Mark Medley was working with a business consultant to recover from identity theft when he heard about Accion New Mexico–Arizona–Colorado. What Medley learned while trying to repair his credit prompted him to start a nonprofit — ID Theft Resolutions — to help others protect themselves from identity thieves and to rebound as quickly and completely as possible if their efforts fail.
Medley got a loan from Accion to help him get the nonprofit going after obtaining his designation as a 501c(3) nonprofit. Accion offers loans as small as $200 and as large as $300,000 to people who might otherwise be turned down by lenders because they are a startup or have credit problems.
Medley qualified in both cases: His credit score was destroyed by identity theft and his nonprofit was the equivalent of a startup.
Barbara Kline, Founder and President, Breakthru Communications
In some ways, starting a business is a lot like playing poker: An entrepreneur always has to weigh the odds, give herself room to maneuver and know when to hold or fold.
According to recent data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, 31 percent of businesses fail within the first two years and half within five years. On the other hand, more than 25 percent of all business startups survive for at least 15 years.
A few — but not many — companies succeeded despite a firm hand on the till that kept them from taking a few risks by investing in growth and innovation. For every company that succeeded wildly right after the founder had mortgaged the house and maxed out the credit cards, hundreds went bankrupt or were saddled with debt for many years.
By Kathy Keith, Executive Director (center); pictured with RDC team members Monica Abeita and Gail Gordon
The Regional Development Corporation and its partners are launching the 20/20 Campaign to celebrate the entrepreneurs who have started small businesses in Northern New Mexico, creating jobs, driving innovative industries and providing a solid economic base for our communities.
The 20/20 Campaign aims to recognize and support 20 high-growth companies that could potentially grow to double or triple in size within eight years — by 2020 — to become major employers in Northern New Mexico. A handful of businesses every year will be selected by the collaborating partners, which are service providers, economic development organizations, city and county governments and entrepreneurial support organizations from Española, Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Taos. The first crop of 20/20 companies will be announced on October 4th, 2012 during a “Spirit of Innovation” event.
Jennifer Craig, Regional Manager, WESST Las Cruces
Networking is a form of marketing that exponentially increases the influence that a professional or business owner can have when searching for new markets or clients. WESST, a nonprofit that helps build small businesses in New Mexico, used the occasion of Women’s History Month in March to teach women entrepreneurs how to use this powerful tool: The organization’s Las Cruces enterprise center started an Empowering Women in Business Networking lunch meeting so clients and other women could mingle, share ideas, get acquainted and help one another.
The gatherings started small — about three dozen women — but that number nearly doubled by June, suggesting that WESST had tapped into an unmet need.
Information Sessions Coincide with Next Funding Deadline
Monica Abeita, Regional Development Corp. for NNM Connect
Three New Mexico men – metallurgist Terry Lowe from Metallicum, a subsidiary of Manhattan Scientifics; designer and manufacturer Dan Blacklock from Danlin Products; and dentist and educator Walt Schuman from BASIC Dental Implants — recently collaborated to develop, manufacture, and market dental implants that use an enhanced variant of titanium made by Manhattan Scientifics. Titanium improves the way dental implants are anchored into the jawbone.
But the team needed special equipment and expertise to evaluate and describe the distinctive characteristics of their breakthrough material, which goes by the trademarked name of Biotanium. The partners applied for help from the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program – a joint project of Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories and the state of New Mexico. Continue reading →
When presenting an opportunity to investors, entrepreneurs usually begin by describing their invention and explaining why people need it. Next they present the financial team’s projections about what customers would probably pay for the product or service and what the entrepreneurs want to charge. They end by introducing the entrepreneurial team and detailing members’ credentials.
This approach is the inverse of what venture capitalists like me care about and consider when evaluating an investment. I want to hear about a venture the way I want to read a book or watch a movie: I want a story. Who are the protagonists and the other main characters? What goals do the characters hope to achieve, and how valuable would the goal be if it’s reached? What challenges do the characters anticipate and how will they respond to them? Finally I want to know my role so I can decide if I want the part.
Doug Lee, Managing Director, WESST Enterprise Center
A digital media studio that opens soon at the 3-year-old WESST Enterprise Center business incubator in downtown Albuquerque will provide more resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses in New Mexico.
When the Comcast Digital Media Studio opens in July, WESST will have a studio to film workshops we can then stream live to all our offices in New Mexico. This means our workshops will have a uniform message for our resident and non-resident clients, regardless of whether they’re based in Albuquerque or at our satellite offices in Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Roswell and Farmington. Of the estimated 1250 business incubators in the U.S., fewer than six have video studios.
Priscilla Dakin, Dakin Business Group Business Brokerage
Many business owners dream of selling their business at a price that will pay them in retirement what they earned while working. The ones who achieve this goal start planning and preparing well before retirement by saving a portion of personal income from the business in retirement accounts and diverse investments and by managing the business so it’s offered for sale at the peak of its success.
Congress in December voted to continue two federal programs that offer funding to small businesses involved in technology and innovation. The Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) were reauthorized as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, ensuring their funding through 2017.
Betsy Gillette, Director of Market Research & Planning, TVC
Pricing a product really isn’t that complicated, even for high-tech products; it’s just a matter of using educated judgment. Before settling on a price, the entrepreneur must assemble facts about the competition and customer base and know what the product cost to produce, among other things.