June 2016

Startup Santa Fe – Creating an Ecosystem of Entrepreneurship


Bonn Macy



Startup Santa Fe, “Your Hub for All Things Startup,” is a public-private partnership with the city of Santa Fe and Creative Santa Fe to provide access to entrepreneurial resources online and throughout New Mexico. If you have a great new idea, Startup Santa Fe can help you to learn how to move it forward and connect you with people who can help make it happen.


Through its website, Startup Santa Fe continuously delivers information about startups and innovation news across New Mexico and related events across the region. The initiative also produces networking and discussion groups that bring the community together, as well as local workshops, seminars and talks.


Entrepreneurs founded Startup Santa Fe, so they know what aspiring entrepreneurs are going through. Their aim is to offer assistance and resources that can provide the edge needed to turn ideas into realities. Adeo Ressi has helped launch more than 1,650 companies through the Founder Institute, which is considered the largest entrepreneur training and startup incubator in the world. Ressi believes the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of Santa Fe makes it ripe for cultivating innovative, “new economy” businesses, including a successful technology industry.


In accord with that thinking, the New Mexico State Investment Council approved a new funding program in January of this year called the New Mexico Catalyst Fund. The purpose of the new fund is to release $20 million for startup support to microfunds that have to match the allocations, thereby more than doubling the investment. The program is being managed by Sun Mountain Capital in Santa Fe.


Paul Singh, a world-famous, startup venture capitalist aware of the creative potential of northern New Mexico, stopped by on his recent Results Junkies North American Tech Tour. Considered to be a successful serial entrepreneur and seed-stage investor, Singh included Santa Fe as one of 29 cities he will visit across America this year. He spoke on “Building Entrepreneurship in Santa Fe” at a community forum with Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales and led a discussion on how to build a successful and vibrant startup community. Singh and the other investors joining him on the tour also scheduled “Office Hours” to meet with local startup teams, listen to funding pitches from regional innovators and provide individualized consultations with startups and entrepreneurs.


As part of supporting the spirit of entrepreneurship, StartUp Santa Fe facilitates local StartUp Meet Ups and a regular Open Coffee Club. You can visit its online calendar for updates on all scheduled events or join the mailing list to receive updates and invitations. Local startups and startup support services are invited to become members and register online to join the Resource Navigator list and Locations Map. The growing list includes startups, incubators, accelerators, accountants and tax services, business associations, business support groups, educational institutions, finance and funding resources, networking links, legal help and a few coffee shops with Wi-Fi. Their Facebook and Twitter feeds are a constant source of inspiring information, and the website includes valuable educational links and tips, including helpful online articles like “10 Rules for a Great Startup Idea: It’s a Universe of Opportunities, Choose Wisely.”


In tandem with the efforts of StartUp Santa Fe, the first SFid accelerator class recently presented demos at the New Mexico History Museum. The demos showcased the work of several teams over three months as they moved through the business mentoring and lean-startup process, thanks to the investor-funded and SFid curriculum designed to help accelerate “high-growth, scalable companies led by dynamic entrepreneurs that understand how to lead, while accepting coaching.” The teams included 4D, LLC, makers of a true 360×180 holographic display technology; ConvoBox, a data-gathering technology for companies to create an anonymous suggestion box; HoneyMoon Brewery, committed to brewing beer differently; Patrick’s Fine Sodas; ZummitLabs, working on a new way of social shopping; and Wyrd, developing technology for social content aggregation with content creator compensation.


This concerted effort is supported by the City of Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Community Foundation, Startup Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Business Incubator, Creative Santa Fe, the Regional Development Corporation and many others, including private philanthropists committed to improving the economic opportunities in our region.


As Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales noted, “We’re in the middle of tremendous innovation in Santa Fe, and a local accelerator helps our entrepreneurs meet needs and access the resources to take this economy to new heights.”


For more information, visit www.startupsantafe.com


Bonn Macy, co-director of StartUp Santa Fe, is a former global management consultant, economist and energy-industry expert now spending his time supporting local entrepreneurs and guiding his own startups in the pharmaceutical and health sectors. bonn@startupsantafe.com




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