Arrowhead Innovation Fund is a venture capital fund focused on seed and early-stage investments to commercialize promising technologies developed by affiliates of New Mexico State University and participants of programs at Arrowhead Center at NMSU. The Fund, a for-profit subsidiary of Arrowhead Center, Inc. – a non-profit corporation created to support NMSU's mission – is professionally managed to bring extensive investment selection as well as experience in attaining exits and deal syndication with other venture funds.
Who We Are
Board of Directors
Fund Manager, President and Chair, Audit Committee member, Investment Committee observer
Estela Hernandez is the Fund Manager, President and Chairman of the Arrowhead Innovation Fund. She has over 15 years of leadership and management experience working in the public health, interior design, and business sectors. Estela has a particular interest in seed- and early-stage companies. Estela launched a design strategy firm in Las Cruces, New Mexico in August 2012 where she works at the intersection of design thinking and business strategy, helping entrepreneurs and startups design innovative business models and compelling customer experiences using new frameworks and tools. Since 2013, she has served as an Enterprise Advisor at Arrowhead Center where she teaches design thinking innovation and advises clients of the Arrowhead Technology Incubator and Studio G student business accelerator, preparing them for the investment due diligence process. Hernandez is a Kauffman Fellow, a member of a distinctive world-wide network of expert innovation investors who provide smart, connected capital to fuel entrepreneurial change. Prior to earning an MBA in Design Strategy from the groundbreaking program at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, Estela earned a Bachelor of Community Health from NMSU and studied interior design with a concentration in healthcare facility design at The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago.
Investment Committee member
Lawrence Chavez is CEO of Lotus Leaf Coatings. He has over 20 years of finance, operations management and strategic marketing experience in a variety of entrepreneurial businesses and six years as an active angel and venture capital investor. He is an active member of the New Mexico Angels investment group and serves on its Screening Committee. He received a BAC from NMSU and a MS in Marketing from Texas A&M University.
Executive Committee and Audit Committee member
Kathy Hansen is Director and CEO of Arrowhead Center at NMSU where she manages entrepreneurship and commercialization initiatives, business assistance programs, and organizational operations. She has served NMSU for over 25 years in several positions, including Section Chief of Digital Systems and Business Development Director for the Physical Science Laboratory, and has served on several boards of non-profit corporations. She received her BA and MA in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Texas-El Paso.
Investment Committee member
Dr. Macy is the current Bill and Sharon Sheriff Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at NMSU in the NMSU College of Business, and also works with Arrowhead Center. He has experience in student entrepreneurship, marketing, venture capital, and student incubator formation. He received his BA in History from Washington State University and his JD, MBA in Management, and PhD in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Oregon.
Elizabeth Wechsler Mata
Secretary, Executive Committee and Audit Committee member
Elizabeth Wechsler Mata has practiced patent law for 22 years, and is currently with the El Paso firm Blanco Ordoñez Mata & Wallace, P.C. She has experience in intellectual property portfolio assessment and management for a range of clients including universities, research institutions, hospitals, and biotechnology companies. Ms. Mata also serves as an adjunct professor at NMSU. She received a BS in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, and JD from the University
Treasurer and Investment Committee member
Dr. Pallares is an active high tech early-stage investor, university lecturer and conducts research on incubators and accelerators; he also serves on several corporate and venture fund advisory boards. He is a Kauffman Fellow, as well as a Presidio Institute Cross Sector Leadership Fellow. He received a BA in Economics from Brandeis University, and a MBA and PhD in International Business from the University of Texas-El Paso.
Executive and Audit Committee member
Donna Stryker is a business owner with over 40 years of experience in the banking and lending industry. She serves as Senior Vice President for Mortgage and Construction Lending at First New Mexico Bank. She has been with First New Mexico Bank since 2003. Donna has served as president, as well as in other capacities, on numerous boards and committees including the Las Cruces Symphony, the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the National Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired, the National Agenda for the Education of Visually Impaired Students, and the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce.
Our Investment Focus
The Fund works closely with NMSU’s Arrowhead Center to identify technologies that are ready to be commercialized. The Fund will identify co-investors and syndicate partners, and lead efforts to position NMSU as a premier source of disruptive technologies.
February 17, 2016
Arrowhead Center enterprise adviser selected as Kauffman FellowDate: 07/31/2015 Writer: Amanda Bradford, 575-646-1996, firstname.lastname@example.org Arrowhead Center Enterprise Adviser Estela Hernandez Hartley has been accepted into the Kauffman Fellows, a highly selective program in which a ...
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February 8, 2016
NMSU launches Aggie Innovation Fund with Foundation helpMar 10, 2015, 5:52am MDT Updated Mar 10, 2015, 7:31am MDT The Arrowhead Center, New Mexico State University’s business accelerator, is launching a fund to help inventors get their projects off the ground. The NMSU Foundation has pledged up to $500,000 in matching co...
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January 27, 2016
NMSU Foundation Investment Launches Aggie Innovation FundBy NEWS EDITOR AND PARTNERS • MAR 6, 2015 In the past year, New Mexico State University has introduced new technologies and products in areas as wide-ranging as dyes that will help identify and treat cancer, organic pesticides, voice authentication security software, and ...
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Apply for Funding
Arrowhead Innovation Fund uses Gust, a global SaaS funding platform, to manage startup applications. To begin the competitive process, visit this link to create a Gust account. You will be prompted to answer questions about your business and will have the opportunity to upload additional documents.
The managing director of the Arrowhead Innovation Fund will contact eligible applicants.
For more information, please contact us using the form below.
Get in Touch
We would like to hear from you.