ABQid Annouces call for Accelerator Applications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, June 11th, Albuquerque, New Mexico, ABQid, Inc., (www.ABQid.com), an accelerator for high-growth and technology startups in Albuquerque, NM announced today that it is taking applications for it’s Accelerator program, starting August 4th.

Teams accepted into the program (up to ten teams will be selected) receive $20,000 in initial financing in exchange for 6% equity in their company. They also receive office resources in the ABQid Accelerator facility for up to 11 months, as well as access to a diverse mentor network of entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches, technologists, product builders and investors. In addition, ABQid will be applying for membership with the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), an alliance created by TechStars as part of the Startup America Initiative. Through our prospective GAN affiliation, ABQid offers startups accepted into the program amazing resources, amounting to nearly $100,000 in free perks from over 15 of the best vendors in the world, including Microsoft, Softlayer, Rackspace, PayPal and more.

The Global Accelerator Network includes many of the strongest and most successful independent startup accelerators from across the US and around the world.

“We are extremely pleased to announce the open call for application to our ABQid Accelerator program,” says Bill Bice, Board President of ABQid. “The biggest challenge for any early-stage company is customer traction. Through our customer validation processes (the curriculum for the accelerator program, developed by Steve Blank), an amazing network of world-class mentors and peers with relationships across the planet, and the outstanding support of an organization like GAN, we will local startups the BEST chance at being successful.”

For more information on ABQid, Inc., the Accelerator program and the call for applications, please visit www.ABQid.com or www.F6s.com/ABQid#

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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.

Smart Money

by Jeff Pfohl

One of the top reasons new companies fail is lack of sufficient funding.

Therefore, one of the constant themes in a new entrepreneurial venture is raising money.

It is very easy to simply accept any check/investment that comes in the door. After all landlords, electric companies, etc do not care where money comes from, they only care if the checks clear.

BUT as entrepreneurs should we accept any check from any source? That answer is no. Money is money, it all spends the same when we have bills to pay, but is there something else we can gain by picking and choosing? The answer is a resounding YES.

Expertise, contacts, and advice.

Finding smart money, not only money that can help keep the doors open, but that can also help our companies grow and thrive should be the ultimate goal. All entrepreneurial companies should ask:

1. if I have a question, can this investor help me?
2. if I need to make a new contact in my business space, does this investor have a Rolodex that opens up the doors I need?

If the answer is YES you have found “smart money”, someone who not only helps your company pay its bills, but also helps you solve problems and move forward quickly and smartly. They know your business space, have operated in it for years with success, have the necessary experience to help you avoid common mistakes, and have the necessary contacts to help your company move forward and eventually exit.

So if your company is a biotech company, look for investments from angels, and VCs, who have operated in biotech. If your company focuses on computer hardware, look for those investors who have had success (M&A, IPOs) in that space. Do not just take any money. Investors/VCs made their money, as a rule, in a very specific space, sometimes in a very specific company. They know all the ins and outs of that space, but most likely are not a “Jack of All Trades”. You want and need an investor who knows the common pitfalls of your industry and how to avoid them. You want and need an investor who can make the necessary contacts and open the doors you need on a moment’s notice. Expertise and contacts are infinitely more valuable than “simple money” which only pays the bills, but doesn’t provide your company the resources to grow and thrive.

Smart money is more than a check reflecting your balance sheet and valuation, it is everything your company needs to succeed.