A Note from The Director

Though it is only February, there is already significant momentum this year at Arrowhead as we were recently awarded a 3-year, $300,000 grant for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Sites (I-Corps) program which nurtures students and/or faculty who are engaged in projects having the potential to be transitioned into the marketplace.

In late January, Arrowhead Center hosted a presentation for the international Space Race competition (space-race.org), by CEO Rosemarie Truman of The Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI). The competition is a partnership between NASA and CAI with an end goal of seed funding and startup companies who are able to commercialize close-to-market NASA inventions and technologies. The presentation, attended by entrepreneurs, graduate students, faculty, and Arrowhead clients and staff, outlined possibilities of regionally focused economic development for southern New Mexico, from research to manufacturing. Though not directly sponsored by Arrowhead, we offer our support and encourage participation from NMSU students, faculty, and researchers.

We continue to celebrate the successes of Arrowhead clients such as the New Mexico Shrimp Company, which was well-received by investors at a national competition and expects a commercial harvest in the near future. As you will read, Arrowhead Technology Incubator clients Dr. Collin Payne and Dr. Mihai Niculescu recently received a large five-year grant from the USDA to put research into action in order to help participants in the Women, Infants and Children program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program purchase healthier foods. In addition, Arrowhead partner Energy Related Devices/eQSolaris, along with NMSU researcher Dr. Immo Hansen, has developed and tested a highly effective mosquito repellent with possible global application.

As the year progresses, we look forward to keeping you updated on further developments on these stories and more. If you have news to share, please be in touch.

Kathy Hansen

Director and CEO of Arrowhead Center



Date: 12/16/2015

Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

A group of New Mexico State University students helped achieve significant contributions to innovations made in the world of unmanned aerial systems while discovering cutting edge skills.

The students worked as interns at Emerging Technology Ventures, Inc., or ETV, which is headquartered in Alamogordo. ETV and four other companies have been working with scientists from Sandia National Laboratories to create a battery measurement device to be used in unmanned aerial systems. The partnership between ETV and the four companies has been supported by New Mexico Small Business Assistance program’s Leveraged Projects funding.

Griselda Martinez, the NMSBA program director at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center, helped place the interns at ETV in collaboration with faculty from Computer Science and Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Two interns became full-time employees at ETV after graduating Saturday, Dec. 12. Martinez said ETV has asked for Arrowhead’s assistance in finding interns for next semester.

“It is a great opportunity for new ventures working with innovative technologies to take advantage of all the resources available in southern New Mexico, including the resources available through Arrowhead Center,” Martinez said.

ETV owner Cliff Hudson said his company creates “a culture of innovation that supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education through public-private partnerships fostering the development of tomorrow’s leaders in science and engineering.”

Hudson said he’s impressed with the company’s interns from NMSU.

“The intern program has been an outstanding talent for us. As a young company, building our core engineering team has been greatly facilitated through the NMSU interns,” Hudson said. “We’re pleased that upon graduation, the first interns will be joining us in a full-time capacity this December. They will immediately move into key positions as they already understand our product and market development goals.”

One of the interns hired for a full-time position is mechanical engineering major Rachel Romo, who said the internship has helped her gain experience in actual engineering applications such as deadlines, working in a team setting and collaborating to meet a customer’s needs.

“Working at ETV has showed me how to work with a customer on a huge project and successfully complete the project in four months,” Romo said. “I definitely enjoyed this experience and learned how to utilize my skills that I have learned at NMSU. This opportunity has provided me with a job when I graduate and also taught me the skills necessary to complete an engineering design project.”

Kevin Saucedo, an electrical engineering major at NMSU, said his internship experience at ETV inspired him to further his career aspirations and raise the bar academically.

“There is no doubt it has helped me grow equally as a leader and as a team member facing real world problems in advanced technology,” Saucedo said. “I’m thankful for the laughs, hardworking days and the solutions that came through this process.”

Hudson said that in addition to the internship program, the NMSBA has provided key engineering support through Sandia National Labs.

“We’ve just completed Phase 1 of a Smart Battery Management System and are pleased that Phase 2 will be beginning in early December. The technology being developed by Sandia addresses key technological and operational challenges facing unmanned systems, the assessment of battery condition and the ability to safely operate in critical environments,” Hudson said.

Hudson said the company will integrate the Sandia technologies into their command and control and mission planning systems for unmanned air and ground platforms.

Kate Brown at her Oxberry animation stand in the Mimbres Valley.

LAS CRUCES - There's something to be said for New Mexico's unique combination of creative energy and technical know-how coming together to foster start-up businesses across the state.

New Mexico Magazine, the standard-bearer for the state's tourism industry — which first published in 1923 as the New Mexico Highway Journal — is shifting from open roads and endless turquoise skies to focus instead on the state's startups in the January issue on newsstands now.

The stories in the January issue connect the dots between the do-it-yourself maker movement and the creative and tech economies (cottage industries, startups, and incubators), and their relationship to the magazine’s core subject matter—the state’s distinctive recreation, tourism, hospitality and cultural assets.

One of the startups featured is a Mimbres Valley artist who worked with New Mexico State University's Arrowhead Center, a business incubator, to make her mark.

While the shift from fiestas and enchanting landscapes won't be a year-long focus, the theme of highlighting local talent that moves into the business arena with the unique help of organizations like Arrowhead and other business incubators throughout the state will be a revisited theme, said publisher Dave Herndon. It's an opportunity for the magazine to highlight the economic development potential, not only in tourism but throughout the state.

"It's a little bit of a widening of the lens," Herndon said. "I maintain, and have been beating the drum for years, that New Mexico Magazine is on some level about economic development. It fits into the whole ecosystem of creating awareness and advocacy of the state's assets."

The magazine, with a monthly reach of roughly 300,000 readers worldwide, is primed to share the culture, lore, history and food, but also the state's lifestyle that can add up to an an attractive economic development tool, he said.

For January's edition, reporter Philip Connors and photographer Jay Hemphill set out for the Mimbres Hot Springs Ranch, about 30 miles east of Silver City. There, Kate Brown has set up a shop with an Oxberry animation machine. Arrowhead Center staff helped connect Brown with the experts needed to restore and operate the machine, thereby launching a new startup combining the classic artistic medium with modern scientific and technological know-how.

As a side note, Connors noted that getting the hulking Oxberry required "A Craigslist ad, two stevedores, ten hippies, a van with a nickname and a timely connection at New Mexico State University to park it there and make it run."

That's exactly what the state's primary tourism publication hopes to continue to highlight in an effort to let the world know New Mexico is ripe for startups.

A recent Census Bureau report ranks New Mexico as having the fourth-largest rate of startups in the country. Inc. Magazine also recently did a report on the many ways in which New Mexico is becoming the next entrepreneurial hot spot. This convergence of artistic "makers" and technological and business experts has created an environment unique to the state, Herndon said. And, he added, it was time for the venerable magazine to highlight the state's economic potential beyond tourism.

"This time instead of having a latent economic development subtext we had an explicit economic development message," Herndon said. "There are success stories in the state that are the result of core assets we have in the state — a great creative class, a great science and technology sector in the state — now they are starting to come together in interesting ways.

With the support of educational, governmental, civic, and private sector entities and institutions, these assets represent both grassroots opportunities and an enhanced menu of activities and options for visitors and residents, Herndon said.

"The point is there is grassroots stuff happening and now here's an infrastructure to support it," Herndon said. "One of the things that this whole issue is about is the ethos of the "maker" culture and the creative class. The foods sector used to be a cottage industry kind of like the do-it-yourself ethos which has always been prominent in New Mexico. Now DIY has pivoted to be the DIWO - Do it with others."

Griselda Martinez, program manager for Arrowhead, agreed that the time is ripe for more startups.

"One of the many programs we offer at Arrowhead is the New Mexico Small Business Program," Martinez said. "It started about 12 years ago with the mission of assisting small businesses throughout the state, originally with Sandia and Los Alamos laboratories. Five years ago we became a subcontractor to open our doors and NMSU expertise of our faculty and staff to supply advice to small businesses.

"We are seeking the best value possible for the companies coming to us," Martinez said. "If we don't have the skills to resolve a specific challenge we can refer them to Sandia or Los Alamos and it works the other way as well. They refer them to us. We really have become strong partners with the labs to result in the highest value for these companies."

And fostering these startups is going to become more a part of the expanding business climate in the state, she said. And, she added, a focus on marketing is needed more than bricks-and-mortar support.

"We are setting up a trend in the state focusing on market strategies and assisting businesses with that mindset," Martinez said. "With our incubator, real estate is one of the least important services we provide. Our approach to business creation and acceleration is always with marketing in mind. It's just how we operate in all our programs."

New Mexico Magazine is offering a free digital copy of it's January edition.

Jason Gibbs may be reached at 575-541-5451 or jgibbs@lcsun-news.com. Follow him on Twitter @fjgwriter.


Date: 12/14/2015

Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

Two New Mexico State University professors are gaining national exposure for their research into how to help consumers eat more healthfully.

NMSU business marketing professors Collin Payne, right, and Mihai Niculescu are gaining national attention for their research on getting consumers, particularly WIC and SNAP participants, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. (NMSU photo by Robert Yee)

Collin Payne and Mihai Niculescu, both College of Business marketing professors and co-directors of NMSU’s Consumer Behavior Laboratory, recently joined the Arrowhead Technology Incubator at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center to explore opportunities to transfer their research to nutritionally vulnerable communities.

Payne said they have had initial conversations with a health center working with a grocery store in Massachusetts and are exploring community-based opportunities in New Mexico and Texas. Payne and Niculescu’s research was recently profiled on Fox News.

“We’d like to transfer the knowledge gained from our university research to benefit consumers and retailers,” Payne said. “We draw from the knowledge base of behavioral economics to help consumers switch from lower-margin less healthy products to higher-margin healthier products without increasing consumer budgets.”

Payne and Niculescu recently received a large five-year grant from the USDA to create in-store marketing tools to help participants in the Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, purchase healthier foods. Much of the grant activities will occur in the NMSU College of Business Consumer Behavior Lab, or CoBe Lab. Niculescu said one example of the grant activities in the CoBe Lab includes creating sales circulars, based on behavioral economics principles, that will help WIC and SNAP participants know what and how much fruit and vegetables to purchase. The test circulars will be distributed in Lubbock, Texas.

“When people go into the grocery store, they’re making decisions that will affect their health and their family’s health, but have to contend with choosing from tens of thousands of products in a space as big as a football field with expertly crafted in-store marketing,” Payne said. “We provide them with easy-to-use decision aides regarding what and how much produce to purchase without increasing their budgets.”

Other in-store decision aides Payne and Niculescu have used include placing placards in shopping carts promoting fruits and vegetables as well as strategically placed arrows on the grocery store floor. Consumers in the study ended up significantly increasing their produce purchases without increasing their budgets or decreasing supermarket profits. Payne and Niculescu originally received a grant from the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation in El Paso to test these and other ideas.

To view the Fox News interview,


Date: 12/01/2015

Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

A New Mexico sustainable seafood company receiving support from Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University made plenty of waves during the Fish 2.0 competition at Stanford University last month.

New Mexico Shrimp Company, which is co-owned by Tracey Carrillo, assistant director of New Mexico State University campus farm operations, didn’t win a cash prize from the competition, but Carrillo’s pitch garnered the attention of more than 20 investors at the event. One investor is interested in building a new facility. Plans are already underway to build four additional facilities, targeting high tourism areas such as Santa Fe, Scottsdale, Denver and Austin.

“My 90-second pitch was perfect and drew the attraction of several investors and businesses,” Carrillo said. “While we did not place first we were able to make so many contacts and network with some key companies that will ultimately help mold and shape New Mexico Shrimp Co.”

New Mexico Shrimp Company was launched out of the Arrowhead Technology Incubator at Arrowhead Center. The company was one of 18 finalists to give a five-minute pitch to investors at Fish 2.0, and was named a runner-up in the post-revenue early state category. The competition put 37 seafood companies, including some from as far away as Chile and England, in front of investors and spanned almost a year, beginning in January with pitch preparation and moving through five phases prior to the final competition.

Dale Spencer, an enterprise adviser at Arrowhead who attended the competition with Carrillo, said he was “favorably impressed with the competition itself,” noting the hundreds of people and numerous investment opportunities present.

Carrillo and Spencer are now gearing up for the company’s first commercial shrimp harvest, set to occur in late December. The company has received so much interest from local restaurants and residents that Spencer expects the harvest to sell out quickly.


Date: 12/16/2015

Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

Representatives from Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University addressed New Mexico-based business concerns at a conference in Austin, Texas, earlier this month as part of a partnership program to help improve small business participation in research and technology.

Members of Arrowhead’s New Mexico Federal and State Technology Partnership Program, or NM FAST, team - Zetdi Sloan, Dana Catron and Todd Bisio - attended the Defense Energy Innovation Summit & Showcase, which was co-located with the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Innovation Summit in Austin.

Arrowhead’s NM FAST team also met with service and agency representatives and discussed their interest in supporting New Mexico SBIR/STTR workshops. Team members said most were “receptive and provided contacts for future use.”

NM FAST, with support from the New Mexico Economic Development Department, sponsored three people from New Mexico-based companies to attend the Austin conference: Greg Scantlen of CreativeC, and Todd Peterson and Kenny Blemel of Management Sciences, Inc.

“The SBIR/STTR Summit in Austin provided a wonderful opportunity to network with other small business entities, government representatives and major prime contractors,” Peterson said. “Workshops provided valuable insights into the SBIR/STTR programs, and the one-on-one sessions with Department of Defense representatives and prime contractors were also valuable. I made many excellent contacts during the summit.”

Scantlen said his company’s participation in the summit gave them an opportunity to meet face-to-face with representatives from the Office of Naval Research.

“Within minutes the Navy PMP (permanent military professor) identified a soon-to-be-released SBIR topic for which my company had deep specialized experience,” Scantlen said. “We got early access to the SBIR technical point of contact, and the Navy PMP hand-delivered our company information to the technical point of contact. We will submit a Phase I application for the call in about two months.”

In June, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez announced that NMSU was selected to receive a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Assistance Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. The grant, supported by the Martinez administration, will help Arrowhead Center build greater participation between researchers and small companies working to take new technologies to market. Arrowhead Center was one of 20 universities and organizations nationwide to receive the grant this year.

NM FAST offers eligible small businesses assistance with funding efforts through SBIR and STTR programs, which offer more than $2.5 billion annually to support the development of technology by small businesses.

The NM FAST program is hosting several workshops across the state, including Las Cruces in the spring. Additional workshops may be scheduled in Alamogordo, Silver City, Socorro and the Air Force Research Lab in Albuquerque.

For more information on the workshops,


Date: 01/19/2016

Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

A New Mexico State University professor is collaborating with a New Mexico company and Arrowhead Center through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program to test the efficacy of a mosquito repellent wristband that promises to be more effective than other commercially available repellents. The BugBling™ band has different active ingredients compared to other mosquito repellent bands on the market.

NMSU student Hae-Na Chung wears the BugBling™ band developed by Energy Related Devices and tested by NMSU professor Immo Hansen as part of his research into mosquito repellents. (Courtesy photo) Photo of a man and a woman demonstrating a Y-shaped tube.

NMSU biology professor Immo Hansen, left, and research assistant Stacy Rodriguez demonstrate how they test mosquito repellent effectiveness using a Y-shaped tube. Hansen and Bob Hockaday, president of Energy Related Devices/eQSolaris, tested Hockaday’s BugBling™ band mosquito repellent with the help of the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program through NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Through the NMSBA program, Immo Hansen, an associate professor of biology in NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been the subject matter expert working with Bob Hockaday, president of Energy Related Devices/eQSolaris to test the BugBling™ band. Energy Related Devices/eQSolaris is also a client of the Arrowhead Technology Incubator at Arrowhead Center.

NMSU biology professor Immo Hansen, left, and research assistant Stacy Rodriguez demonstrate how they test mosquito repellent effectiveness using a Y-shaped tube. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Hansen and his research assistant Stacy Rodriguez tested the product with two experimental setups. Two band prototypes - one containing citronella and DEET, and the other containing oil of lemon eucalyptus and DEET - were tested using a Y tube and a taxis cage setup. The second test used a wind tunnel at NMSU to standardize airflow. Hansen said both prototypes were highly effective at reducing mosquito attraction.

The efficacy of both prototypes of the BugBling™ band were compared to two commercially available products – Invisiband and OFF ClipOn. The result: the effect of both BugBling™ bands were stronger than the two other products.

“The BugBling™ band strongly repels mosquitoes and proved to be superior compared to the other devices we tested,” Hansen said. “In fact, it was the only device that had a significant effect in our tests.”

Hockaday said the test results helped the BugBling™ band become “real” to the business world.

“With an independent test of our unique mosquito repellent technology it makes a spectacular difference in our credibility,” Hockaday said. “For a little company that creates a disruptive product that far out-performs against commercial products, it is hard to be taken seriously. The NMSBA assistance was able to engage independent testing in a unique New Mexico laboratory to scientifically confirm our product was several times better.”

Griselda Martinez, the NMSBA program manager at NMSU, said the mission of the NMSBA program “is all about support small businesses in the state of New Mexico to continue their growth. Seeing the development of this product and the potential to capture such a big market is of great excitement to our organization as we continue to work to develop our region.”

Hansen’s mosquito research recently attracted worldwide attention after discovering mosquitoes are strongly repelled by Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume.

Hockaday said that the results and information received through this NMSBA assistance have allowed him to continue with the process of registering the BugBling™ band with the Environmental Protection Agency.


Date: 12/08/2015

Writer: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center has received its fifth award from the National Science Foundation I-Corps this year.

Created in 2011, the I-Corps is a program of initiatives designed to foster entrepreneurship among scientists and engineers with the goal of commercializing NSF-funded basic research. In October, I-Corps awarded an NMSU-based team $50,000 to conduct market research to commercialize an organic pesticide technology.

I-Corps teams participate in an intensive seven-week course to learn the I-Corps process and interview more than 100 potential customers to understand the market for a new discovery arising out of academic research. I-Corps teams incorporate three members: a student entrepreneurial lead, a principal investigator and a business mentor.

The I-Corps team that won the most recent award has developed a patent pending eco-friendly, organic, plant essential oil-based bio-pesticide called NMX that has been demonstrated to be an effective and safe plant fungicide, bactericide, nematicide and insecticide. NMX has been tested in laboratory, greenhouse, and field trials both in Mexico and the U.S. on a variety of plants, including tomatoes, chiles, jalapenos, bell pepper and turfgrass. Currently NMX is being tested on representative insects, is being registered with the EPA as a biopesticide and is registered with the EPA biopesticide division as a biochemical.

The pesticide “is an incredible discovery” said team mentor and Studio G Director Kramer Winingham. “We’re very excited to participate in I-Corps to help bring this safe organic pesticide to market.”

Five other I-Corps teams have also been mentored at Arrowhead recently, including a team working on the development of non-weighted digital circuits for low power medical devices aimed at baby boomers. The devices will sense, process and transmit biomedical signals and identify abnormal signals using predefined algorithms and signal processing hardware, and call for help when necessary.

“Getting into a program like NSF I-Corps is really going to assist this very promising early stage technology find the right market application,” said team mentor Jason Koenig.

I-Corps teams based at NMSU are also working on a revolutionary technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions and significantly reduce pollution worldwide, creating and developing learning products using games and animations to help students better understand math, low-cost reduced-gravity technologies that will better prepare astronauts for space missions, and developing portable protection shields for use by civilians during violent attacks.


SBIR / STTR Phase 1 Proposal Development Workshop

When: February 3, 2016

Where: College of Health and Sciences, 1335 International Mall, Las Cruces, NM 88003

Time : 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

WESST training for the small business owner

When: February 4, 2016

Where: Thomas Branigan Memorial Library Roadrunner Room 200 E. Picacho Aev. Las Cruces, 88012

Time: 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Craftbox Design Hours

When: February 5, 2016

Where: Arrowhead Center, 3655 Research Road, Academic Research A Las Cruces, 88003

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

WESST First Friday Lunch and Learn

When: February 5, 2016

Where: Thomas Branigan Memorial Library Roadrunner Room 200 E. Picacho Aev. Las Cruces, 88012

Time: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

2016 Angels Annual Dinner

When: February 11, 2016

Where: The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club, 30 Rainbow Rd Albuquerque, NM 87113

Time: 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Scott Maloney, Arrowhead Center’s Innovator-in-Residence: Finding the Right Entrepreneur Opportunity for You Sponsored by Seidel Technologies Entrepreneur Encounters

When: February 15, 2016

Where: Hardman Jacobs Hall

Time: 12:00 n - 1:15 pm

Studio G Networking Hours

When: Every Wednesday

Where: Arrowhead Center, 3655 Research Road, Academic Research A Las Cruces, 88003

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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