TWO RIO ARRIBA COUNTY BUSINESSES RECEIVE VENTURE ACCELERATION FUNDING (VAF)
(PRESS RELEASE)-ESPAÑOLA, N.M., June 26, 2014— Ten New Mexico businesses – headquartered in Abiquiu, Albuquerque, Alcalde, Santa Fe, and Taos – have been named winners of the 2014 Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) awards. VAF was initiated in 2006 by Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the company that manages Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), to stimulate the economy by supporting growth oriented companies.
“Since the VAF was initiated in 2006, Los Alamos National Security has invested approximately $3 million in 49 New Mexico businesses,” said David Pesiri, director of the Feynman Center for Innovation. “Now it’s a community effort, with Los Alamos County, the city of Santa Fe and MEP stepping forward to partner with us. It’s encouraging to see that the payback triggers we implemented in 2013 are already creating sustainability for the fund.” Pesiri said.
The grant awards are administered by the Regional Development Corporation’s Los Alamos Connect program in coordination with Los Alamos National Laboratory. LANS invested $306,000, Los Alamos County invested $25,000, Santa Fe city government invested $30,000, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension (MEP) Partnership invested $25,000, and $30,000 came from repayment to the Regional Development Corporation by a previous year VAF grant recipient.
“This year brought in more qualified applicants than ever before, and I am excited to see the improvements in the economic climate the winners will help create here in Northern New Mexico,” said Kurt Steinhaus, Los Alamos’ Community Programs Office director.Awards were given to five companies in Santa Fe, two each from Rio Arriba and Taos counties and one from Albuquerque. 2014 Venture Acceleration Fund recipients are:
o Flow Science, Santa Fe: computational fluid dynamics modeling software packages.
o Heavy Oil Solutions, Santa Fe: converting low-grade petrochemicals into higher value products using super critical water extraction and refining.
o Keystone Restoration Ecology, Santa Fe: remote assessment of watersheds using Geographic Information Systems mapping.
o Milk+Honey, Santa Fe: expanding handmade goat milk soaps and beeswax lotion bars into the national market.
o Xpress, Santa Fe: electronic tablets to improve how health-care providers choose drugs relevant to their practice, eliminating costly pharmaceutical sales representatives.
o FLUTe, Alcalde: flexible liners for mapping groundwater contamination and municipal water supplies.
o Purple Adobe Lavender Farm, Abiquiu: expanding lavender-based body care and culinary products into the national market.
o Private Label Select, Taos: natural personal care and cosmetic for national department stores, pharmacies and large manufacturers.
o Taos Mountain Energy Bars, Taos: energy bars; to improve manufacturing and packaging and eliminate waste and ramp up production to meet demand.
o Seed Worthy, Albuquerque: start-up company provides full wrapper platform (Bow Tie) for web and application developers.
“This is an important tool in our economic development efforts,” said Kate Noble of the city of Santa Fe. “The Venture Acceleration Fund draws out and empowers really interesting and important businesses in our region.”
This Venture Acceleration Fund was originally created to commercialize technologies developed at the Lab but now includes all types of businesses in every stage of development. The Venture Acceleration Fund is part of Los Alamos Connect, that aims to help entrepreneurs and businesses reach the next level of success and grow the economy in Northern New Mexico.
About the Venture Acceleration Fund
The VAF is a collaborative investment funded by Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), Los Alamos County, the city of Santa Fe and New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The fund is administered by Los Alamos Connect, a program managed by the Regional Development Corporation.
About Los Alamos Connect
Los Alamos Connect (www.losalamosconnect.net<http://www.losalamosconnect.net>) is the principal economic development investment by Los Alamos National Security, LLC the company that manages Los Alamos National Laboratory. Los Alamos Connect, administered by the Regional Development Corporation (www.rdcnm.org<http://www.rdcnm.org>), provides a variety of services to help businesses achieve growth, continued success, and increase economic impact in Northern New Mexico.
Purple Adobe Lavender Farm, Abiquiu
Owners: Elizabeth and Roger Inman
“Our farm was established in 2004 to grow and provide efficient, expert solutions for growing the finest lavender. We want to bring the best growing information to provide success to our customers and individuals interested in growing their own lavender. Whether it be for personal growers of lavender flower gardens or a commercial lavender growing farm, we want you to be informed so you can grow lavender successfully. Our primary services include lavender plant sales, educational programs and information on growing lavender. We provide consultation, and, of course, our lavender bath and body product line found at our gift shoppe and in local stores. We also offer a host of specialty services catering to the unique needs of our clients. Our lavender is grown at a higher altitude which produces a finer grade of lavender essential oil that is used in our “Everything Lavender” bath and body product line. These products are available at our gift shoppe and local stores. Lavender has long been known for it’s astounding healing qualities: it is a known calmative, and has antibacterial, and anti-microbial properties aiding in its restorative abilities. “
For more information, please visit: http://www.purpleadobelavenderfarm.com/index.html
Mark Sanchez, FLUTe Production Manager
“FLUTe’s purchase of the old mica plant in Alcalde not only salvaged a degrading asset but also established the potential for substantive economic development and job growth,” stated Rio Arriba County Commissioner Danny Garcia. “I am pleased that the County has been able to offer support to the company throughout the process. Our purchase of their water rights not only helped FLUTe meet critical financial objectives, and it also preserved this most precious resource on behalf of our community.”
Founded by scientist Carl Keller in 1996, FLUTe stands for “Flexible Liner Underground Technologies” and manufactures flexible borehole liners used for mapping ground water contamination and municipal water supply resources. The company’s product is gaining ground in the oil and gas and mining industries, and has been installed worldwide from Denmark to South Africa. Recently, FLUTe added new distributors in Brazil and Australia. Clients include Boeing, GE, Exxon Mobile, Ford, GM, Dow Chemical, the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers, among others.
“In order to make this expansion to Alcalde really work, we needed to cut off our dependence on one critical vendor and bring that capability in house,” said Mark Sanchez, production manager and co-owner of FLUTe. “We would not have been able to do this without the investment from the Venture Acceleration Fund this year. We have ordered the equipment and already built the structure within our plant to accommodate it with the funds obtained from the water rights sale.”
The Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) collaborative investment into FLUTe came from Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the company that manages Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), as well as Los Alamos County, the City of Santa Fe and New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership. More than $407,000 was awarded to ten companies through the VAF, which is administered by the Los Alamos Connect program within the Regional Development Corporation of Española.
The VAF funds purchased critical equipment that represents more than $50,000 in annual savings for the company. In addition, FLUTe will have complete quality control over the materials – something that currently wastes precious time and resources when they have to return parts to their vendor in California. By bringing this piece of their manufacturing process in house, it eliminates shipping costs, turnaround times and is allowing the company to add four new positions immediately.
Moving from the facility the company had occupied for more than 10 years in Cuyamungue was an expensive proposition, but Sanchez saw the opportunity in Alcalde immediately. A former general contractor, he led the renovation team in transforming the dusty shell that had been repeatedly scavenged into the 30,000 square foot facility that encompasses an office building, a lounge/conference center and the plant today. The company will easily be able to double production in the new facility, which added more than 14,000 square feet to the manufacturing plant after the renovations were complete.
“Rio Arriba County, Los Alamos Connect and Dora Dominguez, director of the Office of Business Advocacy for New Mexico, really came together and made this deal work,” said Sanchez. “Without a doubt, the purchase of the water rights landed this company back on its feet after a very expensive move and reconstruction. All three entities have been very forward thinking and great to work with. It’s a pleasure to see that we have all these resources firmly behind us as we anticipate great growth over the next few years.”
For more information, please visit: http://flut.com/