WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) will invest $368,760 in New Mexico State University's Next Generation Entrepreneurship (Next Gen) project. The funding will allow NMSU to enhance entrepreneurship programming at its main campus and extend it to the four NMSU community college campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Grants and Las Cruces. The program provides students who have developed technologies ripe for commercialization with technical assistance and mentoring to help them turn their innovations into marketable products.
"This EDA investment will help the next generation of innovators in communities throughout New Mexico learn how to move the research and technology they developed at our universities to the marketplace, and start successful businesses," Udall said. "Encouraging entrepreneurship at our universities and community colleges helps build New Mexico's high-tech sector, create jobs and strengthen our economy. Technology transfer is more than just a program to help researchers at our state's national labs. And as a member of the Senate Appropriations and Commerce committees, I'll continue to support investments in technology transfer and programs to inspire New Mexico researchers and students to help our state reach its full potential to lead the nation in high-tech innovation."
"I witnessed the success of linking students to technology and the tools needed for commercialization when I visited Arrowhead on NMSU’s main campus last year," Heinrich said. "This funding will allow the Next Gen program to reach more students throughout New Mexico and empower them to become our state’s new business leaders."
The Next Gen program received the grant through the competitive i6 Challenge, a national competition launched in 2010 as part of the Startup America Initiative. The competition makes small, targeted, high-impact investments that support startup creation, innovation and commercialization. The Next Gen project will expand current student entrepreneurship programming supported by the Arrowhead Innovation Network (AIN), a 2012 i6 Challenge project. The project will leverage NMSU's existing student and alumni business incubator, the large pool of potential student entrepreneurs enrolled in NMSU community college courses, and AIN resources and partnerships to help build a robust pipeline of next-generation entrepreneurs prepared to grow a regional high-tech economy.