Seeking Startups for Ski Lift Pitch in Taos, NM

Pitching a startup on a ski lift in the world renowned Taos Ski Valley can only be topped by the opportunity to win $10,000. ABQid, a startup accelerator based in Albuquerque, NM, is seeking nationwide startups to participate in the unique ABQid Ski Lift Pitch, which will be held on March 1, 2016.

The pitch event pairs startup founders with venture capitalists (VCs) and industry leaders on Taos Ski Valley chair lifts. The startup founders make their pitches as the elevation rises. Each founder will have three opportunities to pitch and the VCs will vote on their favorites. Three finalists will then pitch to a full crowd, including the VC judges, over lunch at 1pm. The grand prizewinner will be selected among the three finalists and announced at the 3:30pm Aprés Ski event.

New Mexico attracts entrepreneurs who seek instant access to outdoor adventure and seek opportunities to make a real impact where they live and work. New Mexico’s ultimate diversity of people and terrain make it an ideal home base for tech geeks and entrepreneurs seeking a fusion of rich culture and instant access to the southern Rocky Mountains and unlimited outdoor adventure.

Last year’s inaugural Ski Lift Pitch event allowed VC’s from all over the country to check off a box on their bucket list and declare they’ve skied the new Kachina Lift at Taos Ski Valley, a world-class destination for both amateur and die-hard skiers.

“This year we are expanding the Ski Lift Pitch to entrepreneurs from all over the country to apply and experience New Mexico’s ideal conditions for startups,” said Katie Rice, one of the event co-founders.

Last year’s Ski Lift Pitch Winner was Taos Energy Bars. “I have immense passion for the entrepreneurial spirit and opportunities that New Mexico offers. It’s an amazing place for entrepreneurs to greatly benefit the startup ecosystem while driving economic development forward,” said Brooks Thostenson, President and Co-Owner of Taos Mountain Energy Bars.

New Mexico Magazine editor, Dave Herndon, after participating in the 2015 Ski Lift Pitch said, “the takeaway for me was that this event represents the sweet spot nexus of New Mexico’s natural assets, the recreation/lifestyle/travel options they present and the opportunity for grass roots economic development they can inspire.”

Startup founders interested in applying for the Ski Lift Pitch, should visit All applicants should have some experience with either skiing or snowboarding.

ABQid ( is an organization that supports local entrepreneurs who are building great businesses and is a key element in Albuquerque’s efforts to grow a culture of innovation, so organizing the contest aligned well with their mission. Current ABQid Ski Lift Pitch Contest sponsors include the New Mexico Tourism Department, Taos Ski Valley, Silicon Valley Bank, City of Albuquerque, ReCARnation, NewsCastic, Horizon Group at Morgan Stanley, Zia Trust, and Taos Mountain Energy Bar. Others interested in sponsoring the event can contact ABQid at

Announcing Scrappy Startup Finalists:

Announcing the Finalists:

As Girls Grow
***Winner of the Social Media contest announced later today***

Finalists will pitch for three minutes on Monday night in front of a panel of judges. Please join us for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, great pitches – and a chance for an audience member to win a ticket to V2V in Las Vegas, as well!

Scrappy Startups Pitch Contest
Monday, May 4th
Doors open at 5:00pm
Event 5::30 to 7:30pm
Hyatt Regency downtown Albuquerque

Get your tickets, here.

A lucky attendee will win a prize package valued at $1,000! The package includes a ticket to SXSW Venture2Venture in Las Vegas, July 19-22 and air fare, but you have to attend to be eligible.

ABQid the New Mexico Technology Council have teamed up to create an entrepreneurial pitch competition like non other! The Scrappy Startup Challenge is a live pitch competition, where entrepreneurs present their companies in short, 3-minute pitches to a panel of national judges.

The Judges:
Manolo Espinosa, VP Soundcloud, the world’s leading audio platform
Joanne Lang founder of the world’s only household management platform
Todd Hansen Head of Conference Content for the SXSW Interactive Festival
Lori Upham Life sciences serial entrepreneur, board member at CureDM
John McDermott former CIO at Xerox, serves as an advisor and investor in information technology start-ups and growth phase companies.

Everybody Has A Role To Play In Reinventing Our City

ABQid News Release
Contact: Kathleen Gardenswartz (505) 681-6791,

Everybody Has A Role To Play In Reinventing Our City
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (Apr. 15, 2015) – The upcoming ‘Reinventing Our City 2.0: Growing Albuquerque’s Startup Economy’ event hosted by Albuquerque Business First on April 23rd will explore our city’s efforts to grow a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. A handful of entrepreneurs are lined up to discuss the challenges and rewards of starting a business, including how their environment affects their
experience. While we all stand to benefit when our local companies achieve success, it is not always clear how each of us can help them.
Webb Johnson, Managing Director of ABQid, has witnessed the incredible impact of community members rallying around local startups and believes everyone has a role to play in helping them achieve success. “It
can be as simple as being willing to meet with an entrepreneur, making an introduction, or supporting them on social media” he explained. “We also have community members who share their expertise with local
entrepreneurs by leading a lecture or mentoring during our Office Hours program on Wednesday afternoons,” Johnson continued. He made it clear that you don’t have to fit any Silicon Valley stereotypes in order to make an impact on Albuquerque’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and highlighted a diverse group of ABQid volunteers who are leading the way.
Zach Lerner is one of these amazing volunteers. Zach may not look like your average lawyer, but he has quickly established himself as a local expert in venture law. Despite running a growing law practice, Mr. Lerner regularly makes himself available to local entrepreneurs for consultations during ABQid’s Office Hours program on Wednesday afternoons. Furthermore, he donates his time as prizes for events like
Startup Weekend Women’s Edition. “I truly enjoy helping entrepreneurs navigate legal issues associated with starting a business. From the first time I heard that a local accelerator would be launching in Albuquerque, I knew that I wanted to get involved in some manner,” said Lerner. Joanie Griffin is another community member stepping up to make a difference for local entrepreneurs. A marketing guru, Ms. Griffin was instrumental in the success of ABQid’s recent Ski Lift Pitch Contest in
Taos. The ABQid Ski Lift Pitch Contest provided unparalleled exposure for New Mexico entrepreneurs and was even featured on NPR’s national radio show ‘Marketplace.’ Like Zach, Joanie generously offers her
time to local entrepreneurs seeking guidance and her desire to see Albuquerque’s economy thrive is unmistakable. “Nothing would make me happier than seeing an explosion of successful small businesses in
Albuquerque,” stated Griffin. Valdamir “Vic” Berniklau has been an incredible ally for Albuquerque’s entrepreneurs for some time now.
Vic is a certified SCORE mentor, regular ABQid Office Hours mentor, and retired U.S. Department of Energy executive. He can be found all over town advising local entrepreneurs and he always has a smile
on his face. Inspired to make your own impact on our city’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem? Join us for the Reinventing Our City 2.0 event on April 23rd from 7:30- 9:30am at the Albuquerque Convention Center to learn how. We can’t wait to meet you.
For more information about ‘Reinventing Our City 2.0: Growing Albuquerque’s Startup Economy’ and to
purchase tickets, visit:

Scrappy Startups V2V Judges Announced

Albuquerque, NM

ABQid and the New Mexico Technology Council announce judges for Scrappy Startups V2V Edition.

“We’re supremely proud to announce an amazing line-up of judges for the upcoming Scrappy Startup V2V edition, national in scope and caliber” effused Webb Johnson, Managing Director of ABQid. The judges announced include Manolo Espinosa, VP of Soundcloud the world’s leading audio platform, Joanne Lang of, the world’s only household management platform, Lori Upham, Chairman and COO of CureDM, a biopharmaceutical company established to develop new therapies that may prevent, ameliorate or reverse diabetes and allow for the discontinuation of insulin, and John McDermott, former CIO of Xerox and serial startup entrepreneur. Both organizations expressed their excitement on having these judges participate in the event scheduled on May 4th. They launched a domain to recruit applicants and attendees at, with prize announcements pending.

Manolo Espinosa – San Francisco
Manolo Espinosa is the Vice President of Platform at SoundCloud, the world’s leading audio platform. In this capacity, Manolo is responsible for SoundCloud’s API toolset, global developer evangelism, and integration with platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Google and Apple. Prior to SoundCloud, Manolo was co-founder of IndexTank, a real-time, hosted search engine acquired by LinkedIn. Manolo holds degrees from Amherst College and Harvard University.

Joanne Lang – Philadelphia
Joanne Lang is the founder of, the world’s only household management platform, and the smart, secure solution for managing family in the cloud. AboutOne’s suite of apps makes it easy to manage the family calendar, along with memories and household paperwork – at home or on-the-go. A former SAP cloud technology specialist, Joanne is the mom of four boys and one of Forbes Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch. She writes and speaks regularly on leveraging technology to simplify life and prepare for the future, and has raised over $5M in seed and series A funding since launching at VentureBeat DEMO. She is one of the 3% of women in tech who have raised capital in the US and was featured in Microsoft’s documentary, CTRL+ALT+COMPETE.

Loraine V. Upham – Albuquerque, NM
Loraine V. Upham, Lori serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Operating Officer at CureDM, Inc. Ms. Upham served as Chief Executive and President of CureDM, Inc. She has 26 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. A diverse and highly regarded career including the Molecular Genetics Research Department at Eli Lilly and Company, Merck and Co., Product Manager and Project Team Leader at Packard BioScience, Lori’s expansive work on diabetes led to the founding of CureDM. Playing key roles in both process development engineering and business development at Prolexys Pharmaceuticals (a spin-off of Myriad Genetics) provided critical exposure in the field of human proteomic biology that ultimately formed the basis for the CureDM discovery platform and the identification of the Human proIslet Peptide. As the Founding Chief Executive Officer of CureDM, she successfully obtained start up financing and engineered partnerships to conduct basic research and establish the preclinical proof of concept for HIP, which allowed progression into preclinical development. She has been a key and integral part in every facet of CureDM’s business, science and technology. Ms. Upham holds a BA in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Arizona State University.

John McDermott – Santa Fe, NM
John serves as an advisor and investor in information technology start-ups and growth phase companies. He started several small, but highly successful companies before he obtained his MBA from Yale University.
John’s ten year career at Xerox culminated as CIO, where he contributed extensively to business simplification and system rationalization initiatives, during a period of dramatic turn-around at the company. Prior to Xerox he was a partner at Marakon Associates, a management consulting firm where he provided business strategy, operations improvement and organizational design, primarily in the technology and telecommunications industries. He was deeply involved in the business turnaround at IBM, an experience that has informed and guided much of his subsequent career. John serves the State of New Mexico as Chairman of the New Mexico Finance Authority and serves as a Board Member of ABQid, New Mexico’s leading start-up accelerator and seed investment firm.


Scrappy Startup Challenge – V2V edition

Startups! Get ready – ABQid and the New Mexico Technology Council have teamed up create an entrepreneurial pitch competition like none other.

Presenting Scrappy Startups V2V Edition

In coordination with SxSW, we will be awarding passes to V2V ($795 value, each!) to winning teams, as well as door prizes to attendees).

Starting April 9th 2015, applications will open. Please apply HERE.

Round 1 applications are due by 5:00 pm on Friday, April 24th. Contestants will be be notified May 1st of their selection to present at the event on May 4th.

Once accepted into the first round your company will be added to a live voting page where community members have a chance to choose their favorite scrappy startup! Share the page on social media and the team with the most votes by May 1st 2015 will receive automatic admission to live pitches and a special prize!

On Monday, May 4th, 2015 (5:00 to 7:30pm) 7 to 10 entrepreneurs will present their companies in short 3-minute pitch formats to a panel of venture capitalists/judges in an American Idol/The Voice/ Dancing with the Stars-like format.

Prizes include: Automatic audit entry into ABQid, tickets for winning teams to go to SXSW V2V in Las Vegas, July 19-22, plus much more!

We’ll have special door prizes that include tickets to SXSW V2V, as well!

To apply, click here.
To attend, click here.

Get ready, get scrappy!