Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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In other news

Venture Acceleration Fund now accepting applications.
March 1, 2017
VAF funding fills a unique niche in that it supports companies that lack collateral for debt financing and are not ready for Angel or Venture Capital funding.

The VAF is the only non-dilutive local source of seed financing for very early stage technology startups in Northern New Mexico. The funding fills a unique niche in that it supports companies that lack collateral for debt financing and are not ready for Angel or Venture Capital funding.


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  • Kathy Keith
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Several workshops this month are intended to help VAF applicants navigate the application process.

Are you a small business owner looking for a financial boost for your technology or manufacturing company? Consider applying for a Venture Acceleration Fund award, which averages $45,000.

The VAF award requires repayment only if a company is acquired, achieves certain revenue goals, or leaves New Mexico.

Companies in seven Northern New Mexico counties—Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Taos, San Miguel and Mora—may apply. Preference is given to technology and manufacturing firms that can demonstrate their ability to stimulate job growth and attract additional revenue to the region.

VAF applications are reviewed by a panel comprising entrepreneurs, investors and economic development professionals. Those companies not selected for a VAF award are often connected with other resources that can help them meet their goals.

The VAF application is available online, and several workshops this month are intended to help applicants navigate the application process:

  • March 2: Marketing Strategy and Assessment
  • March 16: Finance for Startups
  • March 24: Pitch Workshop

Laboratory employees tutor Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo middle and high school students in math and science.

Lab employees tutor Pueblo students 

For the second year, Laboratory employees are tutoring second- to twelfth-grade Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo students in math and science. Since February 1, these youth (who live in Ohkay Owingeh, Española, Pojoaque, and Santa Fe) are getting help in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, physical science, chemistry, biology, and physics for one or two evenings each week.

“We’ve had an average nightly attendance of 10 students and 11–15 tutors from LANL,” says Aileen Cruz, Education Coordinator with Ohkay Owingeh Department of Education. “The sessions are going really well so far, and I’m anticipating that our student numbers will increase as the sessions continue.”

Parents of the elementary students have attended the tutoring sessions to meet the tutors and to observe their students. “Our tribal officials and board of education members also observe the tutoring program to encourage and motivate students,” Cruz adds.

During the first year of the tutoring program, an average of 10–12 students attended each session. Students showed improvement in their grades and their greater understanding of complex concepts, according to organizers.