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Arrowhead Center at NMSU launches Scale Up NM to support tech startups

Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University is launching a support program for technology startups in New Mexico, thanks to a $1.2 million grant awarded late last year by the Economic Development Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.

As one of 32 recipients of the Venture Challenge award, Arrowhead Center proposed Scale Up New Mexico, a project that will expand on Arrowhead Center’s 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 focuses on technology-based startups with the potential to be commercialized, and can promote equity in New Mexico’s economic landscape. Scale Up New Mexico provides startups with customized training and technical support; help to systematize the numerous business resources available in the service area; and help New Mexico in its work to diversify the economy to increase economic stability.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are the backbones of economic growth, and technology-based entrepreneurship holds the key to unlocking New Mexico’s full potential. By harnessing the power of cutting-edge technologies and nurturing a vibrant startup ecosystem, we can create a brighter future for our state and its people,” said Dana Catron, Arrowhead Center deputy director.

Scale Up New Mexico will serve innovators and entrepreneurs throughout the state, with an emphasis on three underserved populations: women, tribal communities, and rural communities. Enabling businesses to start and grow, particularly technology-based businesses, is a boon to the state’s economic infrastructure. The proposed model and methods are extremely replicable and can be employed in other regions, ensuring the EDA’s investment in this program has a substantial impact.

Scale Up New Mexico consists of a suite of startup support programming during early-stage technology development. The program scales existing Arrowhead Center initiatives such as Sprint business accelerators, Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer assistance and commercialization support.

Startups will be directed to TechSprints, which emphasize customer discovery, market insight and validation, and commercial potential; then led into SBIR/STTR programming, intellectual property and technology transfer training, and investment training. TechSprints also feature yearly pitch competitions.

"Early-stage technology development is a critical phase in the startup journey, and providing the right support can make all the difference” said Carlos Murguia, Scale Up New Mexico program manager. “By providing access to valuable resources we can help them build strong relationships with investors, increase their chances of success and ultimately drive economic growth."

As part of Scale Up New Mexico’s collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories, the program will scale existing programming to address barriers to commercialization for women. Sandia National Labs delivers essential science and technology to resolve the nation’s most challenging security issues through a capable research staff working at the forefront of innovation, collaborative research with universities and companies, and discretionary research projects with significant potential impact.

Scale Up New Mexico is also teaming up with NM Start-Up Factory for investment education events. NM Start-Up Factory supports local entrepreneurs in securing funding and connects companies with management teams to commercialize their technologies. It will provide investment training and share program services with its networks.

The first TechSprint cohort kicks off in July. Applications are being accepted now. For more information, contact Carlos Murguia at or apply at