Announcing Nine Competitors for Balloon Pitch 2018 on October 5!

We’re excited to announce the nine companies competing in the ABQid Balloon Pitch 2018, ranging from sophisticated artificial intelligence to camping without hassle, and wifi in space.

The winner of the pitch competition goes home with $10,000, but each startup will have a chance to pitch to seven investors who collectively represent portfolios worth $2 Billion. Tickets to the event on Friday, Oct. 5, at Vara Wines are $25.

In its first year and following the success of Ski Lift Pitch, Balloon Pitch will be held at Vara Wines on Oct. 5. Companies will have five minutes to pitch to the judges, and the winner will go home with $10,000 and fly with hundreds of other balloons in a special ride during an Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Mass Ascension.

The nine competitors are working in a variety of sectors:

  1. DeployHub: DeployHub gets innovation to the software end user faster, without compromising safety. It delivers critical improvements over traditional, monolithic releases by creating an iterative path to end users through its unique Deployment Version Control.
  2. Ibex Aegis: Modernizing right-of-way surveillance with artificial intelligence for the oil and gas industry.
  3. KitFox: Imagine your dream camping site, when you want it, how you want it.
  4. MagPI Innovations: MagPi Innovations researches, develops, and commercializes inventions.
  5. Minnotank: Minnotank takes startups and connects them to investors with one easy-to-use platform.
  6. OneForNeptune: OneForNeptune delivers healthy, high-protein snack foods made from premium quality sustainable seafood. Their wild-caught whitefish jerkies are ethically sourced from small-scale US West Coast fisheries.
  7. Smartloop: Smartloop is an AI company that is using new techniques to build on the chat bot experience for companies who want to connect better with their customers.
  8. Solstar Space: Solstar develops proprietary technologies and payload and space communicator products, providing commercial internet/communications services to astronauts and machines in space. Their services also enable earth-based customers 24/7 direct access to experiments, cubesats, machines, and colleagues located in space.
  9. Zhennovate: Zhennovate is moving to democratize business coaching for everyone.

More information about investors, sponsors, and purchasing tickets can be found on our Balloon Pitch page.

We’re now accepting applications to ActivateNM: Apply by Sept. 7, 2018!

In spring 2018, we started exploring what would happen if we merged ABQid’s expertise in startup acceleration with WESST’s expertise in business incubation. The result? ActivateNM, our new hybrid accelerator-incubator model that brings together the best of both worlds!

We’re now accepting applications to ActivateNM and seeking applications from early-stage software or software-enabled companies! Companies should be based in New Mexico, be pre- or early-revenue, and have an eagerness to achieve key growth milestones with support from ABQid, WESST, a team of mentors, and fellow cohort participants.

Built on the pillars of “disrupt,” “build,” and “community,” ActivateNM promises to provide cohort companies with the wrap-around support they need to quickly achieve company milestones and become competitive pursuers of equity-based programs, angel investment, or other funding models. Our new program will provide entrepreneurs with a ton of business value and know-how and extensive operational support. Our hope is that by providing these resources through the program, participants can stay focused on the essential questions: Who is my customer? What is my product and business model? How can I get to market efficiently and sustainably?

Our new cohort-based hybrid model is unique from previous ABQid accelerator cohorts in that,

  1. This is a no-equity program. Instead, ActivateNM helps companies figure out which of several funding mechanisms makes the most sense, and then helps them prepare to engage with those sources.
  2. Companies receive a stipend to help cover expenses, but must also pay a small monthly fee to be in the program. The idea is that by paying to participate, founders will feel accountable to themselves, their team, and their fellow cohort members.
  3. Office space, amenities, and hands-on support from experts are included. Previously companies were responsible for contracting with experts such as accounting, marketing, or software consultants on their own. Now they can count on a certain amount of value being provided through the accelerator itself and the extensive resources already available through WESST and ABQid.

If you’re ready to start defining and working towards growth milestones in your software or software-enabled company–or know someone who is–apply today! ActivateNM begins October 15, 2018, and we are accepting applications now through September 7.If you have any questions, please contact us at info@abqid.com.

Meet the Grads of our Lean Startup Bootcamp!

We recently teamed up with projectY Cowork in Los Alamos to help a cohort of early-stage companies refine their customer discovery and acquisition strategies using the Lean Startup method.

Six entrepreneurs successfully completed the 8-week program, giving a 9/10 score for overall value to their business. Check them out (in alphabetical order):

  • Concert Cribs – Designing modular pop-up living spaces for festival goers
  • Montibon Provenance – Providing an art security and provenance solution for collectors
  • Mountain Storm Instruments – Simplifying the design and operation of sophisticated sensor networks
  • Muezbiz – Helping local musicians make money
  • New Travel New Mexico – Helping local tourism departments and tour operators connect to more travelers
  • Wiggats – Offering an innovative head piece that builds confidence and sense of empowerment

Graduates are now taking action on what they learned, from launching offer tests for market segments they refined, to continuing customer discovery, to building in the Lean build-measure-learn discipline into every aspect of their business.

Our thanks to these awesome entrepreneurs–we’re excited to see where you go next!

And of course our thanks to the awesome team at projectY, Los Alamos Economic Development, and LANL Major Subcontractors Consortium.

To be in-the-know about our next Lean Startup Bootcamp, join our newsletter.