Business Boot Camp – The Next Generation of Growth

Yasine Armstrong


Welcome to The Velocity Project, where in a short amount of time early-stage businesses can grow up fast. It’s an eight-week business development boot camp, or “accelerator,” in which a select group of entrepreneurs are making big progress.

Hundreds of communities around the country are utilizing this new style of business development. It’s not a long, drawn-out process of drafting a business plan; it’s intense, it’s fast and furious, it’s hard, and it takes a real commitment. Entrepreneurs have to be willing to sweat, to do the intense work for those eight weeks; and like many fitness boot camps, after the hard work and dedication, participants will emerge transformed.

Sponsored by the city of Santa Fe Economic Development Division, seven growing businesses have been selected to be the first class of The Velocity Project. They are analyzing their products and target markets, reading case studies and best practices, troubleshooting with mentors, working shopping ideas and learning from each other’s successes and failures. The participants are developing a 100-day tactical plan with action items to help them move forward faster. They are also refining a clear and concise pitch about their company. At the end of the eight weeks, each entrepreneur will present their company pitch to investors and the public during Demo Day on March 23, from 10am-noon at The Screen at the Santa University of Art and Design. The public is invited to attend and can visit for more information on how to get tickets.

The Velocity Project Experience—This is a chance for the selected companies to concentrate efforts on learning from other entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of their company. Every other week (total of four full days) the participants meet for intensive workshop days and a curriculum taught by other entrepreneurs. Topics include: building great teams, structuring your company, finding your brand, and developing a marketing plan. The companies have also been provided a list of books on entrepreneurship, and those topics are covered across the workshop days.

In the intervening weeks, entrepreneurs meet with a variety of The Velocity Project mentors and attend a brown-bag lunch series to share their progress and receive additional feedback and guidance. Companies selected to participate in The Velocity Project must meet the following criteria: businesses have to be already established, they have to have a product or service, and each business has to demonstrate its impact on Santa Fe’s economy.

The Velocity Project Demo Day—Demo Day is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to give their company pitch to family and friends, local investors, community members and elected officials. Each company will have 5-7 minutes to pitch their company to the audience and ask them to support their business in some way.

The Velocity Project Companies—The Velocity Project received 22 applications from a broad range of companies. A selection committee comprised of local entrepreneurs interviewed the applicants and picked seven companies to participate in the pilot program. The seven companies include:

  • PlanitMapper; Haj Khalsa and Jonathan Repa; PlanitMapper is an innovative website and mobile app focused on helping outdoors enthusiasts, travelers and tourists “find their next adventure.”
  • P. Nutty & Co.; Brad Bealmear;P. Nutty & Co. manufactures and sells a roasted peanut and honey-based energy/nutrition bar.
  • Reunity Resources; Tejinder and Juliana Ciano, Trevor Ortiz; Reunity Resources is dedicated to the promotion and sale of local biodiesel fuel made from recycled cooking oil.
  • Rain Vessels; Bob Kreger; RainVessels provides a unique solution for rainwater and greywater catchment and storage (patent pending).
  • Designs of Erika; Erika Eckerstrand; Designs of Erika designs and produces a full line of personal accessories and home decor items.
  • Cowboy Up; Ezra and Sonia Leyba; Cowboy Up is a local, healthy beverage made of a sparkling cider with a kick (mind/body/energy supplement).
  • Bacon-Richards, LLC; Dawn Bacon-Richards; Bacon-Richards is a high-end fashion design studio, and is teaching upcoming designers & artisans the skills necessary to succeed creatively.


The Velocity Project is also sponsored by the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamos National Bank, New Mexico Bank and Trust and Century Bank. To learn more about the program, visit


Yasine Mogharreban Armstrong, director of The Velocity Project, is a founder of the MVM Group, a strategic consulting firm. Prior to that, she was an associate at Flywheel Ventures, an early-stage venture capital company.



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