Activate New Mexico (ActivateNM) is a hybrid pre-accelerator and incubator program for early stage tech startups looking to pilot and grow their business in New Mexico. We are committed to nurturing New Mexico’s entrepreneurial community and thus, promoting prosperity in our state.
We are a community of entrepreneurs that provide training programs and resources to help tech founders build valuable businesses. We accept applications 2 times per year and seek early stage software or software-enabled startups to join ActivateNM. “Early stage” typically means companies that are pre-launch and/or pre-revenue, with little to no outside funding raised, and who are looking to raise outside capital to move quickly.
Who are we looking for?
- A team ready to grow quickly:
We like to see applications from founding teams rather than single founders, though solo founders with the ability to dedicate full-time effort to the business and who are eager to build their team are also encouraged to apply.
- A big idea and vision:
We like to see disruptive ideas that solve an important problem in a unique way in a potentially large ($1b+ market).
- A working product or prototype:
We like to see products that have been tested with real data or content outside the team (i.e. with potential customers).
- Understanding of your market:
We like to see a growing understanding of the market or markets you’ll be serving via real-life interviews and research.
Even if you don’t meet all the above categories, we encourage you to apply to start the conversation with us, as we love helping founders at every phase of their journey.
The Program Curriculum
Our curriculum brings founding teams on an amazing 8-week journey ending in a live Demo Day. This curriculum phase is based on Lean Startup principles and designed to give teams hands-on learning each week with a local business leader who is an expert on the topic. Each week, business leaders will workshop at least one cohort company, while other companies observe and participate.
The topics covered include:
- Lean Startup Crash Course
- Customer Discovery and Development
- Team & Organizational Development
- Product-Market Fit
- Customer Acquisition & Marketing
- Corporate and Legal
- Pitching and presentation
Commitment & Cost
While there is an 8-week curriculum phase customized for each company in the cohort, we don’t stop there. Thanks to our sponsors and partners the program is available for ActivateNM members for just $100/month.
We are proud to partner with WESST Enterprise Center to provide incubation space, mentorship and resources for ActivateNM members. Typically, companies will continue on as an incubating company for 3 to 6 months after the training program.
What do I get as a member?
- Cohort sessions including lunch on Wednesdays
- Coworking space in WESST’s coworking Suite 8:30am-4:30pm Monday – Friday
- Access to conference rooms and other WESST amenities for customer discovery and meeting needs
- Access to the ActivateNM mentor network consisting of seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs
- Access to Global Accelerator Network benefits including a perks platform, global exchange program, and many other connective benefits
- A community of practice which will support your venture!
How does membership cost work?
It costs $100/month per company (up to 2 co-founders, more team members extra). You are welcome to bring the occasional guest (for example another team member) to a session. If you are not able to afford membership dues, please contact us as there are scholarships available.
Do I have to attend all the sessions?
It is requested that you are present in-person for all the weekly sessions and special events such as Demo Day. Remember this is a cohort-based program; therefore, it is important to show up and collaborate with your cohort. If you are not able to attend, please plan to send another team member to represent the company.
What are the time requirements?
Accepted companies are required to participate in all Wednesday 11am-2pm sessions, attend extra workshops as determined during on-boarding, give full time effort (~40 hours/week) to the company, and connect at least weekly with mentors.
What if I can’t afford the costs?
Some participants are eligible to receive a scholarship to participate. Scholarships will be granted based on financial need. A monthly program fee of $100 is required for all participating companies.
Who is CNM Ingenuity?
CNM Ingenuity supports a new approach to education that provides accelerated educational and training opportunities in key workforce areas, wrap-around support for aspiring entrepreneurs, and cooperative ventures that foster economic development and job creation in the region. Since being established as a 501(c)3 in 2014 under the New Mexico Research Park Act, CNM Ingenuity has made tremendous progress on behalf of Central New Mexico Community College and the local economy.
Who is WESST?
WESST is a statewide small business development and training organization committed to growing New Mexico’s economy by cultivating entrepreneurship. Founded in 1989 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit by two PNM executives, Joellyn Murphy and Carol Radosevich, and an initial Executive Director, Jessica Glicken, WESST has nurtured the entrepreneurial dreams of thousands of New Mexicans by providing training, technical assistance and access to capital.
What if my startup idea fails?
There are a number of reasons a company may exit early. Failing to make progress for consecutive weeks or otherwise invalidating a core business hypotheses may lead to an exit path. We celebrate failure and help you stay in community.
For any questions or concerns, please email program manager Daniel Heron at firstname.lastname@example.org
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