Working to Advance Economic Development in Northern New Mexico Since 1997

09 Feb


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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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 ( of Los Alamos’ Community Partnerships Office or Val Alonzo ( of the Regional Development Corporation.


About Los Alamos National Laboratory (

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 ( 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

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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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10 Jan

VAF Spotlight: EcoPesticides

EcoPesticides Poised to Impact the Biopesticides Market

Venture Acceleration Fund investment propels startup’s UV-protectant technology to market


Katherine Rodgers, EcoPesticides’ biological technologist, is excited about the future of the company and its potential to disrupt the entire biopesticides industry. Gesturing toward a mysterious-looking piece of equipment perched on a table within the Santa Fe Business Incubator (where the company is housed), she introduces it as a key element for their future disruption.


The equipment simulates the effect of sunlight in a controlled environment. It was purchased with funds from the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF), a program that provides seed money for early-stage startups and growth-oriented companies who often lack the collateral for debt financing. The equipment supports the company’s move out of research into the field-testing stage, and—eventually—into the marketplace


The VAF is a program administered by the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), an economic development organization tasked with supporting businesses who are creating jobs and attracting revenue to the Northern New Mexico region. EcoPesticides fit squarely within that model, and was awarded VAF funding in 2016.

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10 Jan

VAF Spotlight: Tibbar Plasma Technologies

Patenting, Supported by VAF Funding, is Key for Local Startup

Tibbar Plasma Technologies Leverages VAF Funding to Secure Intellectual Property


“A company is only worth what its intellectual property is worth,” said Dr. Richard Nebel, president of the Los Alamos-based startup Tibbar Plasma Technologies, Inc. “That’s what patenting is all about.”


For many early-stage technology companies, proof-of-concept is often more important than funding. Fortunately for Northern New Mexico companies like Dr. Nebel’s, both are available through the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) program.


The Regional Development Corporation (RDC), an economic development organization with a mission of creating high-paying jobs and attracting revenue in the Northern New Mexico region, has been the administrator of the VAF program since its inception in 2006.

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Working to Advance Economic Development in Northern New Mexico Since 1997