4 Companies Join ActivateNM Spring 2019 Cohort

Alongside our partners at WESST, we’re excited to announce four new companies who’ve been selected to join ActivateNM as part of the Spring 2019 cohort. ActivateNM is our hybrid startup accelerator-incubator program for early-stage New Mexico based businesses with high-growth potential, which we launched in October 2018. 

The new batch of startups who are joining ActivateNM address problems in a variety of industries, but they share a common feature in that they all offer a software or software-enabled product. Companies selected include,

  • Conversion Plan. Conversion Plan offers a sales tool that increases sales organizations’ conversion rates by analyzing specific and historic opportunity data stored in the organization’s CRM and outputting a conversion plan consisting of action items and deadlines to ensure the deal is won in the forecasted timeframe.
  • Donor Jar. Donor Jar enables political campaigns to connect to donors with aligned values and easily process donations through a website plugin that makes taking donations via debit/credit card simple and also collects important FEC reporting data.
  • Nimble Compensation. Nimble Compensation helps automotive dealerships significantly reduce errors and time spent during the commission calculation process by automating and streamlining the operation.
  • Well Known Corporation. WellKnown Corporation is on a mission to build the world’s best community for creative students to share, learn and grow and offers a knowledge-sharing platform for college students to create and and access helpful content related to the collegiate experience.

ActivateNM kicks off tomorrow, April 3 2019. Over 8 weeks, cohort companies will be guided through immersive workshops with business professionals from around the Albuquerque and New Mexico entrepreneurial ecosystem. Topics we’ll cover include lean startup, customer development, team and organizational development, market definition and segmentation, marketing & sales, corporate and legal issues, fundraising and finance, and pitch coaching & presentation. Cohort companies will also be supported by an extensive network of professional mentors who will provide the diverse support needed to build a successful startup. And remember to mark your calendars for ActivateNM Demo Day on May 24, 2019, 4-5:30pm at WESST Enterprise Center. Follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date.

Lastly, we’d like to give an update on the companies who joined us for the first ever ActivateNM Cohort in October 2018. While two have graduated and are now part of the broader ActivateNM community, three companies are still participating in the ActivateNM incubator and working on their key growth milestones. Here’s what’s new:

  • CustomCult. Custom Cult graduated the program in March 2019 and is busy refining his customized snowboard production process. They’ve launched a slick new website, which customers can now use to purchase a customized snowboard. Head on over to www.customcult.com and check it out!
  • FruitStand Technology. During the ActivateNM cohort, FruitStand Technology defined their target market through extensive customer discovery, hired a Project Manager, took on new projects with early adopters and most exciting, is to formally launch their managed marketplace in April 2019. Check out https://fruitstand.tech/ to learn how they can help keep your website fresh for years to come!
  • Hangerang. After a lot of hard work refining their product and figuring out who their target customer is during the ActivateNM cohort, Hangerang is busy preparing to launch their platform in mid-April. Hangerang enables local businesses and individuals to share, promote and engage in real-life social experiences with their friends, family, and broader community. Head on over to https://hangerang.us/ to be the first to know when the platform launches!
  • Schedule My RentSchedule My Rent graduated the ActivateNM Cohort in March 2019 and is focusing on setting up meetings with investors and looking to scale rapidly over the next couple of months. The company continues to have a steady stream of revenue coming through their property management platform and during the cohort, they also launched a number of differentiated features, including the ability for landlords to receive their rent payments almost immediately, as well as for tenants to pay with cash through MoneyGram! Visit www.schedulemyrent.com to learn more about their property management platform.
  • Think Ubiquitous. Think Ubiquitous continues to build new data analysis tools using their Tellus Data Platform. After a significant amount of work defining and understanding their market, they recently began working on a new product, which will enable tech businesses and prospective employees to more easily and transparently navigate the technical interview experience. To find out more about this disruptive product and how you can be involved in helping with early test cases, visit www.think-ubiquitous.com.

If you’re a member of the Albuquerque or New Mexico startup or entrepreneurial community and are interested in getting involved in ActivateNM as a future cohort company, workshop facilitator, or team mentor, contact us at info@abqid.com, Subject: ActivateNM.

Inaugural Hyperspace Challenge Successfully Brings Defense Community and Startups Together in Albuquerque

Inaugural Hyperspace Challenge Successfully Brings Defense Community and Startups Together in Albuquerque

 

In April 2018, AFRL New Mexico and ABQid began working together on Hyperspace Challenge. This one-of-a-kind program accelerates innovation for our defense community by exposing defense users to tech startups’ cutting edge capabilities. It also provides meaningful customer discovery opportunities for participating startups that they couldn’t get anywhere else. Hyperspace Challenge also promotes Albuquerque and New Mexico as a hub of technological innovation by bringing together successful startups and defense innovators in Albuquerque. This benefits our community’s long-term economic prosperity!

The inaugural Hyperspace Challenge program culminated with Hyper Accelerator Week, November 13-16, 2018. This multi-day event, hosted in Albuquerque’s Lobo Rainforest Building, convened 10 of our country’s top geospatial data analytics startups and a group of defense innovators to explore how startups’ capabilities could address 5 carefully-defined challenges in the defense community.

The 10 startups invited to attend Hyper Accelerator Week were selected after participating in a month-long webinar series in September 2018. The series helped startups learn firsthand from defense innovators about their technological obstacles. Startups then submitted proposals describing how their capabilities could address one or more of those problems. A team of tech, business, and defense experts evaluated these proposals using a rigorous rubric and helped select the 10 finalists.

During Hyper Accelerator Week, the 10 finalist startups met face-to-face with the defense innovators from the webinar series in intensive breakout sessions designed to give startups and defense innovators the opportunity to figure out how startups’ capabilities could be used to address specific defense community needs.

On the evening of November 15, startups took their learnings from the breakout sessions and pitched their solutions in a state-of-the-art Pitch Competition. A panel of three judges, including Matt Fetrow (AFRL New Mexico), Carlos Romero (NM Tech) and Bill Hartman (Ion Linac Systems) evaluated the startups’ pitches using a comprehensive rubric. CrowdAI (1st place), Enview (2nd place), and NOVI LLC (3rd place) received high scores and were awarded $25K, $15K and $10K, respectively, to expedite follow-on activities related to establishing acquisition or contracting opportunities with the Department of Defense.

We would like to congratulate the 10 startups who joined us in Albuquerque. We’d like to thank all of the defense innovators and business and tech experts who gave their time to Hyper Accelerator Week. The success of this event would not have been possible without their support.

We look forward to the next iteration of this program and to accelerating innovation for the defense community; to offering startups incredible customer discovery opportunities; and to promoting our city and state as a hub of technological innovation! To stay up-to-date on the launch of the 2019 Hyperspace Challenge program, follow us on social media on Facebook and Twitter. If you have any questions, please contact us at contact@hyperspacechallenge.com.

Register Now for ActivateNM Demo Day December 7

Register here! Join ABQid and WESST at the 2018 ActivateNM Demo Day December 7 from 3-5pm at WESST Enterprise Center! Leaders from the entrepreneurial community will cast vision for the new year, and five startups will pitch their companies after incorporating learnings from an eight-week Lean Startup program during which guest facilitators shared first-hand stories of lessons learned as well as important practices when building high-growth companies.

Awesome food and beverage will be on hand for the celebration, and you’ll be inspired for your startup journey.

Here’s a sneak peak at the five software and software-enabled companies pitching:

  • CustomCult. Custom Cult provides software and hardware to enable mass customization of snowboards and skis.
  • FruitStand Technology. With subscription-based web design and marketing services, FruitStand’s highly vetted technical professionals keep “main street” company websites sites fresh, and their customers happy.
  • Hangerang. Hangerang helps users quickly find, create, and share in-the-moment local happenings – growing IRL connections and boosting local economies.
  • Schedule My RentSchedule My Rent allows busy property owners and landlords to save time by screening tenants, automatically collecting rent, and more.
  • Think UbiquitousThink Ubiquitous’ platform offers scientists visualization and analysis tools that make their important research immediately accessible and usable.

Download the flyer and share with a friend!

Also, we can’t say thank you enough to the amazing Guest Facilitators and Mentors who covered critical topics for high-growth startups and shared first-hand experiences that each startup was able to apply directly to problems they’re facing:

Register here!

Announcing five companies participating in ActivateNM!

Alongside our partners at WESST, we’re excited to announce five companies accepted to ActivateNM, a new hybrid startup accelerator program for early-stage New Mexico based businesses with high-growth potential.

After passing through a competitive application process, the startups chosen address problems in a variety of industries but share the common thread of having a software or software-enabled product. They are:

  • CustomCult. Custom Cult provides software and hardware to enable mass customization of snowboards and skis.
  • FruitStand Technology. FruitStand Technology is a highly curated marketplace for technical professionals across the globe, providing subscription based website, design and marketing services.
  • Hangerang. Hangerang enables users to quickly create, share, and participate in real life social experiences to combat loneliness and increase traffic for local businesses.
  • Schedule My Rent. Schedule My Rent helps landlords by dramatically reduce the time and effort of property management with simple and powerful online services.
  • Think Ubiquitous. Makers of the Tellus Data Platform which provides tools to streamline and monetize the skills and expertise of individuals and small groups.

Starting October 15 and ending in a public Demo Day December 7 at WESST, ABQid and WESST will host a Lean Startup based curriculum facilitated by experts in the local startup community. Guest Facilitators will include experienced executives from TechGrindBoomTime, DescartesLabs, and BabyPage, as well as expert service providers such as Lerner Venture Law, Peacock Law, and Slide 12.

In addition to the facilitated weekly sessions, companies are mentored by Lean Startup experts who will attach to individual teams for the duration of the eight weeks, helping them apply principles to the big customer acquisition milestones they need to achieve to prove their model.

Participating companies will also have access to coworking space, shared infrastructure, and staff consulting in the award-winning WESST Enterprise Center in the heart of Albuquerque’s Innovation District.

The Lean Startup method, which is a proven method for developing and managing startups, has been adopted the world over. Since 2014, ABQid has trained over 500 New Mexicans in the method and invested in 31 local companies who embody Lean practices in their early formation. For over thirty years, WESST has provided foundational business and financial consulting that all businesses need to grow.

Finally, while there is an 8-week curriculum outlay customized for each company in the cohort, the program itself lasts for as long as it takes for startups to achieve the milestone(s) they set out to hit. Typically, companies will be expected to move through the program in 3-6 months.

The program is sponsored by the City of Albuquerque.

 

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 a digital platform to scale personalized resilience development.

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