CNM collaborates with ABQid to teach students how to Kick-start their Business Idea!

by Tom Darling, CNM

On April 22nd, on the main campus of Central New Mexico Community College, a new step was taken in the development of the economic development of Albuquerque. Over 70 people attended a two hour boot camp titled “Kick-start your Start Up” to learn a new way of getting their business idea on to one page, in a way to validate their product, idea, and concept with the customer in mind. Students and community members were paired with local entrepreneurs, business owners and venture capitalists to work through their innovative business ideas in order to get them one step closer to reality. Earlier this Spring Central New Mexico Community College announced to the Albuquerque Economic Development community that we were opening the STEMulus Center in downtown Albuquerque within the new Innovation District to help stimulate and grow the local business community. This center will provide students and community members the opportunity to develop businesses, learn much needed skills for the ever growing workforce needs of the city, develop product prototypes, and grow their businesses. CNM partnered this Spring with ABQid to develop the Kick-Start your Start Up boot camp to introduce budding entrepreneurs to the concept of the Business Model Canvas method of business development with the intent to spread the concept throughout the city. As a result of the event on April 22nd, many of the attendees also participated in the 2014 Start-up weekend event hosted at the CNM main campus. CNM has committed to working with the ever growing economic development community of Albuquerque to help foster innovation and new business development in a way that brings together the community to grow new businesses in the city. We look forward to working with ABQid and the City of Albuquerque to make great strides in strengthening the economy of central New Mexico and securing our economic future!

CNM Entrepreneurial Bootcamp

On Tuesday, April 22nd, ABQid and CNM hosted the first entrepreneurial bootcamp for students and members of the community, focused on creating new companies. Aided by Tom Darling, Professor of Business and Entrepreneuriship at CNM and the newly announced STEMulous Center, the ABQid team presented a compressed overview of the Lean Startup methodology for creating a business.

Hosted at CNM with presenters from ABQid, over 70 attendees participated in a hands-on workshop, designed to “kickstart” their startup companies. The program focused on an introduction to the Business Model Canvas, and the Lean Startup methodology for quickly testing assumptions about your business idea – and most importantly, learning how to validate the existence of customers.

CNM’s effort, led by Tom Darling, has emphasized the importance of customer validation – the very important process of identifying a prospective customer and asking them if they will buy your product or service – and how to adjust your product to that input, as well as learn to incorporate that customer input continuously, as part of your business.

Eager participants engaged with entrepreneurs in the two-hour seminar, learning strategies on how to identify the value of what they propose to sell, as well as the importance of customer segmentation, and sales channels.

ABQid made the commitment to provide any participant follow-on support and advice if they provided a completed Business Model Canvas and the input of ten prospective customers.

The next event will be hosted in conjunction with UNM on May 8th.