13 Early-stage Businesses Selected for IGNITE Accelerator at CNM STEMulus Center

Jan. 29, 2016 -- Beginning Feb. 5, the owners of 13 fledgling businesses in New Mexico will be immersed in the IGNITE Community Accelerator at the CNM STEMulus Center, an intensive, 12-week program designed to lift their businesses to greater heights while generating momentum for the region’s entrepreneurial and economic development efforts.
January 29, 2016

The IGNITE Community Accelerator will provide each business owner with business services and support valued at more than $15,000, which includes personal business coaching and mentoring by a successful entrepreneur in a similar field.

Local entrepreneur Derrick Lente will be the facilitator for the accelerator. Lente was the owner and founder of Spherion, one of Albuquerque’s largest employers with 1,500 employees. Annual revenue grew from $500,000 in 2008 to $7.5 million in 2013, when he sold his interest as the owner of Spherion. The son of parents from Sandia and Isleta pueblos, he is also the owner of Lente Law Group, which provides legal consultation for Indian Tribes across North America on various issues impacting Native America. He’s also an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Mexico, teaching Federal Indian Law. And he runs a family farm and ranch enterprise, Lente Farms.

The businesses and their owners selected for the IGNITE Community Accelerator through a competitive process are:

  • Lobo Cell Phone Solutions, Paul Michelman, Gene Gomez: Lobo Cell Phone Solutions offers repairs for cell phones and other mobile devices.
  • Medical Debt Solutions Consulting, LLC, Kathy Ferguson: Medical Debt Solutions Consulting is a financial patient advocate firm focused on solving medical debt.
  • JobPlacer, LLC, Mark Stensland, Kim Schwery, Josh Beach: JobPlacer, LLC connects highly skilled freelance workers with the people and businesses that need them.
  • The CBD Boutique, Alex Lucero, Billy Giron, Eugena Lucero: The CBD Boutique offers Hemp-based nutritional supplements containing Cannabidiol.
  • Cool Nerves Technology, Clint Furrer: Cool Nerves Technology is a cooling shirt system for people with MS and heat related illnesses.
  • Trail Quail, Jeff Saul, Louis Gill, Matt Harris, George Kephart: Trail Quail has created a mobile-friendly website for the hiking and biking trails in Albuquerque. 
  • Fresco New Mexico, Chloe Garrett: Fresco New Mexico is a food truck and offers catering services.
  • Stellate Studio, Robert Liberatore, Louis Romero: Stellate Studio has developed Tessellate, an educational app to create tessellation art.
  • Quetzal Co-Op, Jaen Ugalde: Quetzal Co-Op is a food truck providing healthy, authentic New Mexican food alternatives.
  • Essence de Café, Jose Luis Santana, Paola Santana, Alec Riedel, Rebecca Riedel: Essence de Café supplies coffee extract to restaurants, chocolatiers, bakeries, breweries and wineries, as well as for retail consumption.
  • Another Mother Kombucha, Royeal Jones: Another Mother Kombucha offers Kombucha, a healthy soda alternative with a crisp, effervescent taste.
  • MyTap, Inc., Douglas Radecki: MyTap, Inc. is a mobile app to help educate and increase craft beer sales.
  • Shop for New Mexico Kids, Tim Claiborne: Shop for New Mexico Kids is an online marketing site that partners with companies to raise funds for New Mexico children.

These companies will get to take advantage of IGNITE Community Accelerator services that include: up to 30 hours of one-on-one business coaching; 10 hours of business workshops; 48 hours of intense business training; five hours of time with an industry mentor; Kauffman Foundation certified entrepreneurial mindset training; access to co-working space at the STEMulus Center throughout the 12-week program; access to the FUSE MakerSpace to help with prototype development if needed; support in developing a 100-day tactical plan for the business after the Accelerator is over; and additional coaching after the 12-week program to help with implementation of the 100-day tactical plan.

The IGNITE program, which will take place on 12 consecutive Fridays, offers eight full program days of entrepreneurship curriculum that includes:

  • 1st Friday –  Entrepreneurship 101 and The Power to Choose
  • 2nd Friday – Recognizing Opportunities and Telling Your Story
  • 3rd Friday – Ideas Into Action and Building Your Business Model
  • 4th Friday – Knowledge, Learning, and the Perfect Customer
  • 5th Friday – Marketing and Branding Strategies
  • 6th Friday – Managing Your Business
  • 7th Friday – Financial Literacy
  • 8th Friday – Building a Successful Network

The program will conclude with IGNITE Day, when each participant will showcase and pitch their product or service to the community.