NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

NMSU’s Arrowhead Center celebrates New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program

Southern New Mexico economic driver Arrowhead Center was on hand to celebrate the past year’s success for the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program in Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 25. Arrowhead Center, the entrepreneur incubator at New Mexico State University, is a location that NMSBA uses to facilitate special expertise for businesses in New Mexico.

Group photo
Southern New Mexico economic driver Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University was on hand to celebrate the past year’s success for the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program in Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 25. From left are Mariann Johnston, Jackie Kerby Moore, State Rep. Andrea Romero, Kristin Morehead, Luke Spangenburg, State Rep. Abbas Akhil and State Sen. Liz Stefanics. (NMSU courtesy photo)

“A local business owner may have a great idea for a business that just needs to be validated through testing,” said Kristin Morehead, program director for Arrowhead Innovation Network. “We reach out to our NMSU resources to find researchers, scientists, equipment or labs where the businesses can receive technical assistance and information to see if their idea is viable.”

Businesses work with Arrowhead Center to design the project that then is contracted through NMSU. It can supply information like biochemical compositions, metal analysis, engineering consultation, all things that small businesses may not have access to or the resources to do on their own.

NMSBA was also celebrating the approval of New Mexico House Bill 526, sponsored by State Rep. Abbas Akhil. Also known as the Lab Small Business Tax Credit Changes, which doubles the technical assistance the labs can provide through NMSBA.

One example of a business growing under NMSBA and Arrowhead Center is New Energy Solutions. NSE needed some testing on their algae products. Based in Santa Fe, the company reached out to NMSBA, which put them into contact with Arrowhead Center who had the right faculty member, Omar Holguin at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences in the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

The project provided NSE biochemical composition analysis so that NSE scientists could better understand how their new Bloom and Grow algal soil amendments help plants grow faster and healthier. Analytical tests included plant hormone and growth factor profiling, as well as nutrient and metal analysis. The results from the testing and analysis demonstrated that Bloom and Grow amendments make plants grow more efficiently.

“NMSBA is a great asset when it comes to New Mexico companies validating their technologies and products. Without NMSBA and the Arrowhead Center, my company would not have been able to complete this essential work,” said Luke Spangenburg, NSE founder.

Based upon the validation provided by the Arrowhead Center and NMSBA, NSE has commercialized the Bloom and Grow products. NSE has since entered into a three-year, $200,000 contract with a West Coast company to manufacture Bloom and Grow soil amendment products. NSE also anticipates creating four new full-time jobs in New Mexico.

Since 2010, Arrowhead Center has been a part of the NMSBA in partnership with Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, as a contractor for the program. Other types of technical assistance may be provided through the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Center for Support of Economic Development Small Business Assistance Program at the UNM Anderson School of Management, and the Department of Management at New Mexico Tech.

State Rep. Andrea Romero was a supporter of the bill because she understood its value. Before being elected a state representative, she took part in the NMSBA process as an owner of Tall Goods, a company which produces healthy probiotics through ostrich eggs and which also used resources at Arrowhead Center.

"Entrepreneurs and New Mexico small businesses seeking support for their dynamic ideas and innovations have the best possible resource in the NMSBA Program,” said Romero. “To have access to utilizing New Mexico’s very best scientists and engineers on projects so we can have help refining services and products is something unparalleled.”

For more information for growing a business or even a business idea, check out the business accelerator programs or NMSBA at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center at https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/nmsba/ or http://www.nmsba.org/ or contact Kristin Morehead at kmorehea@nmsu.edu or at 575-646-5575.