Skip to main content

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center receives grant to further tech-based innovation in New Mexico

New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center has been awarded a $ 1.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.

The grant is awarded annually as part of the EDA’s Build to Scale program. The 2022 program was comprised of two competitions: the Venture Challenge and the Capital Challenge. Arrowhead Center competed under the Venture Challenge, which focuses on accelerating technology innovation and entrepreneurship growth by increasing inclusive access to entrepreneurial support and start-up capital.

As one of 32 recipients of the Venture Challenge award, Arrowhead Center proposed Scale Up New Mexico, a new project that will expand on their proven early-stage entrepreneurial services and initiatives, and involve collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories and the New Mexico Start Up Factory. Scale Up New Mexico will scale existing Arrowhead Center initiatives such as Sprint business accelerators, Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer assistance and commercialization support.

New Mexico Startup Factory will conduct investment education events, and Sandia will scale existing programming addressing barriers to commercialization for women. Through this project, programming will be population-focused – such as women entrepreneurs and rural and Tribal communities – and targeted to support ideation and technology development throughout the state.

“This grant is important to New Mexico, and the New Mexico Start Up Factory looks forward to working with the Arrowhead Center and Sandia National Laboratories on this important program,” said John Chavez, managing director of the New Mexico Start Up Factory.

Scale Up New Mexico’s initiatives include TechSprints, business accelerators for technology-based New Mexico start-ups with commercial potential; SBIR/STTR support; intellectual property and technology transfer training; investment training through the New Mexico Start Up Factory’s Business Financing Bootcamp; expansion of Sandia’s DIVERSE-W program, which bolsters access for women in technology commercialization through training and events; and annual pitch competitions.

“Together, Sandia and Arrowhead will scale a successful pilot program started at Sandia in 2019 to address barriers to commercialization for traditionally underrepresented inventors and entrepreneurs,” said Mary Monson, senior manager of technology partnerships and business development at Sandia. “Sandia is proud to participate in this program, and we are excited to leverage our collective resources to support the growth of a vibrant and inclusive economy in New Mexico.”

Under this grant, Scale Up New Mexico will be a three-year long project aiming to serve the entire state. This project will provide accessible, customized support to New Mexico startups, focused on the specific needs of each sub-region identified by the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Scale Up New Mexico will prioritize equity and resilience to technology-based businesses, particularly minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the state, by honing their skills; addressing business and technical challenges; helping to identify and secure sustaining technology development funding; and ensuring statewide resources are collated under a single network to enhance ease of access.

“Arrowhead Center is always looking for ways to help change the entrepreneurial landscape in New Mexico and broadening access for underserved populations within the state,” said Stephanie Garcia, Scale Up New Mexico program manager. “Through our partnership with Sandia and the New Mexico Start Up Factory, Scale Up New Mexico will be able to offer New Mexicans working in tech innovation a robust system of outreach and assistance by leveraging the unique assets of our team.”