Udall, Heinrich, Luján Announce $384,777 to San Juan College to Launch Big Idea Innovation Accelerator

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $384,777 to San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico to launch the Big Idea Innovation Accelerator, which will offer resources, consulting, and mentorship to boost entrepreneurship. The accelerator will provide critical assistance to entrepreneurs, researchers, and inventors as they translate innovative ideas into products, services, companies, and good jobs.

“When entrepreneurs are given the right tools, they can turn good ideas into innovative products, new companies, and good-paying jobs. San Juan College’s new Big Idea Innovation Accelerator will serve as a resource hub for emerging businesses, helping to expand networks for entrepreneurs and connect them to the resources they need to succeed,” said Udall. “This critical funding will help build the next generation of New Mexico entrepreneurs and innovators as they continue to drive our economy forward. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll keep fighting for strong federal investment to boost entrepreneurship, empower local communities and support regional economies – in San Juan County and across New Mexico.”

“San Juan College is leading the way in supporting new job creating small business owners in Farmington and the entire Four Corners region,” said Heinrich, a member of the Joint Economic Committee. “Small businesses are job creators and are truly the heart of our state's economy. I’m proud to support this major federal investment to help San Juan College mentor entrepreneurs so they can build the creative, homegrown companies that will help the local economy thrive.”

“The New Mexico students I meet with always have big ideas. They’re creative, hardworking, and entrepreneurial. These funds will go a long way in bridging the waters between idea and reality. I’m excited to see what comes out of these funds because when our student’s succeed, our economy succeeds.  I know that our students will be working hard to drive New Mexico’s economy forward,” said Luján.

The grant was awarded under the EDA’s i6 Challenge, which provides funding for projects that will increase regional capacity to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship. More information is available here.