Working to Advance Economic Development in Northern New Mexico Since 1997

13 Jul

Companies to Watch: Taos Bee Flower

Taos Bee Flower Adds to Buzz Around Natural Product Manufacturing in Northern New Mexico

 

Moira O’Hanlon is turning the beekeeping enterprise she’s nurtured for 14 years into a growing business. Passionate about bees and the environment, she has created Taos Bee Flower to bring the pure, organic skin remedies she concocts in her Arroyo Seco orchard to market.

 

Rose Reza, business retention and expansion specialist with the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), mentored O’Hanlon through the Biz Sprint startup class offered by Taos Entrepreneurial Network (TEN).

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09 Jul

VAF Spotlight: Rio Grande Neurosciences

Rio Grande Neurosciences Paves the Way for New Central Nervous System Therapies Thanks to VAF Funding

 

“You need to have a concise, actionable plan,” he said. “You better practice talking about it.”

 

The practice paid off, and Rio Grande Neurosciences simply wouldn’t be where it is today without the assistance of the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF). The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) is the administrator of the VAF program. With a mission to create and retain high-paying jobs and attract revenue to the Northern New Mexico region, the RDC recognized the company’s potential to accomplish both these goals.

 

The VAF is the only program 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), the VAF has assisted Northern New Mexico businesses at critical junctures since its inception in 2006. The VAF receives additional support from Los Alamos County, Santa Fe County, City of Santa Fe Economic Development and New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

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09 Jul

VAF Spotlight: SportXast

SportXast Broadens the Playing Field for Student Athletes

Los Alamos startup’s innovative app helps teens share their own sports highlights

 

A boost of funding from a local organization that provides seed money for early-stage technology startups helped the founders of SportXast take their creation to the next level.

 

SportXast, an innovative app that lets anyone instantaneously capture the last eight seconds of a sporting event, was launched in 2013. The technology allowed an athlete’s parents, friends and others to capture, view and share video clips of the best moments in the game.

 

After its launch, SportXast CEO Molly Cernicek realized users wanted to do more with the videos they captured, so an online digital resume platform was built for teen athletes. Users can find clips taken with the app organized in a Game Clips library from their first game to their most important tournament. They can use these clips to create highlight reels in minutes and share them with everyone from proud grandparents to potential college coaches.

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09 Jul

Companies to Watch: Blue Feather Soap

Blue Feather Takes Flight, Makes Waves in Online Bodycare Market

 

What began as a hobby for Gillian Fryer in 2000 has flourished into a growing business that hails from headquarters in Taos. She started experimenting with lip balm recipes when she was living in Las Cruces, and quickly expanded into soap and lotions. Selling at the farmers markets in Mesilla and Las Cruces gave way to participating in craft fairs around the state.

 

After moving back to Taos permanently in 2012, Fryer and her husband Dan Bradford settled in with dual goals—building the business, and building the local collective economy in Taos. Fryer started attending Taos Entrepreneurial Network (TEN) meetings in 2012 when she moved back to town. She gives credit to TEN’s hands-on workshops as vital for helping her grow the business quickly.

 

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19 May

Six northern New Mexico businesses awarded funds to boost growth

Six northern New Mexico businesses awarded funds to boost growth

Venture Acceleration Fund awards companies from Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and San Miguel Counties

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., May 18, 2017—The Venture Acceleration Fund awarded a round of funding to six diverse northern New Mexico businesses. The VAF is a collaborative investment administered by the Regional Development Corporation (RDC).

“The Laboratory wants to support the region’s small businesses as much as possible, and the VAF plays a critical role in helping companies on a growth trajectory expand and contribute to the broader economy,” said David Pesiri, director of the Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is responsible for the Lab’s technology transfer initiatives.

The VAF was established in 2006 by Los Alamos National Security, LLC 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, Santa Fe County and New Mexico Gas Company in addition to continued support from Century Bank.

“Each year the VAF application process draws more and more qualified companies,” said Kathy Keith, director of Community Partnerships at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “This year, we’re proud to support these six awardees with capital that will allow them to grow and add new jobs more quickly.”

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19 May

Six Northern New Mexico Businesses Awarded Funds to Boost Growth

Venture Acceleration Fund awards companies from Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and San Miguel Counties

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., May 18, 2017—The Venture Acceleration Fund awarded a round of funding to six diverse northern New Mexico businesses. The VAF is a collaborative investment administered by the Regional Development Corporation (RDC).

“The Laboratory wants to support the region’s small businesses as much as possible, and the VAF plays a critical role in helping companies on a growth trajectory expand and contribute to the broader economy,” said David Pesiri, director of the Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is responsible for the Lab’s technology transfer initiatives.

The VAF was established in 2006 by Los Alamos National Security, LLC 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, Santa Fe County and New Mexico Gas Company in addition to continued support from Century Bank.

“Each year the VAF application process draws more and more qualified companies,” said Kathy Keith, director of Community Partnerships at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “This year, we’re proud to support these six awardees with capital that will allow them to grow and add new jobs more quickly.”

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21 Feb

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: VENTURE ACCELERATION FUND (VAF) NOW ACCEPTING 2017 APPLICATIONS

Española, New Mexico, February 21, 2017 – Applications are now being accepted for the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) from Northern New Mexican technology and manufacturing firms. Applications for the 2017 calendar year are due March 31st 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 eleventh 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. “We’re excited to be able to continue this program in 2017 because it has assisted many of our small businesses in Northern New Mexico at critical junctures.”

 

“The VAF has been a key source of seed financing for early-stage technology and manufacturing startups in the region, and has helped create and retain more than 488 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. 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, product launching or leveraging funding. This year LANS remains the primary funder, with additional funding from 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 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 technology and manufacturing 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, workshops on Market Strategy, Finance for Startups, and Pitch will be offered in March to help businesses address application issues most commonly cited by VAF review committee members. VAF applications are reviewed by a 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.vafnm.org.

 

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 administered by the Regional Development Corporation of Española, New Mexico. Visit www.vafnm.org.

 

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.

 

02 Feb

Two regional businesses receive Native American Venture Acceleration Fund award

Investing in Northern New Mexico’s economy through jobs, new revenue

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Feb. 2, 2017—Two Northern New Mexico Native American-owned and -operated businesses received $30,000 in grants through a Native American Venture Acceleration Fund created by Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) and the Regional Development Corporation (RDC).

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

To date, more than $280,000 has been invested in the northern area regional economy through the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund. Funding comes from LANS, which manages Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Regional Development Corporation manages the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund.

This year’s grant recipients are:

  • High Water Mark, LLC, Cochiti Pueblo: to purchase software and equipment that will enable the company to competitively bid for national federal contracts.
  • Picuris Pueblo Bison Project, Picuris Pueblo: equipment for expansion of the Bison Project, which has enabled the return of bison to the land.

“It’s always a pleasure to see the proposals from businesses that we have worked with. The growth this year’s winners are experiencing is very encouraging,” said Val Alonzo, RDC Executive Director. Continue Reading

18 Nov

Five Northern New Mexico Businesses Awarded Funds To Spur Economic Growth

Five Northern New Mexico Businesses Awarded Funds To Spur Economic Growth

Companies From Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Taos Awarded

Española, N.M., May 18, 2016— Five Northern New Mexico businesses have been named winners of this year’s Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) awards. Funded primarily by Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) and administered by the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), these awards are a collaborative investment with a shared goal of adding jobs and revenue to northern New Mexico.

“The success of the region depends in large part on the strength of its small businesses,” said David Pesiri, director of the Richard P. Feynman Center for Innovation at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is responsible for the Lab’s technology transfer initiatives. “The VAF plays a critical role in helping innovative companies grow and contribute to the broader economy.”

The 2016 awardees are EcoPesticides, Mora Valley Woodworking of Mora, Southwest PPE Services, Taos Mesa Brewing, and Tibbar Plasma Technologies.

Kathy Keith, Los Alamos’ director of Community Relations and Partnerships, stated, “LANS has supported the VAF for 10 years now because of its commitment to the community and its strong belief that supporting local businesses helps not just the businesses themselves, but the region as a whole.”

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26 Oct

Two Additional Northern New Mexico Businesses Receive VAF Awards In Second Disbursement of 2016

Two Additional Northern New Mexico Businesses Receive VAF Awards In Second Disbursement of 2016

Companies From Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Taos Awarded

Española, N.M., October 26, 2016—The Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) awarded a second round of funding, resulting in two additional awards to Santa Fe-based companies:

  • NTxBIO, Santa Fe: manufacturer of biologically significant molecules with pharmaceutical market potential in both private industries and government.
  • Reverse Engineer Lab, Santa Fe: developer of reverse mortgage educational software with licensing capabilities that will help homeowners make informed decisions about using home equity in retirement.

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Working to Advance Economic Development in Northern New Mexico Since 1997