LANL announces Venture Acceleration Fund recipients
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Unusual grant-like awards totaling $150,000 made to pair of New Mexico firms commercializing mobile-device applications
LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, September 26, 2011—Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has selected Ideum and OnQueue as its latest recipients of awards from the Los Alamos National Security, LLC Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF).
“Our VAF program provides much-needed capital to these promising companies, reducing their risk without the strings typically attached to equity investments,” said David Pesiri, the Laboratory’s Technology Transfer Division leader “Further, our team of experts is working closely with both companies to connect them with other resources—mentors, customers, contacts—to help make them sustainable and successful.”
Ideum’s $100,000 VAF award will enable the Corrales-based company to develop GestureWorks, its comprehensive gesture-based authoring software, for sale around the world. From its start in 1999, Ideum specialized in custom software and websites. As the company customized interactive exhibits and multitouch tables for museums, it was increasingly limited by existing multitouch software. Ideum created GestureWorks from the ground up, to enable developers to explore new modes of human-computer interaction and motion recognition. The core project team includes Jim Spadaccini, Paul Lacey, and Matthew Velarde.
“GestureWorks would have been sidelined without VAF,” says Spadaccini. “The award allowed to us compress our schedule from 16 months to 8. This has huge implications for getting into the marketplace quickly.”
OnQueue Technologies, Inc. of Albuquerque received $50,000 in VAF funding to commercialize its Appliciti™ Mobile Promotions Network, which will deliver targeted promotions to mobile phone customers. OnQueue’s Appliciti platform will address many inefficiencies currently found in the mobile market, which has now reached a critical mass due to the widespread use of smart phones and tablets. VAF funding will enable the company to launch a consumer offering, apply for a patent, create an Android version, secure distribution partners, and implement its marketing plan. The project team includes founders Lawrence Abeyta, Scott Walter, and Bryan Bingham.
“The VAF award will help OnQueue develop a new social platform for the everyday mobile customer,” says Abeyta. The investment will also help the company grow from its current 4 employees to more than 30 in the next three years.
Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which manages and operates Los Alamos National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, invests $1 million per year in economic development through a program known as Northern New Mexico Connect. Northern New Mexico Connect promotes VAF and a variety of other business development programs. In the past seven years, companies have created and retained 168 jobs and attracted $7 million in new funding and financing as a result of their work with Northern New Mexico Connect.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWXT Government Group, and URS, an AECOM company, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.