Entrepreneurs from IGNITE Accelerator Pitch Businesses to Community

August 17, 2015 -- The second cohort of entrepreneurs from the IGNITE Community Accelerator at the CNM STEMulus Center celebrated the conclusion of an intensive, 12-week program by pitching their companies and demonstrating their products to the community on Aug. 14.
August 05, 2015

The IGNITE Community Accelerator, which is operated by CNM’s STEMulus Center, is an entrepreneurial accelerator that helps fledgling businesses grow up fast.

Owners of the seven early-stage companies who participated in the accelerator met every Friday for 12 weeks and were immersed in a vigorous and focused “boot camp” environment filled with curriculum on how to develop prototypes and business models, when to start hiring, customer validation, building company infrastructure, marketing and financial literacy.

The seven companies were selected from a competitive field of applicants by an Entrepreneurial Advisory Committee made up of local entrepreneurs. To be chosen for the IGNITE Community Accelerator, the companies had to demonstrate potential economic impact on New Mexico.

Each company was paired with a coach who has entrepreneurial experience in a similar field, as well as a mentor who is successfully running a business, also in a related field.

The businesses and their owners that were showcased on IGNITE Day were:

  • Jetson Cleaning Services, Dan Hughes: Jetson Cleaning Services emphasizes “more air and less water” as the most logical approach to keeping a clean and healthy home or business, while being environmentally responsible.
  • Vigor for Life, Sarah and Aaron Sanchez: Vigor for Life produces podcasts that are dedicated to those who are suffering and living with Lyme disease.
  • American Teacher Academy, Dr. Linda Gregg: The American Teacher Academy was founded by Gregg to address the need to provide personalized, research-based assistance to teachers, para-professionals and school administrators.
  • Connacle, Thomas Stockton and Austin Arnold: Connacle provides a website where people can find and connect with other people who share the same hobbies or interests.
  • Beauty Consultant, Rosa Carranza: Carranza is a Mary Kay beauty consultant and is working toward opening a chic beauty salon.
  • Duke City C.S.A, Alberto Garcia: Garcia owns a commercial cleaning business that services homes and offices.
  • Beauty Consultant, Alicia Armendariz: Armendariz is a Jaffra beauty consultant and is growing her business to serve both male and female clients.

IGNITE Community Accelerator services included: 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 in Downtown Albuquerque throughout the 12-week program; access to the FUSE MakerSpace in Downtown 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.