ARROWHEAD CENTER August Newsletter


Estela Hartley, an enterprise adviser with Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University

Date: 07/31/2015

Writer: Amanda Bradford, 575-646-1996,

Arrowhead Center Enterprise Adviser Estela Hartley has been accepted into the Kauffman Fellows, a highly selective program in which a cohort of business and investment professionals completes a two-year curriculum and individual development plan with executive coaching, facilitated mentoring and peer learning in innovation investing.

As an enterprise adviser, Hartley shares her expertise in qualitative research, collecting valuable consumer insights to help clients design innovative business models and compelling customer experiences with clients at Arrowhead Center, New Mexico State University’s economic development and entrepreneurship hub.

Kauffman Fellows represent diverse academic and work backgrounds. While the Kauffman Fellows program notes desired traits for applicants, such as demonstrated leadership strengths, an “appetite for risk,” and domain expertise in science, technology or business, the program attracts candidates from a broad range of experience.

“The world is increasingly diverse,” Hartley said, “and I believe the smartest entrepreneurs understand they need advisers and investors with whom they can collaborate, and that represent the diverse world for which they are creating products and businesses.”

The Kauffman Fellow’s intensive program includes self-guided learning that focuses on venture industry topics, core investment principles and practices, and leadership development. Fellows also undertake an independent field research project. While Hartley’s research project has not yet been defined, it will almost certainly include components of design thinking, a model for creative problem-solving that underpins the majority of her work as a consultant and mentor. Design thinking’s inclusion of multiple perspectives to identify and develop solutions to challenges fits well with the Kauffman model.

“As a Kauffman Fellow, I look forward to gaining structured and experiential training in venture capital to increase my investment knowledgebase, round out my strategic skill set, and apply my learning in support of the development of highly successful ventures,” Hartley said.

Born and raised in Las Cruces, Hartley graduated with a Bachelor of Community Health degree from NMSU. She then earned her MBA in design strategy from the groundbreaking program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She also studied interior design, with a focus on healthcare facility design, at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago. Hartley launched E. Hartley Consulting, a design strategy firm, in Las Cruces in August 2012.

Arrowhead Center Director Kathy Hansen said Hartley’s acceptance to the Kauffman Fellows program is significant for Arrowhead, as well.

“Estela’s expertise and gift for mentoring has been benefitting our clients for the last three years,” Hansen said. “The skills and connections she will develop as a Kauffman Fellow will just add to an already fruitful relationship.”

Hartley is sponsored as a Kauffman Fellow jointly by Arrowhead Center and Joseph Advisory Services, an El Paso-based early-stage venture capital and economic development advisory firm founded by Arrowhead Center Investor in Residence Beto Pallares, who is also a Kauffman Fellow.

“Kauffman Fellowship represents life-long membership and access to the top-tier investors and best practices that will help nurture the innovation ecosystem in the Borderplex region,” Pallares said. “I am thrilled that Estela joins the Society, and I look forward to how the region will be enriched.”

The Kauffman cohort meets in person periodically throughout the program, gathering in various locations throughout the U.S. and internationally for collaborative learning experiences. Hartley completed the program’s orientation in Palo Alto, California, in June and will be just the second Kauffman Fellow to represent New Mexico.

“Having two Kauffman Fellows onboard is an incredible asset for Arrowhead Center and the clients and communities we serve,” Hansen added. “The skills they have and continue to develop, along with their access to a network of professionals working on the cutting edge of investment and entrepreneurship ensures Arrowhead will remain at the forefront of innovative economic development.”


Alice Loy, co-founder of Albuquerque-based Creative Startups

Date: 06/17/2015

Writer: Amanda Bradford, 575-646-1996,

Arrowhead Center, the economic development engine of New Mexico State University, will host an information session at 8 a.m. Monday, June 22, with Alice Loy, co-founder of Albuquerque-based Creative Startups, at Cafe de Mesilla, 2190 Avenida de Mesilla.

Alice Loy, co-founder of Albuquerque-based Creative Startups, will present an information session about the accelerator at 8 a.m. Monday, June 22, at Cafe de Mesilla, 2190 Avenida de Mesilla.

Creative Startups is the nation’s only startup accelerator specifically for businesses in the creative industries, and is accepting applications for the 2015 startup program.

Creative Startups accepts entrepreneurs whose startup concepts combine creative fields such as fashion, film, music, architecture or design with innovation and technology. Those who are accepted into the accelerator receive a wide array of benefits, including an entrepreneurship curriculum designed specifically for creatives, by creatives, made in partnership with Stanford entrepreneurship faculty. They will also have access to investors and to a national network of qualified and skilled mentors, and the opportunity to compete for $50,000 of no-interest loans for startup costs.

Applications are open June 1 to July 10, and the program is open to both U.S. and international startups. The program will begin on Aug. 31, and all participants, along with investors and mentors, will meet for a weeklong event in Albuquerque in October.

“This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs in the creative industry to gain access to exceptional mentors and networks in the industry in the United States and around the world,” said Arrowhead Center Director Kathy Hansen. “The collaboration and partnership between Arrowhead Center and Creative Startups is an example of the efforts taking place to continue building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Paso del Norte region and in the state of New Mexico in the far-reaching array of entrepreneurship.”

Entrepreneurs in the 2104 program raised $1 million in funding over a six-month period. Creative Startups has connected aspiring creative entrepreneurs with successful mentors who have been responsible for launching and building iconic brands and companies such as Fast Company Magazine, Hopeless Records, Artful Home and SOFA, among others.

Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe-based artist collaborative that presented its “Glitteropolis” interactive art installation at NMSU in 2012 as part of the Department of Art’s Visiting Artist Program, has seen great success through its participation in Creative Startups. Since the accelerator, the group has partnered with novelist George R. R. Martin of “Game of Thrones,” completed a successful $100,000-plus Kickstarter campaign, and launched a fundraising campaign to open a new interactive space this year.

Entrepreneurs and creative community leaders are invited to learn more about the accelerator at the June 22 information session. For more information about Creative Startups,


By Vicki L. Nisbett

Source: Christopher Dunn, Co-founder Flooid Lingo

Have you ever wondered who made up the word “selfie,” and how fast it became a word used almost everywhere? People chat, text, tweet and socialize every day in the virtual world of social media as well as interpersonally.

New words are made up faster than new technology develops. Arrowhead Center Studio G clients Brett Pelkey and Christopher Dunn have caught on to this and have partnered to create a new dictionary app called “Flooid Lingo,” currently available for Android phones.

“Brett and I would just sit around and make up words or misuse them and disagree about their meanings,” Dunn said. “We set out to create a dictionary for ourselves and others because language grows so quickly.”

The young entrepreneurs set out to not only develop an app to define these words, but also sustain them. The user is able to add words and/or definitions to the mix, like a living dictionary. Flooid Lingo allows users to keep up with any new slang, jargon and lingo from all types of cultures and provides relevant definitions, tracking language throughout the United States.

“We’re hoping to expand Flooid Lingo to other countries in the future,” Dunn said.

Once the free app is downloaded to an Android phone, the user can redefine existing words or define made-up words adding them to an online dictionary-type tool. New words and slang can be shared with others, and users can create new social connections based on the slang they like. Private in-groups can be formed as the user shares specific words with their group to create a private slang. Larger public groups also exist to follow broader interest sets.

Pelkey, who is a Computer Science major, began developing Flooid Lingo about a year ago, but he and Dunn brainstormed the idea several months earlier. Pelkey joined Studio G, NMSU’s student business accelerator, after beginning his curriculum at New Mexico State University; however, he was self-taught in coding applications prior to returning to school.

“I knew that if I went back to school, it would give me a better understanding of how to create applications,” said Pelkey.

Students have an array of business opportunities with Studio G, which is free to them as well as recent alumni. It offers office space, business consulting and access to resources that can help start or expand new businesses.

“We’re excited to have Flooid Lingo in Studio G,” said Dr. Kramer Winingham, Studio G’s program manager. “Chris and Brett are a great example of how hard work and the right resources can turn an idea into a business. Studio G and Arrowhead have provided some great support for the Flooid Lingo team with mentorship and funding from the Launch program, but all the credit goes to them for putting in the hard work to produce something that is really engaging people.”

As they wanted to have a memorable launch of the Flooid Lingo App, a successful kickoff was held at the inaugural Ski Apache Wind Rider Music Festival, held June 20-21, 2015. As visitors stopped by the launch booth, they tried out Flooid Lingo.

When visitor Thomas Row, from Ruidoso, was asked what he thought about the app, he said, “I will definitely use Flooid Lingo. It’s a great app, and using slang makes the day more colorful ― and the slang and lingo that people put in is hilarious.”

Dunn and Pelkey asked the participants to write down any words they could think of. They gathered a list of over 100 unique words, such as “thrillionare: one who lives their life with a lot of thrills” to “cinemuck: sticky goo on the floor of the theater.”

“It just showed us how creative people are with the slang they use and words they come up with,” said Pelkey. “There’s a lot of slang out there and Flooid Lingo is the perfect dictionary to use. We hope everyone downloads it and shares all of their favorite words with everyone.”

To download the free Flooid Lingo app, visit the online “Google Play” or


Vicki L. Nisbett, 575-652-1334,

Aug. 17, 2015

SOURCE: Kramer Winingham, 575-646-7151,

A New Mexico State University researcher and an engineering graduate student have partnered with Arrowhead Center’s student business incubator, Studio G, to further develop a protective shield technology that could help reduce concussions and even save lives. The partnership is supported by a $50,000 award from the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program.

The technology is based on a damage-trap material interface researched and developed by Roy L. Xu, a research associate professor in NMSU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. In 2002, while working on his doctorate thesis research at the California Institute of Technology, Xu discovered a very thin interface bonding that could stop impact damage of layered brittle polymers subjected to an impact speed up to about 100 miles per hour.

“Bullet proof materials, such as Kevlar, usually have a low resistance to a sharp knife,” Xu said.

The damage-trap material interface, or DTMI, when combined with other polymers, can mitigate that weakness – and is light and cost-effective enough for use in shields for backpacks and cases for laptops and tablets.

Motivated by concern about violent incidents in the news, including shootings at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as a knife attack in China, Xu saw an opportunity to improve on the $300 to $400 bulletproof backpacks currently available.

“I visited Virginia Tech only one week before the deadliest shooting incident in U.S. history,” Xu said. “I visited the building and the same professor who had saved student lives.”

The researcher and father of an elementary-aged child calls the interface material a “magic adhesive.”

When used as part of a hybrid material with bulletproof materials like Kevlar and knife-proof materials like polycarbonate aluminum, the DTMI can successfully stop impact damage, increasing the effectiveness of the hybrid material.

NMSU chemical engineering graduate student Brian Patterson is working with the technology through Studio G, and pursued the I-Corps funding opportunity with Xu and Studio G Director Kramer Winingham. The goal is to commercialize the lightweight and affordable material.

“Business ideas that are presented through this program have a direct impact on research and development and are closely related,” Patterson said. “Therefore, it’s important to understand the business components as they dictate the R&D direction.”

The team interviewed 100 potential customers to gain a better understanding of the market for their technology.

The I-Corps program and activities prepare scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and broaden the impact of their projects. One of the I-Corps objectives is to have an entrepreneurial student who shows potential in business and technology handle the commercialization.

“I-Corps is a tremendous program that teaches students how to be entrepreneurs,” Winingham said. “Brian, as the entrepreneurial lead for our team, has done an outstanding job and has learned a lot. Based on his efforts, I believe Dr. Xu’s technology is significantly closer to market.”

The DTMI material also has applications in football helmets and could help reduce concussion risk for players. The helmet shell materials with DTMI designs could increase impact-energy absorption at least 130 percent, compared to the current shell materials.

“A key finding during the I-Corps program was the opportunity for an advanced helmet shell design that could reduce concussions and adapt to other helmet technologies,” Winingham said. “This appears to be the best initial application for Dr. Xu’s technology.”

As a result of the I-Corps program and the helmet shell design, Xu has been invited to submit a full-technical proposal, in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, to the third NFL Head Health Challenge, an open competition to advance materials that better absorb or dissipate energy.

“Dr. Xu’s technology offers some exciting capabilities,” said Winingham. “Our challenge was identifying the best use for those capabilities, and through Brian’s hard work and resourcefulness, we identified the most promising applications and gained a lot from the I-Corps program.”

New real estate partnership aims to accelerate Arrowhead Park development

Date: 07/09/2015

Writer: Amanda Bradford, 575-646-1996,

New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center has entered into a development agreement with Albuquerque-based RIO Real Estate Investment Opportunities LLC to provide finance, development and construction services for Arrowhead Park, its planned innovation community providing land, space, services and connections to NMSU for existing and startup companies.

“Arrowhead is pleased to partner with a New Mexico company that brings a strong history of industrial and office development throughout New Mexico, but also provides integrated design, engineering and brokerage services,” said Wayne Savage, executive director of Arrowhead Park.

RIO’s first Arrowhead Center project, still in the early planning stages, will be a new 40,000-square-foot Innovation Center that will be a flagship facility for all of Arrowhead’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs for students, faculty and private sector companies and startups. Design will begin later this summer, with groundbreaking scheduled before the end of the year.

Arrowhead Park is located on approximately 175 acres at the southern end of New Mexico State University, near the intersection of Interstates 10 and 25.

“We are excited to be part of a unique opportunity to partner with Arrowhead Center and to help with economic development opportunities and job growth for the area,” said Robin Dyche, managing member at RIO. “RIO’s goal is to work with Arrowhead Center to develop the park as the premier regional community for science and technology.”

Arrowhead Park will be conducting a master development and land use planning effort over the next six months to guide future development of building and park infrastructure. This agreement comes about as a result of a competitive Request for Qualifications procurement seeking a new partner for approximately 120,000 square feet of development over the next three years.

For more information about Arrowhead Park,

For more information about Rio Real Estate Investment Opportunities,


Business Development Workshop

Steps to Starting Your Business

When: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Where: DACC Workforce Center, 2345 E. Nevada Ave

Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Business Development Workshop

Beyond Startup: Elevate Your Business Seminar

When: Thursday and Friday, August 13 & 14, 2015

Where: DACC Workforce Center, 2345 E. Nevada Ave

Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (both days)

2015 Las Cruces Young Professionals Caffeinated Conversations

When: Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Where: The Bean Cafe of Mesilla - 2011 Avenida de Mesilla

Time: 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

2015 Las Cruces Young Professionals Leadership Roundtable with John Harris, Memorial Medical Center CEO

When: Friday, August 21, 2015

Where: St. Clair Winery & Bistro - 1720 Avenida de Mesilla

Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

This event is limited to the first 20 paid LCYP members who RSVP, so don't delay.

Las Cruces Open Coffee Club

When: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Where: The Game Sports Bar and Grill, 2605 S. Espina St., Las Cruces, NM

Time: 6:00 PM

Studio G Networking Hour

When: Friday, August 28, 2015

Where: Studio G 3655 Research Road Academic Research A Las Cruces, NM 88003W

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.