The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that Arrowhead Center, the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at New Mexico State University, has been awarded a $300,000 grant through the Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program to support the Arrowhead Innovation Fund, an early stage seed capital fund for promising New Mexico startup companies.
“This investment will have a significant impact on the success of the Arrowhead Innovation Fund and support the launch of more startups here in New Mexico,” said Arrowhead Center Director Kathy Hansen. “Truly innovative research and technology is coming out of NMSU and its Arrowhead Center clients – this fund helps accelerate taking those innovations from the idea stage to market, addressing the gap in New Mexico in early stage seed funding.”
Arrowhead Innovation Fund has commitments for a total investment of $800,000 from New Mexico’s Catalyst Fund, a $20 million “fund of funds” to support New Mexico companies, and $500,000 from the NMSU Foundation, as well as from other private investors.
Arrowhead Innovation Fund is currently accepting applications from promising New Mexico-based companies at arrowheadinnovationfund.com, with a goal of investing in approximately 12 companies over the next three to four years.
The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration leads the RIS program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. The program is authorized through the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.
In the current cohort, 42 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from 28 states – received more than $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through RIS.
“These projects will enable entrepreneurs in communities across the United States to start new businesses, manufacture innovative products, and export them throughout the world – increasing America’s global competitiveness,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in announcing the award.
This fourth cohort of Regional Innovation Strategies awardees expands the RIS portfolio to eight new states and continues to build vibrant regional entrepreneurial economies. The Arrowhead Innovation Fund was selected from a pool of more than 217 applicants.