Left to right: Dr. Matt Bergren and Hunter McDaniel, PhD of UBiQD, a 2015 VAF award winner
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: VENTURE ACCELERATION FUND (VAF) NOW ACCEPTING 2016 APPLICATIONS
Applications Due March 18, 2016
Small businesses are being encouraged to apply for the the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF). VAF applications are being accepted from northern New Mexican technology and manufacturing firms. Applications for the 2016 calendar year are due March 18th to the Regional Development Corporation (RDC), the program administrator. Selected companies will receive financial awards to assist in taking their innovations to market more quickly. The median award amount has averaged $45,000.
“This is the tenth 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 Relations and Partnerships Office. “We’re excited to be able to continue this program in 2016 because it has provided assistance at critical junctures for many of our small businesses in northern New Mexico.”
“The VAF has been a key source of seed financing for early-stage technology startups in the region, and has helped create and retain more than 345 jobs since the program launched in 2006,” said Liddie Martinez, executive director of the RDC. The RDC is a nonprofit organization with the mission of creating jobs in northern New Mexico. It has administered the VAF since its inception.
In a new policy implemented for 2016, the call is restricted to companies located in one of seven northern New Mexico counties—Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Taos, San Miguel and Mora. This policy change reflects the increasingly high number of quality applicants from the region. Preference is given to technology and manufacturing firms that can demonstrate their ability to stimulate job growth and attract additional revenue to the region.
Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) launched the VAF in 2006. Since then, the VAF program has assisted 53 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 platinum funder, joined by the City of Santa Fe (gold-level funder), Los Alamos County and New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (silver-level funders) and Century Bank (bronze-level funder). All are investing in the economic health of New Mexico via their support of growth-oriented companies through the VAF.
The VAF award is structured with repayment required only if a company is acquired, achieves certain revenue goals or leaves New Mexico. The repayment trigger was instituted in 2013 to help make the fund sustainable in order to support future entrepreneurs. 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 and eligibility criteria, 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 Los Alamos County, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the City of Santa Fe and Century Bank 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 (www.rdcnm.org).
About the Regional Development Corporation (RDC)
The Regional Development Corporation is a non-profit economic development organization based in Española, New Mexico with a mission of creating jobs and attracting additional revenue to the northern New Mexico region. Visit www.rdcnm.org.