News

Home / Archive by category "News"
Chancellor’s Corner

Chancellor’s Corner

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center continues to do great work, not just for the university but for the state of New Mexico as well. Earlier this year, the Arrowhead Technology Incubator launched a new program called AgSprint to offer help for companies developing innovative ideas in agricultural technology. Now, I’m delighted to report that from 46 applications from teams based around the globe, six startups were selected for the program. These companies are developing technology in various areas of agriculture and include:
  • Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch – Colorado’s first and only edible insect farm, which sells edible insects to restaurants, food manufacturers and others.
  • Wildlife Protection Management – a platform to manage and protect wildlife using non-invasive, humane means.
  • Ag Coalition – a digital marketplace where suppliers, producers and retailers review, evaluate, purchase and conduct business in the agricultural supply chain.
  • Revolution Agriculture – creates organic farms that produce eight times the yield per square foot, run 100 percent on renewable energy, use 90 percent less water, and empower communities to solve food insecurity issues.  
  • Gonzo Farms – created the Eddy 2.0 Vortex Brewer, which increases beneficial microbes and fungi for optimum reproduction in soil.
  • Enchanted Seeds and Sustainable Management – offers a management decision platform and certification program to help producers identify potential products while considering economics and future agricultural production.
The AgSprint accelerator supports innovation in agriculture by connecting agricultural entrepreneurs to financing, demonstration and validation partners, academic faculty, corporate partners and more.

The program follows the I-Corps model to test the feasibility of the venture. I-Corps is a National Science Foundation initiative to leverage university research to create new innovative businesses and increase the economic impact of inventions created at research institutions around the country. NMSU is one of only 51 academic institutions nationwide to be selected as an I-Corps Site.


Graduates of the AgSprint accelerator will receive $2,000 and the necessary National Science Foundation lineage to apply for the $50,000 national I-Corps program. Additionally, applicants will be able to receive up to three micro-grants, valued at $650, to cover the expenses of professional services such as technical writing, website development, counsel on patents and technology licensing, and regulatory consulting.


Funding for AgSprint is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center program and New Mexico Gas Co. For more information, visit
http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/agsprint/
Micro ranches and these other agriculture startups are nothing to chirp at

Micro ranches and these other agriculture startups are nothing to chirp at

New Mexico’s first agriculture technology accelerator has selected its cohort of startups — and they’re nothing to chirp at.

The Las Cruces-based Arrowhead Center first announced its agtech program, called AgSprint, in February. Of the nearly 50 applications received from around the country and the world, six were selected, five from the Land of Enchantment. The sixth — Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch — hails from Denver and offers an alternative source of protein.

The micro ranch raises and sells “microlivestock” in the form of crickets, waxworms and mealworms. But you won’t find the last two referred as such on any menu. Instead, the startup has created more marketable names for them: galleria and molitos.

Wendy Lu McGill, founder and CEO of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, said the company’s product has been received well in Denver. Since launching in 2015, the two-person team has gained five Denver-area restaurants as customers. Among them is Linger, a high-end establishment that has made headlines for serving the startup’s insects. She hopes to possibly set up shop in New Mexico, creating jobs in the process.

“Crickets are relatively easy to raise,” McGill said. “They’re also arguably the most popular edible insect in North America right now.”

She told Albuquerque Business First the micro ranch has held up to 250,000 crickets at one time. They have seen up to $5,000 in revenues so far, but McGill expects that to increase after the ranch graduates from AgSprint in about four months.

“We’re are learning so much through the customer discovery process and really questioning our basic business theory,” she said.

Raising and harvesting crickets is substantially more sustainable than traditional livestock, McGill said. For example, it takes 22,000 liters of water to produce 10,000 grams of feed to get one kilogram of beef. Alternatively, less than one liter of water for 1,700 grams of feed is needed for one kilogram of cricket protein production, according to the micro ranch’s website.

Bonus fact: RMMR’s microlivestock are usually fed leftover grains from Denver microbreweries and distilleries.

The other AgSprint startups are:

  • Wildlife Protection Management — offers a platform to manage and protect wildlife using non-invasive humane means, making it easier, more comprehensive and affordable to set goals for species populations and habitat health.
  • Ag Coalition — offers a digital marketplace where all parties, from suppliers to producers to retailers, may review, evaluate, purchase, and otherwise conduct business in the agricultural supply chain.
  • Revolution Agriculture — creates closed-system, organic farms that produce eight times the yield per square foot, run 100 percent on renewable energy, use 90 percent less water and empower communities to solve food insecurity locally and in any environment.
  • Gonzo Farms — created the Eddy 2.0 Vortex Brewer, which increases beneficial microbes and fungi for optimum reproduction in soil.
  • Enchanted Seeds and Sustainable Management — offers a management decision platform and certification program that helps agricultural producers properly identify potential products to reach sustainability while considering economics and future agricultural production.

Zetdi Sloan, director of Arrowhead’s Technology Incubator, previously told Business First there has been a greater global need for agtech recently. AgSprint was created to meet that demand, making it the 12th similar program in the country.

New Mexico generates $6 billion in revenue through agriculture alone, according to NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. When food processing is included, that raises the number to about $11 billion.

Team expertise, scalability and potential economic impact were among the top factors judges took into consideration, Sloan said.

“A portion of the review process [for participants] was trying to understand how our resources and assets in this state and within our regional partners’ network would benefit the applicants and their teams,” Sloan said.

The six startups will be awarded $2,000 each if they complete the first five weeks of the AgSprint curriculum, receive business mentoring and space in which to test their products.

At the end of the program in August, the companies could also become eligible to join the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps Program — called I-Corps — and possibly receive up to $50,000 in funding.

Sloan said the Arrowhead Center will open applications for a health technology program once AgSprint wraps up. The dates for that have not been finalized.

Creating such an accelerator would follow a rising trend in New Mexico, showing a budding spotlight on the state’s health and bioscience industries. Last month, ABQid announced it was going to become a health and wellness accelerator for the next three years. Last week, Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law a bill that sets into motion the establishment of an official bioscience authority in New Mexico.

A unique NM startup program is attracting companies from around the world

A unique NM startup program is attracting companies from around the world

Feb 22, 2017 | Mary Ortega

In a first for New Mexico, an agriculture-focused startup program is coming home to roost.

New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center in Las Cruces is accepting applications from agriculture technology-related companies around the globe through March 10. Ten companies, regardless of their stage, location or size, will be chosen for the five-month program known as AgSprint.

Zetdi Sloan, director of Arrowhead’s Technology Incubator, said there has been a greater global need for agriculture technology — called “agtech” — recently. AgSprint was created to meet that demand, making it the 12th similar program in the country.

“There’s been a greater emphasis on ag technology around the world that can assist with bringing food to market in a much more efficient way as population continues to grow,” Sloan said. “And because of that, you’re seeing a lot of investment interest starting to pop up.”

Global investment in agriculture technology reached a historical high with $25 billion in 2015, according to Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs Group predicts the market could be worth $240 billion by 2050.

Sloan said NMSU was also receiving requests from all over the state to have an agtech-focused program. New Mexico generates $6 billion in revenue through agriculture alone, according to NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. When food processing is included, that raises the number to about $11 billion.

Sloan stopped short of calling the five-month-long program an accelerator because, she said, companies who merely have a concept or who are on a much larger scale are eligible as well. AgSprint will provide participants with a curriculum, $2,000 in funding and business development assistance.

So far, more than 30 companies have applied. About a third of those applicants, Sloan said, are based outside of the United States. A dozen of them are New Mexico-based, but she added that she would like to see more in-state companies apply as well.

With funding for the initiative coming from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s University Center Economic Development Program and from the New Mexico Gas Company, any applicants outside of the state have to be ready to give back.

“We will only select companies outside of New Mexico that will have some kind of economic benefit to the state,” Sloan said. “We hope that means either relocating and headquartering in New Mexico or establishing teams here.”

Some things Arrowhead is looking for are for-profit companies with a scalable business model and who meet the center’s technology-focused areas, which are outlined on its website.

Arrowhead has partnered with the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, which will provide space where each company can test their products.

Each participant will also be able to pitch to the Arrowhead investment fund, possibly earning them $25,000 to $150,000.

Applications will close March 10 and AgSprint will begin March 31.

Ag Industry Brief: Agtech Accelerators Launch & Expand, Syngenta Launches AI Challenge, Vestaron’s New Hire, more

Ag Industry Brief: Agtech Accelerators Launch & Expand, Syngenta Launches AI Challenge, Vestaron’s New Hire, more

  | 

Nuritas Founder Named Woman of the Decade at Women Economic Forum

Founder and chief scientific officer at Nuritas, a digital biotechnology startup, received the Woman of the Decade in Business and Leadership award at the Women Economic Forum EU event at The Hague. Read more about the award at the two-day event aggregating 400 people from around the region here.

Syngenta & AI for Good Foundation launch new AI Challenge to Tackle Global Hunger with Machine Learning

Global agricultural chemical maker Syngenta and the AI for Good Foundation have partnered to launch the Syngenta AI Challenge, a new international competition focused on leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for use in seed breeding. The competition is accepting submissions from applicants who are ready to put their programming skills to the test for the chance to win $7,500.

Rabobank and RocketSpace Add Six Global Corporations to Terra

Terra, a food and agtech accelerator, has added six global corporations to participate in its inaugural cohort.

  • AgroFresh (U.S.A.) – a global horticultural producer
  • Beta San Miguel (Mexico) – a  leading sugar company in Mexico
  • Givaudan (Switzerland) – manufacturer of flavors and fragrances
  • Griffith Foods (U.S.A.) – customized food ingredient systems
  • Grupo Azucarero Mexico/CULTIBA (Mexico) –  vertically integrated sugar and bioenergy company
  • OSI Group (U.S.A.) – value-added protein item supplier for foodservice and retail brands

Read more here.

New Mexico State University Launches New AgSprint Accelerator

AgSprint is a new five-month accelerator program through Arrowhead Technology Incubator at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, which is the economic development engine of the university. Funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, AgSprint hopes to align a vast array of resources to support innovation in agricultural technology. Read more about the program and how to apply here.

Foodworks Shakes Up the Food Space with Digital and Physical Hub to Help Food Businesses Launch

Foodworks, a Brooklyn-based resource has launched offering physical cooking space and digital infrastructure to help nascent food entrepreneurs, is hoping to change how the food industry connects not just businesses, but wholesale buyers, production facilities, and potential investors as well. The company currently operates its first kitchen called Brooklyn Foodworks, a 10,000-sq. ft. incubator kitchen and commissary space in Bedstuy. Read more about the company here.

AgLaunch Announces 2017 Programs, Applications Now Open

Applications are now open for AgLaunch’s 2017 accelerator offering $50,000 of investment. This year, the program has developed three models: AgLaunch Accelerator, AgLaunch Farmer Network, and AgLaunch Startup Station. Learn more about each and apply here.

Vestaron Adds Agricultural Deal Making Expert to Team

Vestaron Corporation has added technology acquisition and business development expert Dr. Andy Renz to its Executive Team. Renz has more than a decade of experience in international deal-making for agricultural solutions companies – both from a multi-national corporation and a start-up company perspective. Read more here.

Judge Rules California Can Require Cancer Warning for Glyphosate Containing RoundUp

A judge in Sacramento ruled that California can require Monsanto to label its Roundup product as a potential cancer threat despite insistence by the St. Louis-based company that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, poses no risk. Read more about the ruling here.

Hormel Catches Heat for Undercover Video Showing Alleged Animal Rights Abuses

An animal rights group released an undercover video this week allegedly showing employees at a pig raising facility beating and dragging the pigs. The facility provides pigs to Hormel, a major pork products maker. Hormel has denied the allegations, but has suspended its purchases of pork from the facility and has sent a third-party certifier to investigate the practices used at the facility. Read more here.

Other News That’s Fit to Chew

  • A lawmaker in Montana is making another push to legalize unpasteurized milk, reports Food Safety News.
  • Scotts Miracle-Gro reports success in hydroponics sector and has no plans to slow down, reports The Cannabist.
  • Impossible Foods plant-based burger is now being served at a Michelin-starred restaurant, reports FastCo Exist.
  • Coconut water maker Vita Coco is rumored to be exploring a sale at a $1 billion valuation, reports Reuters.
  • The rise of Agrihoods could help spawn the next frontier of urban revitalization, says Civil Eats.

Have company news? Email Media@AgFunderNews.com

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center launches AgSprint program to support innovation in agriculture

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center launches AgSprint program to support innovation in agriculture

FEB 5, 2017

A new program by New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center is offering help to those looking to develop innovative ideas related to agricultural technology.

The Arrowhead Technology Incubator is launching AgSprint, a five-month venture builder program designed to support innovation in agriculture, early this spring. AgSprint acts as a facilitator, connecting agricultural entrepreneurs to financing, demonstration and validation partners, academic faculty, corporate partners and more.

“The ideal candidate would be someone who is very driven, seeking capital, industry connections and/or development partners, and is who is very passionate about contributing to efficiency and productivity in agriculture,” said Zetdi Sloan, director of Arrowhead Technology Incubator. “Ag tech applicants run the gamut from basic business operations – reducing paperwork, improving productivity and enabling e-commerce – to specialties such as drone and robotic technology for overseeing fields, moisture levels, pesticide and fertilizer usage and equipment, as well as for developing new seed varieties and predicting crop yields and commodity prices.”

Sloan said that the initial three weeks of the program will follow the ICORPS model that tests the feasibility of the venture. Graduates will receive $2,000 and the necessary National Science Foundation lineage to apply for the $50,000 national ICORPS program. Additionally, applicants will be able to receive up to three micro-grants, valued at $650, to cover the expenses of professional services such as technical writing, website development, counsel on patents and technology licensing, and regulatory consulting. Those who show promise will also be invited to continue the program for the next four months. Participants are able to access the program remotely.

AgSprint is of particular importance to NMSU as the university board of regents oversees both the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Rolando Flores, dean of ACES, is supportive of AgSprint.

“One of the college’s priorities is in the area of value added,” Flores said. “AgSprint is a great avenue for our faculty to contribute their knowledge and expertise to advance agribusiness initiatives that can positively impact the economy of our state.”

AgSprint-supported ventures will receive customized support tailored to each entrepreneur’s unique path to business development and financial success. Along with the Arrowhead Investment Fund, AgSprint can tap into private, state and federal funding, curate a list of opportunities and assist with proposal/pitch development to make time-to-market more efficient.

Founded by civic leaders, AgSprint’s mission is equal parts public and private and designed to bridge the gap between what people need and what governments can provide. AgSprint will focus on developing ideas in areas such as animal health and nutrition; bioenergy; drones and robotics; food technology, safety and traceability; and soil and crop technology, among other themes.

By bringing together researchers, regulatory consultants, public/private funders, ag business experts and technical resources, AgSprint offers a wealth of knowledge under one roof.

Funding for AgSprint is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center program and New Mexico Gas Co.

The deadline to apply is March 10. The program will begin in early April. For more information, visit http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/agsprint.

Information from NMSU

Arrowhead launches accelerator for agricultural tech

Arrowhead launches accelerator for agricultural tech

By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Tech Bytes

Monday, February 27th, 2017

New Mexico State University is sowing the seeds for a lot more innovative agricultural technology to find its way to market.

The Arrowhead Center, which manages all of NMSU’s technology transfer programs, launched its newest business accelerator this month, AgSprint, to help anyone wanting to commercialize new ag-related technologies in New Mexico and elsewhere. The program will offer one-on-one mentoring, coaching and networking opportunities in a five-month, intensive process for up to 10 innovators starting April 13.

It’s the state’s first agriculturally focused business accelerator, said Arrowhead Technology Incubator director Zetdi Sloan.

“Given all the technology research and development at NMSU, and the increased interest and investment in agricultural technology worldwide, we decided to launch a program specifically focused on that,” Sloan said.

The program accepts a broad range of innovation in everything from animal health and nutrition to bioenergy, soil and crop technology, drones and robotics, and innovations in food technology, safety and traceability.

“Ag tech applicants can run the gamut from basic business operations – reducing paperwork, improving productivity and enabling e-commerce – to specialities such as drone and robotic technology for overseeing fields, moisture levels, pesticide and fertilizer usage, and equipment,” Sloan seed.

More typical ag-related innovation is just as welcome, such as new seed varieties or methods for predicting crop yields and commodity prices.

Unlike other business accelerators that provide uniform teaching and mentoring in basic business operations and fast paths to market, AgSprint will offer a customized curriculum that focuses on the specific needs of participants. That will allow it to accept applicants at all stages of development.

“We have a stage-agnostic approach to provide customized programming for each applicant,” Sloan said. “We expect about half the participants to be at a very early stage and the other half at more advanced stages. That’s why we’re accepting only up to 10 participants – because the program is so hands-on and customized.”

And it’s not limited to New Mexico. The accelerator will accept applicants from other states, and even other countries.

“The program is available to all entrepreneurs, no matter where they are,” said Todd Bisio, a serial entrepreneur in Albuquerque and program consultant. “We want to find innovators and business leaders from across the state and beyond.”

Attracting innovators from out of state could bring more entrepreneurial activity to New Mexico, Sloan said.

“We expect them to have ongoing relationships with our laboratories and experts,” she said. “Hopefully, they’ll assemble business development teams here.”

That broad approach is a good fit for the state’s land grant university, which manages New Mexico’s Cooperative Extension Service for on-site, agriculture-related education and assistance in every county around the state. NMSU’s College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences also operates 12 agricultural science centers across New Mexico through the university-run Agricultural Experiment Station.

Of course, NMSU hopes the program will help guide more of its own technology and innovation to market, said Terry Lombard, Arrowhead director of intellectual property and technology transfer.

“All the technologies coming out of NMSU can be licensed for commercialization through AgSprint, even for a trial period to decide afterwards if they want to pursue it,” Lombard said. “We hope that people will see all the exciting technologies available at NMSU, and license them to build companies and take them to market.”

The university is continually developing new, potentially marketable innovation in agricultural crops, water, energy and ag-related equipment. It’s already commercializing things such as organic pesticides and fertilizers, machines to better grow and harvest chile, and algae-based biofuels.

AgSprint is financed with federal grants received by Arrowhead from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration and from sources such as the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program.

Arrowhead received a $300,000 NSF award last year to become an iCorps program site, allowing it to provide grants of up to $2,000 each for 30 startups annually. Each AgSprint participant will receive a $2,000 grant at the start of the program. After graduating from the accelerator, they become eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in iCorps program grants.

Some funds from a $200,000 grant that Arrowhead received last December from Emera Inc., the Canadian firm that acquired the New Mexico Gas Co. last summer, is also helping. Those funds will allow AgSprint to offer up to three micro-grants of up to $650 each for every AgSprint participant to help cover business development expenses, such as hiring patent attorneys, website developers or technical writers, Sloan said.

Accelerator participants will also gain access to a broad network of mentors, business consultants, industry partners, technical assistance programs, grant and debt financiers, and investors. That includes eligibility to apply for investment from the new Arrowhead Innovation Fund, established last year with money from the NMSU Foundation and private investors to offer $50,000 to $150,000 in seed funding to startups connected to Arrowhead and the university.

Applications for the first AgSprint cohort will be accepted through March 10. For more information, visit arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/agsprint.

MVEDA, Arrowhead help startups gain a foothold in the market

MVEDA, Arrowhead help startups gain a foothold in the market

LAS CRUCES – There’s something to be said about the loyalty of a good dog. There’s also something to be said about the local small businesses trying to stay loyal to Las Cruces and hunt economic opportunities where possible.

What if local economic developers joined with a Las Cruces company to fetch business for a new doggie smoothie that is healthful? Well, it has come to pass. Bow Wow Blends has joined three other local startups to form the first group to take advantage of CrucesKick.

The Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance and the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University have launched a new program, CrucesKick, which will foster local businesses as they wind their way through the process of fundraising and marketing to bring their ideas to fruition.

The program, which is unique to the city, draws on the expertise of local business incubators as well as the fundraising and marketing skills of our local economic development community to foster home-grown businesses, said Davin Lopez, executive director of MVEDA.

“We, like many other communities across the country, want to inspire and foster innovation in our back yards,” Lopez said. “As a state and community we have struggled to have the resources that support local innovation, access to capital being one of them.”

To address the hurdles, the CrucesKick program has taken on four local businesses. EcoSeal is marketing an environmentally-friendly, organic pesticide. Roots Leather offers leather gear and outerwear. The New Mexico Shrimp Co. is an aquaculture startup that not only grows shrimp in the desert, but is exploring ways to use the lightly-salinated water to grow crops. And then there’s Bow Wow Blends, which produces a fruit smoothie that is all natural and organic for dogs.

The CrucesKick program will hand-hold these companies through crowdfunding efforts and marketing plans. A portion of the money raised — a “small percent” — will revert to MVEDA and Arrowhead to foster the next group of startups, Lopez said.

“In this program, we are utilizing new resources that are being provided to us through different technology like crowdfunding to help these companies grow,” Lopez said. “The importance, in part, is this relationship with Arrowhead. We can bring our resources, both financial and our networks, to help build campaigns to be more successful than they can be on their own.”

Lopez said the program was unique and, to his knowledge, the first attempt of it’s kind nationally to partner economic development resources and business incubators specifically to foster local small startups.

“This is a new approach at economic development,” Lopez said. “I think what’s important is that we too often try to bring in best practices from other places and this is a program where we are trying to design something unique to our growth needs here.

“We want to get this done correctly and get it done to make sure we are not distracting from (the business campaigns),” Lopez added. “This is a pilot program to see how fast businesses respond. If we can get through this pilot, (new businesses will be added) a couple times a year.”

For Vic Villalobos and Shannon Murray, a husband and wife team that founded Bow Wow Blends out of a need to care for their golden retriever, Ruby, when she developed digestive issues. Now, with the help of CrucesKick, they hope to get expand the states in which they can offer the product, which was developed in cooperation with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture at NMSU and the NMSU Food Science Department.

The urgency to get Ruby in better health came partly from the fact that Villalobos and Ruby work with the Mesilla Valley Search and Rescue, and the pooch — along with her furry companions Star, Scout and Lucy — benefit from the all natural treat.

And, since it is all natural, Villalobos and Murray are exploring the possibility of getting the smoothie certified for human consumption. The puppy-smoothie is bottled in Las Cruces.
All of the four participants in the first round of CrucesKick have benefited from the video production capabilities and the social media marketing skills of NMSU students and faculty.

To check out more about the companies and to explore their crowdfunding efforts, visit http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/agsprint.

Jason Gibbs may be reached at 575-541-5451 or jgibbs@lcsun-news.com. Follow him on Twitter @fjgwriter.

NMSU Arrowhead Center seeks to promote local companies with crowdfunding campaign

NMSU Arrowhead Center seeks to promote local companies with crowdfunding campaign

DATE: 03/02/2016
WRITER: Dana Catron, 505-358-4039, dderego@ad.nmsu.edu

This year, four companies are participating in CrucesKick, a partnership between Arrowhead Center and the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance (MVEDA). CrucesKick, which launched Feb. 29, is a fast-moving crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise funds and awareness of local companies’ products and offerings

Working together, MVEDA and Arrowhead are combining their expertise in economic development and business assistance to get these crowdfunding campaigns off the ground.
The four participating companies, which include EcoSeal, New Mexico Shrimp Co., BowWow Blends, and Roots Leather Company, have been busy creating their crowdfunding pages and short campaign videos.

“CrucesKick participants have been working with our video production team, campaign strategists, editors, and marketing advisors for months,” said Zetdi Sloan, director of Arrowhead Technology Incubator. “I can’t wait for them to unveil their crowdfunding campaigns to all of their supporters.”

Shannon Murray, owner of BowWow Blends, created a Power Fruit Dog Smoothie after her Golden Retriever Ruby had continual gastrointestinal issues. She sees CrucesKick as a wonderful opportunity and is excited to see where it will take her small business.

“It’s great to be on the ground floor of this type of project, working with Arrowhead and their resources,” Murray said. “We certainly couldn’t have pulled something like this off without all of their help and guidance.”

Another participant, Maria Colato, was born and raised in Guatemala City and created Roots Leather Company to showcase her culture in handbags, boots and accessories.

“CrucesKick is the perfect nursery for our business ideas,” she said. “With their help, now we are reaching high and ‘our roots’ are starting to grow deep and strong.”

Kathryn Hansen, Arrowhead’s director, is eager for the exposure CrucesKick will bring to these companies.

“CrucesKick provides a great opportunity for product promotion and fundraising for our local businesses,” she said. “Arrowhead is dedicated to providing its resources as part of an entrepreneurial environment that supports startups, young firms and expanding businesses.”

Davin Lopez, president and CEO of MVEDA, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming crowdfunding campaign.

“MVEDA is excited to be part of what we believe to be a first of its kind economic development effort,” said Lopez. “We realize that we cannot just duplicate other programs found elsewhere if we are truly going to foster growth. Instead, we need to be just as innovative as those companies we hope to support, and that is exactly what CrucesKick accomplishes.”

CrucesKick is sponsored in part by the U.S. Economic Development Department’s University Center Program.

To follow the crowdfunding campaigns, visit the CrucesKick page at http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/agsprint/.