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New Mexico Health tech startups invited to new virtual accelerator at Arrowhead Center

New Mexico Health tech startups invited to new virtual accelerator at Arrowhead Center

In the health technology industry, innovation is a constant. New ideas for devices, products and services are always emerging, but it can be difficult to access the potential customer base that’s needed to test the feasibility of these innovations in a timely manner.

That’s where Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University can help, with a new accelerator program targeting health tech startups across the state in need of customer discovery research opportunities and a network of regional industry contacts to draw from.

Offering participants $2,000 to accelerate their business, HealthSprint is the latest in a series of Arrowhead Accelerator programs being provided by Arrowhead Center, NMSU’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub, through funding from New Mexico Gas Company, an Emera Company.

HealthSprint is a four-week program designed to launch successful health technology startups in the state of New Mexico. The program is modeled on the National Science Foundation I-Corps program and designed to support growth-driven companies. Teams do not need any prior NMSU affiliation to be considered, and selected businesses can participate in the program’s curriculum and its weekly workshops virtually or in-person, making HealthSprint accessible for health technology entrepreneurs all across New Mexico.

Previous Arrowhead Accelerator cohorts have included TechSprint, which focused on tech startups in New Mexico, and AgSprint, which attracted agricultural technology businesses from across the Southwest. Another cohort, BizSprint, getting underway this month will support New Mexico-based startups that plan to sell their products and services outside the state.

Khan Muhammad of Albuquerque recently participated in the TechSprint accelerator as the entrepreneurial lead for Electric Avenue Consulting, which is commercializing a technology for in-motion charging of electric vehicles. He said he was surprised by the unique approach that the program offered to learn more about his potential customer base.

“Within the first week,” he said, “I found that what the experience was offering was the opportunity for us to develop and grow our idea in a very short time period in a very safe space.”

Each HealthSprint team has a required structure, including an entrepreneurial lead based in New Mexico, a technical lead and a business mentor, and Arrowhead Center can help connect applicants to potential team members who could fill any roles that are missing. Teams will conduct market research, and those that successfully complete the curriculum will receive $2,000 to further advance the business. Each team will also receive access to additional follow-on funding through Arrowhead Innovation Fund and mentorship through Arrowhead Innovation Network Ventures.

“HealthSprint is a great opportunity for health tech startups in New Mexico to test the viability of their business, win $2,000 and gain access to some substantial follow-on funding opportunities,” said Kramer Winingham, director of Aggie I-Corps, NMSU’s National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Site at Arrowhead Center. “We are excited to offer the program and look forward to supporting some great health tech businesses in New Mexico.”

As an additional benefit, HealthSprint teams may also be granted eligibility to apply for NSF’s National I-Corps program, which includes a $50,000 award.

Applications for the summer cohort of HealthSprint are open through July 23 at arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/healthsprint. The cohort will meet Friday mornings Aug. 11 to Sept. 1. For additional information, contact Studio G at studiog@nmsu.edu.

 

Source: http://krwg.org/post/new-mexico-health-tech-startups-invited-new-virtual-accelerator-arrowhead-center

Arrowhead Center virtual startup accelerator extends application deadline to June 18

Arrowhead Center virtual startup accelerator extends application deadline to June 18

New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center has extended the application deadline to June 18 for a new accelerator program open to all types of business startups that are located anywhere in New Mexico with plans to sell products or services to customers outside the state.

Offering participants $2,000 to accelerate their business, BizSprint is the latest in a series of Arrowhead Accelerator programs being provided by Arrowhead Center, NMSU’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub, through funding from New Mexico Gas Company, an Emera Company.

A four-week accelerator program designed to launch successful businesses in the state of New Mexico, BizSprint is modeled on the Aggie I-Corps program and designed to support growth-driven companies. Teams do not need any prior NMSU affiliation to be considered, and selected businesses can participate in the program’s curriculum and its weekly workshops virtually or in-person, making BizSprint accessible for entrepreneurs all across New Mexico.

Each team has a required structure, including an entrepreneurial lead based in New Mexico, a technical lead and a business mentor, and Arrowhead Center can help connect applicants to potential team members who could fill any roles that are missing. Teams will conduct market research and those that successfully complete the curriculum will receive $2,000 to further advance the business. Each team will also receive access to additional follow-on funding through Arrowhead Innovation Fund and mentorship through Arrowhead Innovation Network Ventures.

“Businesses that can scale and sell outside the state are critical for developing New Mexico’s economy,” said Kramer Winingham, director of Aggie I-Corps, NMSU’s National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Site at Arrowhead Center. “They promote local economic growth by bringing jobs and income into the local economy, and these are the types of businesses we plan to support through BizSprint.”

As an additional benefit, BizSprint teams with businesses in a science, technology, engineering or technology field may also be granted eligibility to apply for NSF’s National I-Corps program, which includes a $50,000 award.

Applications for the summer cohort of BizSprint are open through June 18 at arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/bizsprint. The cohort will meet Friday mornings July 14 to Aug. 4. For additional information, contact Studio G at studiog@nmsu.edu.

By Amanda Bradford

Source: https://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/12536/arrowhead-center-virtual-startup-accelerator-extends-application-deadline-to-june-18

Arrowhead Center-supported company selected as NMSBA success story

Arrowhead Center-supported company selected as NMSBA success story

A technology company supported by Arrowhead Center, the economic development and innovation hub at New Mexico State University, has been recognized by the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program as one of 10 success stories during its annual Innovation Celebration.

Mariel Vargas Haddad was recently selected as a New Mexico Small Business Assistance program as one of 10 success stories for her business, Timer Glove, a smart gym glove to help track workout characteristics. (NMSU photo by Dana Apodaca)

Mariel Vargas Haddad was recently selected as a New Mexico Small Business Assistance program as one of 10 success stories for her business, Timer Glove, a smart gym glove to help track workout characteristics. (NMSU photo by Dana Apodaca)

Earlier this month, Arrowhead Center co-hosted an NMSBA Innovation Celebration event to recognize Arrowhead client and NMSU engineering student Mariel Vargas Haddad and her business, Timer Glove. Timer Glove is a smart gym glove to help track workout characteristics including number of reps and rests between sets.

The NMSBA program utilizes researchers of Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory to assist small businesses overcome technical challenges. Arrowhead Center, as partner to the NMSBA program, utilizes the expertise of faculty and staff for the same purpose. Each year, the organization identifies the top 10 NMSBA companies to recognize their accomplishments after NMSBA assistance. This year, the Innovation Celebrations were hosted at those business owners’ home communities to help build connections with other local businesses and economic development officials.

Vargas’s entrepreneurial journey started during a 2014 Startup Weekend event, where initial feedback sparked her excitement to continue with her innovation. Vargas reached out to Griselda Martinez, director of Arrowhead’s NMSBA program, who connected her with the program and Associate Professor Jay Misra in the NMSU Department of Computer Science for further product advancement. Misra’s students, Vicente Ibarra and Gaurav Panwar, also joined this effort, and Martinez became Vargas’ guide and mentor.

Vargas’ progress in the entrepreneurship and commercialization pipeline continued in 2016 with her pitch at Arrowhead Center’s Aggie Shark Tank, a student business investment pitch event based on the popular TV show, where she secured two investments totaling $50,000. With this funding, Vargas hired programmers and designers to further develop her technology. In March of this year, she placed third and secured $15,000 in funding at a business plan competition hosted by University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management.

“My success story is all about good advising and good opportunities,” Vargas said. “If you have an idea or see an opportunity, the time is now.”

Another Arrowhead Center client who shared a success story at the celebration was Mike Lisk, whose entrepreneurship experience started when he and his wife bought a ranch in Lincoln County in 2005. With an idea for how to manage water on the large property, Lisk became an Arrowhead Technology Incubator client, where he worked with Zetdi Sloan. Sloan and Griselda Martinez connected him to the NMSBA, which he called a “conduit” and “shepherd for the whole process.” Lisk’s water management technology has been implemented in McKinley County and the Navajo Nation, where it has already had a direct economic impact.

Lisk said the more an entrepreneur stays engaged with development opportunities, the more opportunities will unfold. “NMSBA and Arrowhead Center are important storytellers in that process,” he said.

Among the attendees and speakers who turned out for the Innovation Celebration were Sandia National Labs NMSBA program leader Genaro Montoya and project manager John Martinez; Kim Sherwood and Wendy Rue, both project managers at Los Alamos National Labs; Kathy Hansen, director of Arrowhead Center; NM Rep. Joanne Ferrary; Las Cruces City Councilor Olga Pedroza; Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea; Christine Logan with the New Mexico Economic Development Department; Jo Ann Garay, director of the Small Business Development Center at Doña Ana Community College; and Chris Dunn, program coordinator for Studio G, Arrowhead’s student business accelerator.

Sandia NMSBA Project Manager John Martinez encouraged innovators to apply for NMSBA assistance.

“It’s an accessible, one-page online application, not an encyclopedia of knowledge to root through,” he said. “The NMSBA locates experts, engineers, and labs to help the innovator achieve results.”

Last year, this program as a public-private partnership created more than 5,700 jobs and assisted businesses in all 33 counties in New Mexico, he added.

For more information on NMSBA, contact Griselda Martinez, director of NMSBA at Arrowhead Center, at 575-646-7096 or visit arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/nmsba.

 

By Lauren Goldstein

Source: https://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/12532/arrowhead-center-supported-company-selected-as-nmsba-success-story

Arrowhead Center at NMSU launches new accelerator for NM startups

Arrowhead Center at NMSU launches new accelerator for NM startups

Do you have an idea for a business that will be based in New Mexico and plans to sell products or services outside the state?

New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center has a new accelerator program open to all types of export-based businesses that are located in New Mexico. BizSprint is the latest in a series of Arrowhead Accelerator programs being provided by Arrowhead Center, NMSU’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub, through funding from New Mexico Gas Company, an Emera Company.

“Export-based businesses are critical for developing New Mexico’s economy,” said Kramer Winingham, director of Aggie I-Corps, NMSU’s National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Site at Arrowhead Center. “They promote local economic growth by bringing jobs and income into the local economy, and experts estimate that each job created by an export-based business in New Mexico supports the creation of another three to four jobs in the local service industry.”

BizSprint is a four-week, cohort-based accelerator program designed to support growth-driven companies through education, mentorship and financing, modeled on the Aggie I-Corps program. Teams do not need a prior NMSU affiliation to be considered, and selected businesses can participate in the program’s curriculum and its weekly workshops virtually or in-person.

Each team will include an entrepreneurial lead based in New Mexico, a technical lead and a business mentor. Teams will conduct market research and those that successfully complete the curriculum will receive $2,000 to further advance the business. Each team will also receive access to additional follow-on funding through Arrowhead Innovation Fund and mentorship through Arrowhead Innovation Network Ventures.

Any businesses that are based in a science, technology, engineering or technology field may also be granted eligibility to apply for NSF’s National I-Corps program, which includes a $50,000 award.

Applications for the summer cohort of BizSprint are open through May 31 at arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/bizsprint. The cohort will meet Friday mornings July 14 to Aug. 4. For additional information, contact Studio G at studiog@nmsu.edu.

By Amanda Bradford

Source: https://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/12523/arrowhead-center-at-nmsu-launches-new-accelerator-for-nm-startups

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center receives $2.5 million gift from Hunt Family Foundation

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center receives $2.5 million gift from Hunt Family Foundation

The New Mexico State University system launched the public phase of its $125 million comprehensive campaign, “Ignite Aggie Discovery,” by announcing a transformative gift from the Hunt Family Foundation to benefit Arrowhead Center, NMSU’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub.

From left: Andrea Tawney, president of the New Mexico State University Foundation; Woody Hunt, Chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation; and Josh Hunt, President of the Hunt Family Foundation; and NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers announce a $2.5 million gift from the Hunt Family Foundation for NMSU’s Arrowhead Center, NMSU’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub. The announcement came during a special kickoff event for public phase of the $125 million Ignite Aggie Discovery comprehensive campaign on Friday, April 28. (NMSU photo by Andres Leighton)

The El Paso-based Hunt Family Foundation has committed $2.5 million over six years to support Arrowhead Center’s work in commercializing discoveries and innovations, encouraging entrepreneurship, launching and developing new businesses, and creating lasting partnerships in the Borderplex region, which includes New Mexico, west Texas and Ciudad Juarez. With the funds, Arrowhead Center has created new programming through the Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship, with the purpose of promoting economic development in the region.

“We’re pleased to help get the Ignite Aggie Discovery campaign off to a strong start,” said Josh Hunt, president of the Hunt Family Foundation. “We believe Arrowhead Center has the potential to do great work and accomplish much in the areas of entrepreneurship and student startup innovation. The goal of the Hunt Family Foundation is to assist in initiatives that can help build a better quality of life for all residents of the Borderplex, and New Mexico State and Arrowhead Center can play a significant role in those efforts.”

The Hunt Family Foundation has long been committed to supporting sustainable programs that can make a widespread and prolonged impact in the Borderplex region. Started in 1987 by Woody and Gayle Hunt, the foundation focuses support for non-profit initiatives in six categories, including education and regional economic development.

The Hunt Student Startup Sponsorship program is one new initiative already underway with the funding through Arrowhead Center’s Studio G, the first student business incubator in New Mexico. Designed to accelerate student ventures, the semester-long sponsorships fund a portion of a student entrepreneur’s time to significantly advance their enterprise. In addition to being paid to focus part-time on their businesses, students receive training and mentorship through Studio G, as well as access to follow-on funding.

Kathy Hansen, CEO and director of Arrowhead Center, said the Hunt Family Foundation gift will allow Arrowhead to greatly expand its collaboration with like-purposed organizations in the region. She said the funds will be significant to future building plans as the need for collaborative space grows at Arrowhead Center.

“The impact of this funding will be felt throughout the Borderplex, as Arrowhead Center works to build long-term relationships in the region and beyond,” Hansen said. “We’ll be able to provide greater opportunities for partnerships to support our researchers as they explore ways to apply their work and make an impact in the marketplace. We’ll also help drive improvements in the regional economy by continuing to foster a culture of entrepreneurship that addresses the need for business and job creation in innovative ways.

“It’s an exciting time, and we’re poised for tremendous growth,” she continued. “We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Hunt Family Foundation has provided to build on the work we’re doing.”

The announcement came during a special kickoff event for the Ignite Aggie Discovery comprehensive campaign at the Associated Students of NMSU Center for the Arts on Friday, April 28. During the campaign’s silent phase, which began in May 2013, the NMSU Foundation raised more than half the campaign’s goal – over $72.5 million. While NMSU is a public university system, funding from private donors, alumni, corporations, foundations and other sources supports vital community programs, research and student scholarship opportunities.

One of the most important goals of the campaign, which extends through 2019, is the creation of $50 million in new scholarship endowments. This would provide $2 million each year in perpetuity for new, game-changing scholarships.

“Our Ignite Aggie Discovery comprehensive campaign is about focusing our energy, our innovation and our momentum on making the NMSU system stronger and better for the future of our students and the future of New Mexico and the region,” said Andrea Tawney, president of the NMSU Foundation. “This gift from the Hunt Family Foundation gets the public phase of our campaign off to an explosive start, and truly demonstrates that we are a Borderplex community that can advance our region if we collaborate and maximize our resources.”

For more information on the Ignite Aggie Discovery campaign, visit ignite.nmsu.edu.

About the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation
The Hunt Family Foundation, a private family foundation founded in 1987 by Woody Hunt and his wife, Gayle, supports not-for-profit organizations and initiatives that focus on the Paso del Norte region, which includes El Paso County, Texas; Doña Ana County, New Mexico; Otero County, New Mexico; and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. The Foundation also supports organizations whose programs impact the state of Texas, and the nation as a whole. Charitable giving is focused on healthcare, education, arts, local heritage, quality-of-life initiatives, and regional economic development.

 

By Amanda Bradford

Source: https://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/12490/nmsu-s-arrowhead-center-receives-2-5-million-gift-from-hunt-family-foundation

NMSU Arrowhead Center TechMatch program matches entrepreneurs with technology

Have you ever had an interest in becoming an entrepreneur, but didn’t have an invention or business idea already formulated? Through its TechMatch program, an initiative funded by a U.S. Economic Development Administration i6 grant, Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University is working to match aspiring entrepreneurs with technologies and creative works that are available to take to market. There are close to 500 technologies available, waiting for the right person to build businesses around or commercialize these innovations.

The industry-defined technology categories include Agriculture, Biotechnology, Health/Devices, Information Technology, Engineering, Energy and Water Technology. Innovations developed from NMSU intellectual property, as well as technologies from partners such as national labs, can be found on the Technologies Available for Licensing page. Arrowhead is also working with the NMSU Learning Games Lab and Creative Media Institute to bring creative works into TechMatch for licensing and sales. Though creative works are not yet available, look for developments on the project in the coming months. Anyone can browse available technologies, located at arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/technologies with no obligation or commitment.

“This opportunity allows entrepreneurs and teams to explore these technologies with a research-only license or with an option and/or licensing of NMSU developed and IP-protected innovation,” said Terry Lombard, director of the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer office at Arrowhead. “If they find success, Arrowhead Center offers support through a number of acceleration programs for individuals and teams, NMSU-affiliated and not, to bring the innovations to market.”

Arrowhead programs are designed to assist New Mexico entrepreneurs in every facet of business development and acceleration through mentorship, curriculum, connections in a statewide network of experts, and the potential for additional leveraging for funding sources.

Leonard Casaus has experience with adopting an available TechMatch technology through the Aggie I-Corps program at Arrowhead Center. Though he didn’t reach a “go” decision to move forward to market, it was a low-risk venture and he gained experience with the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps process for evaluating technologies.

“I picked up the Pulse Tube Refrigeration technology, which was from the Air Force Research Lab,” Casaus said. “My team and I learned so much through the process. The fact-paced accelerator also skyrocketed my learning curve with regard to value proposition, customer discovery and the interview process. I learned skills that will be applicable to future projects as well. I highly recommend the TechMatch program to entrepreneurs who are interested in building a team around one of these technologies.”
Kramer Winingham, program director at Arrowhead Center, said TechMatch provides access to inventions and technologies developed in New Mexico.

“If you are interested in starting a business, check out the available technologies. There are some great opportunities and substantial resources to help you start a technology business,” Winingham said.

To join Arrowhead’s monthly TechMatch newsletter, visit bit.ly/tech-match

 

By Lauren Goldstein

Source: https://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/12457/nmsu-arrowhead-center-techmatch-program-matches-entrepreneurs-with-technology

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center launches TechSprint accelerator for NM startups

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center launches TechSprint accelerator for NM startups

Arrowhead Center, the economic development engine at New Mexico State University, has launched a new Arrowhead StartupSprint aimed at all New Mexico tech startups, regardless of their affiliation with the university. StartupSprints support growth-driven companies through education, mentorship, and financing in a short period, cohort-based setting.

Funded by a gift from NM Gas Company, TechSprint is now accepting applications for its spring 2017 cohort, which will begin in late March. TechSprint is designed to test the feasibility of a business idea, with a goal to accelerate New Mexico technology startups to drive economic growth. Through TechSprint, teams will receive mentorship, coaching and $2,000 in participant support.

The three-week sprint program will follow curriculum from Aggie I-Corps, Arrowhead Center’s National Science Foundation Innovation Corps site, to support tech startup teams as they work to reach a “go” or “no-go” decision about their business. Nationally, I-Corps is an NSF initiative designed to leverage university research to create new innovative businesses and increase the economic impact of inventions created at research institutions around the country. If the decision is “go,” a TechSprint project may receive eligibility for the national I-Corps program, which includes a $50,000 award.

While other Aggie I-Corps teams require an NMSU connection – a team member who is a student, for example – TechSprint offers New Mexico tech startups without an NMSU affiliation access to I-Corps. The topical focus of projects must be in an area of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) normally supported by the NSF.

NMSU is one of only 51 academic institutions nationwide to be selected as an I-Corps Site. Other I-Corps Sites include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, Carnegie-Mellon University, Purdue University, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania and other top research institutions.

“We are very excited to be opening up our I-Corps Site and providing access to technology startups in New Mexico,” said Kramer Winingham, who oversees the Aggie I-Corps program at Arrowhead Center. “I-Corps is a tremendous program that provides great value through coaching, mentorship and entrepreneurial training – in addition to great follow-on funding opportunities, including the $50,000 NSF I-Corps program and SBIR/STTR programs.”

Teams must include an entrepreneurial lead, a technical lead, and a business mentor. The entrepreneurial lead must be based in New Mexico. Though a full team is not needed to apply, preference is given to complete team applications. The three-week program will meet on Friday mornings from March 31 to April 28. Teams may attend meetings in-person or virtually, for those located across the state.

The spring 2017 application deadline is March 12. For more information, or to apply for TechSprint, visit arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/techsprint.

Funding for TechSpring is provided by New Mexico Gas Co. through Arrowhead’s University Center for Regional Commercialization.

 

By Lauren Goldstein

Source: https://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/12365/nmsu-s-arrowhead-center-launches-techsprint-accelerator-for-nm-startups

NMSU expands startup program to branch campuses

NMSU expands startup program to branch campuses

Michael Webb, a third-year game design major at New Mexico State University’s Grants campus, will spend half of this spring semester preparing for commercial launch of his first mobile gaming app.

The Grants native won a $4,200 sponsorship from Studio G, NMSU’s student and alumni startup assistance center in Las Cruces, that will allow him to work 20 hours a week on his new mobile gaming venture, Two Birds Enterprises. Studio G will also provide online training and mentoring.

The grant and services are part of NMSU efforts to extend its startup assistance program from the main campus to Doña Ana Community College, and to NMSU branches in Carlsbad, Alamogordo and Grants.

Webb expects to start selling his first app, a unique connect-the-dots puzzle game, by next summer. Without Studio G, however, that would be hard to achieve.

“They’re paying me 20 hours a week to run my business with lots of advisers to help me on legal issues and on developing a network of industry contacts,” Webb said. “It makes me a lot more confident. Without Studio G, it would take much longer.”

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center in Las Cruces, which manages the university’s technology commercialization programs, received a $369,000 U.S. Commerce Department grant last year to expand Studio G. Arrowhead used the money to build an online program for training, mentoring and coaching. It also contracted local student “champions” to provide individual support for aspiring student and alumni entrepreneurs at each branch campus.

Arrowhead directors hope to replicate the success achieved by Studio G in Las Cruces. The program has helped about 250 student startups since launching in 2011.

Bringing those services to rural areas where economic opportunities are more limited can have a big impact, said Studio G director Kramer Winningham.

“There are a lot of students out there who want to start ventures,” Winningham said. “It’s a way to create opportunities to keep more of those young people in New Mexico.”

Fourteen student ventures from the branch campuses have already joined the Studio G program, said Arrowhead director Kathryn Hansen.

Apart from Webb’s gaming app, new branch ventures include a hand-sanitizing device developed by a student team in Alamogordo, and new task-management software for nonprofit organizations built by aspiring entrepreneurs at Doña Ana Community College.

Grants computer science instructor Zac Smith, who is serving as the local Studio G program champion, said three more students have signed up for Studio G.

Grants branch president Harry Sheski said the program could create new local career pathways.

“There’s a lot of creativity and energy among our folks on campus,” Sheski said. “This can make a difference in people’s lives.”

Webb expects to start selling his first app, a unique connect-the-dots puzzle game, by next summer. Without Studio G, however, that would be hard to achieve.

“They’re paying me 20 hours a week to run my business with lots of advisers to help me on legal issues and on developing a network of industry contacts,” Webb said. “It makes me a lot more confident. Without Studio G, it would take much longer.”

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center in Las Cruces, which manages the university’s technology commercialization programs, received a $369,000 U.S. Commerce Department grant last year to expand Studio G. Arrowhead used the money to build an online program for training, mentoring and coaching. It also contracted local student “champions” to provide individual support for aspiring student and alumni entrepreneurs at each branch campus.

Arrowhead directors hope to replicate the success achieved by Studio G in Las Cruces. The program has helped about 250 student startups since launching in 2011.

Bringing those services to rural areas where economic opportunities are more limited can have a big impact, said Studio G director Kramer Winingham.

“There are a lot of students out there who want to start ventures,” Winingham said. “It’s a way to create opportunities to keep more of those young people in New Mexico.”

Fourteen student ventures from the branch campuses have already joined the Studio G program, said Arrowhead director Kathryn Hansen.

Apart from Webb’s gaming app, new branch ventures include a hand-sanitizing device developed by a student team in Alamogordo, and new task-management software for nonprofit organizations built by aspiring entrepreneurs at Doña Ana Community College.

Grants computer science instructor Zac Smith, who is serving as the local Studio G program champion, said three more students have signed up for Studio G.

Grants branch president Harry Sheski said the program could create new local career pathways.

“There’s a lot of creativity and energy among our folks on campus,” Sheski said. “This can make a difference in people’s lives.”

By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Writer
Friday, February 3rd, 2017 at 2:44pm

Source: www.abqjournal.com/942629/nmsu-expands-startup-program-to-branch-campuses.html

NMSU’s Studio G expansion will aid student entrepreneurs

NMSU’s Studio G expansion will aid student entrepreneurs

LAS CRUCES – Students across the New Mexico State University system with an idea for a business now have access to an online entrepreneurship curriculum and network of expert advisers, thanks to Arrowhead Center’s Next Generation Entrepreneurship program. Known as Next Gen, the program brings Studio G, Arrowhead’s student and alumni business incubator, to NMSU’s community college campuses throughout the state.

East Mesa Campus of Doña Ana Community College in Las Cruces, N.M.
(Photo: Courtesy)

Arrowhead Center, NMSU’s economic development engine and technology commercialization hub, received a $368,760 grant in 2016 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to expand Studio G to students at campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad and Grants, as well as students at Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces.

DACC President Renay Scott said she welcomes the chance for her students to build on their entrepreneurial thinking.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to offer our students access to Arrowhead Center’s Studio G and other programs to support their entrepreneurial opportunities,” Scott said. “Our students have many experiences at DACC that lead to new ideas, scholarship and items that they wish to market. Next Gen allows students to have access to programs and experiences that will help them develop their intellectual property, develop business plans and work with others who also seek to start their own businesses.”

Studio G, which was founded in 2011, has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Since its inception, Studio G has helped more than 250 ventures involving more than 450 student entrepreneurs. An economic impact study in 2015 found that Studio G clients had an impact of $2.4 million during that fiscal year, and Studio G members have raised more than $2.5 million in investments, grants and contracts since 2013. In fiscal year 2016, Studio G ventures hired 93 paid employees.

With Next Gen funding, Arrowhead Center has already converted the effective Studio G curriculum, modeled on MIT’s Disciplined Entrepreneurship and Lean Launchpad methodologies, into an online format that uses “gamification” to engage student and alumni entrepreneurs in learning tracks that are tailored to different types of businesses and situations.

“Students at our community college campuses now have access to the very same learning system, advising opportunities and mentorship meetings as our clients at the Las Cruces campus,” said Kramer Winingham, director of Studio G and a principal investigator on the Next Gen project. “The online curriculum allows us to scale up what we can offer to students here in Las Cruces, as well as those in communities around the state.”

Three of NMSU’s four community college campuses are located in rural communities with less than 50,000 population, and those areas are also economically dependent on single industries like government enterprises and mining, so developing support systems for the next generation of entrepreneurs in those areas will be crucial for providing employment and workforce development, said Arrowhead Center Director and CEO Kathryn Hansen. It’s also the key to enhancing the commercialization of research, regional connectivity and innovation in New Mexico.

NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers said the Next Gen program is one of several important ways that Arrowhead Center supports NMSU’s land-grant mission of serving the educational needs of New Mexico’s diverse population through comprehensive programs of education, research, extension education and public service.

In addition to scaling the Studio G curriculum for use at the community colleges, Next Gen funding has been used to address the challenge of matching entrepreneurs with funding and technology licensing opportunities on a broader scale. Two new web-based portals, TechMatch and FundMatch, provide a user-friendly online system to steer students toward opportunities and facilitate connections for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding for their projects.

With all of these systems in place, the next step is to start funneling community college students into the entrepreneurial pipeline. Each of the college campuses has selected a leader with strong connections to both the students and the local business community to champion the effort to recruit students to Studio G and build engagement with those local business networks. At DACC, that’s Joan Keeney, a college assistant professor in the Business Department.

For more information about Studio G, or to apply from any of NMSU’s system-wide campuses, visit http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/studiog. For more information about the Next Gen Entrepreneurship program at DACC, contact Joan Keeney at jkeeney@nmsu.edu.

By Amanda Bradford, For the Sun-News

Source: http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/money/2017/01/27/nmsus-studio-g-expansion-aid-student-entrepreneurs/97158736/

Into the Shark Tank: Aggies pitch ideas to area investors

Into the Shark Tank: Aggies pitch ideas to area investors

LAS CRUCES – Carlos Murguia, pitching his business idea to a room of possible investors, cut to the chase.

“What are we here for today? To make money, so let’s get started!” the New Mexico State University student and entrepreneur said before his five-minute presentation to a panel of Las Cruces “shark” investors in hopes of gaining funding and other business support. The exchange came during the Aggie Shark Tank event, held Oct. 19 before a large and enthusiastic crowd at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

Murguia was one of five NMSU students who pitched their business dreams to the sharks — agribusiness leader Dino Cervantes, real estate developer Mickey Clute, Mesilla Valley Trucking owner Royal Jones, and Sisbarro Dealerships owner Lou Sisbarro.

After the pitch, the sharks ask the entrepreneurs a range of hard-hitting questions touching on financial forecasts, product development, customer base, competition and market opportunities. In addition to the opportunity to gain investment from shark panelists, the entrepreneurs also had a chance to win $1,000 prize based on audience vote for the best pitch.

Contestants included:
  • Murguia, pitching KoolKat, a mineral-based roof coating that can reduce temperatures inside a building to produce substantial energy savings
  • Jason Koenig, seeking funding and mentorship for Pixanthropy, a software platform that facilitates philanthropic giving by connecting to a new generation of social donors
  • Jonah Brown, seeking funding for his business Dynitikos, a rapid turn-around replication-technology service for high-precision, high-quality metal pieces for jewelers
  • Roberto Acosta, seeking funding for equipment to open Float Spa, a new business offering therapeutic sensory deprivation therapy to help people relax and recharge
  • Avinash Kuna and his business SOLAS, a startup developing new, more advanced proprietary technology to the security surveillance industry.

Kramer Winingham, director of Studio G, said the five entrepreneurs were chosen out of 25 applicants.

“Aggie Shark Tank is open to all NMSU students,” he said. “Once we receive the applications, we review them to identify business plans that have advanced to an appropriate stage to request funding and are also a match to the investors’ interests.”

Once they’re chosen, the entrepreneurs go through four or five practice sessions to refine their pitch with the Studio G team and also receive feedback from mentors in the Arrowhead Innovation Network. “We want to give them the best chance to raise the money they need to advance their business,” Winingham said.

Murguia won the $1,000 Audience Favorite prize and an offer from Jones to test his roof coating product on one of his properties. The investors did not commit funds to any of the entrepreneurs in this event, but they did offer to mentor them as they continued to shape their business plans.

“We strive to be good mentors,” Cervantes said, “but part of that is addressing any deficiencies in their plans.” Most of the participants take the constructive feedback well, he added.

“I think there were around 10 people at the first event,” Cervantes said. This time, an audience of 200 onlookers was on hand to cheer on the entrepreneurs.

The Aggie Shark Tank was born out of an idea by Sisbarro, a fan of the popular “Shark Tank” TV show series. Sisbarro approached Kathy Hansen, Arrowhead Center CEO, with the idea to create a similar program to help NMSU students. Sisbarro asked other investors to participate and worked with Hansen’s team at the Arrowhead Center to shape the event.

Cervantes said he and the other panelists have worked with several of the entrepreneurs since the first Aggie Shark Tank took place. In last spring’s event, investors committed $80,000 with some portion going to all five businesses.

“We’ve seen some interesting projects and we’ve stayed in touch with several of the entrepreneurs,” he said. “Many of them typically take a year or more to go to market so we’re just starting to see some results.”

Entrepreneurs said they were appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the Aggie Shark Tank.

“It was great to be around the other contestants,” Brown said. “They’re the shakers and movers of the community, and their energy is exciting.”

Brown is a freshman at NMSU, a young entrepreneur with prior experience including a bike shop in Elephant Butte, graphic design, and some experience in jewelry making.

Murguia said he spent five to six hours a day in preparation for three weeks before the event. He felt the coaching he received from Studio G was invaluable.

“I liked the learning process. I can tell you that the presentation I did today is nothing like the presentation I started with,” he said. “Now that I’ve done this, I know I can get up and present my company to anyone.”

All Aggie Shark Tank events are free and open to the public. More information about past Shark Tanks and contestants can be found at sharktank.nmsu.edu. The next event is tentatively scheduled to take place in March 2017. Anyone interested in learning more should contact Kristin Morehead 575-646-5575 or email kmorehea@nmsu.edu.

Paula Heikell is a freelance writer and can be reached atpaula@heikellcommunications.com.