Venture Accelerator Fund Invests In Four Northern New Mexico Businesses
ESPAÑOLA — Four New Mexico businesses have been named winners of this year’s Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) awards, administered by the Española based Regional Development Corporation (RDC). In the most competitive cycle to date, 61 applications were received from New Mexico companies in all phases of development.
“This year’s VAF applications represented an impressive level of talent and commitment to growth,” stated Kathy Keith, executive director of the Regional Development Corporation. “And, all of our regional investment partners are actively working towards long-term, sustainable growth for the fund in order to support a greater number of future New Mexico entrepreneurs.”
A total of $144,000 will be distributed to this year’s awardees, pending final contract negotiations. Selected companies for 2015 include:
- Etkie, Bernalillo: manufacturer and distributor of luxury Native American jewelry, handcrafted by northern New Mexico tribal artisans.
- IR Dynamics, Santa Fe: startup manufacturing thermally dynamic solar gain technology with applications ranging from architecture to performance clothing.
- UbiQD, Los Alamos: commercializing LANL technology, the company manufactures quantum dots and luminescent composites with applications in the paint and lighting industries.
- Vizzia, Santa Fe: a healthcare technology company that uses various sensor systems, and its proprietary software and analytics methodology to improve the safety, compliance and efficiency of healthcare workflow.
This year’s four award winners expect to bring more than 60 full-time jobs to the New Mexico region by the year 2018.
The VAF was established in 2006 by Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the company that manages Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), to stimulate the economy by supporting growth oriented companies. Now, it is a collaborative investment in these companies: in 2015, LANS contributed $83,000; New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) contributed $25,000; Santa Fe County contributed $20,000 and Los Alamos County contributed $16,000.
The VAF award is structured as a zero-interest loan – with repayment required only if a company is acquired, achieves certain revenue goals or leaves New Mexico within a certain timeframe – and are administered by the Regional Development Corporation (RDC). Originally created to commercialize technologies developed at LANL, the VAF now includes all types of businesses in every stage of development.
Further expansion for the VAF is planned to include a larger regional seed capital fund for early-stage companies. A recent Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds was obtained by the RDC from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to support this expansion.
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) and Santa Fe County 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
The Regional Development Corporation is a non-profit economic development organization based in Española, New Mexico with the mission of creating jobs and attracting additional revenue to the northern New Mexico region. Learn more at www.rdcnm.org.