum Dot Technology Will Soon Be Ubiquitous

Startup founder says VAF helped the company fast-track growth

 

UbiQD’s name is a play on the words “ubiquitous quantum dots,” and ubiquitous is exactly what Dr. Hunter McDaniel wants his company’s product to be.

 

“We make quantum dots that are going to be everywhere in all sorts of different applications,” he said. “The quantum dots that are on the market today are toxic, expensive, and sometimes unstable. We’ve solved those problems with a new class of materials that have low-toxicity, long-term stability, and are inexpensive by comparison. This is enabling new products.”

 

Quantum dots are colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals—vanishingly small nanoparticles of material. According to UbiQD’s website, “simply put, quantum dots are nanomaterials reshaping how we use color and light.” UbiQD is targeting different quantum dot applications than other companies because their patented technology does not include toxic heavy metals like cadmium and lead, which are found in previous generations of quantum dots.

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10 Jan

VAF Spotlight: Reverse Engineer Lab

With the Help of the VAF, Santa Fe Software Startup Advocates for Senior Citizens

Reverse Engineer Lab’s innovative app helps increase understanding of reverse mortgages

 

For Melissa and Pilar Patterson-Kling, trying to help family members with finances presented a career opportunity. About five years ago, they were in the process of deciding what professional field to move into next when both their mothers asked them about how reverse mortgages worked.

 

Their mothers, who are in their 70s and 80s, needed help paying their property taxes—big monthly bills to support on retiree incomes. The Patterson-Klings said they’d help them understand the process, but had no idea that the learning curve would be so steep.

 

It took six months for the Patterson-Klings to gain a basic understanding. “The only organizations we could find any information from were lenders, and the last thing you want to do is be educated by the salesperson,” Melissa said. Continue Reading

10 Jan

VAF Spotlight: NTXBio

Drug Development Startup Uses VAF Funding to Secure Patents

 

The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) is tasked with supporting growth-oriented industries in Northern New Mexico. Businesses in the region benefit from close proximity to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and the area has become a hotbed of technological development.

 

Last year, NTxBIO emerged as a natural leader for the scientific community in Northern New Mexico. The RDC administers the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) program, aimed at supporting companies that are creating high-paying jobs and attracting revenue to the Northern New Mexico region. In 2016, NTxBIO was recognized as one of the VAF winners when the RDC acknowledged the company’s potential to accomplish both these goals.

 

NTxBio is a revolutionary drug-development company with a system the company has created that dramatically cuts the time it takes to identify and develop new drugs. Older methods can take up to eight years, but at NTxBio, the average time has been cut to a year and a half.

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Working to Advance Economic Development in Northern New Mexico Since 1997