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CNM Receives $50,000 Grant from Small Business Administration to Expand IGNITE

September 14, 2016 -- CNM has received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to expand the IGNITE Community Accelerator. The program provides focused education, training, mentoring, coaching and leadership to help early-stage businesses develop an action plan, financial structure and customer base to ensure the highest probability of future success.
CNM Receives $50,000 Grant from Small Business Administration to Expand IGNITE

Sep 14, 2016

CNM has received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to expand the IGNITE Community Accelerator. The program provides focused education, training, mentoring, coaching and leadership to help early-stage businesses develop an action plan, financial structure and customer base to ensure the highest probability of future success.

“This grant will allow us to continue to improve the IGNITE program,” said Kyle Lee, executive director of CNM Ingenuity, which oversees the IGNITE program. “It allows additional program support including more subject matter experts to be of assistance to the new companies.”

Owners of the early-stage companies participating in the accelerator meet every Friday for 12 weeks and are immersed in a vigorous and focused “boot camp” environment filled with curriculum on how to grow their early-stage companies, including developing prototypes, designing business models, when to increase hiring, customer validation, building company infrastructure, marketing and financial literacy. IGNITE is free for those selected to participate.

The companies are 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 have to demonstrate potential positive economic impact on New Mexico. The committee looks for compatibility among the group and how the companies could contribute to each other’s success.

Each company is paired with a coach who has entrepreneurial experience in a similar field, as well as a mentor who successfully runs a business, also in a related field. The volunteer mentors meet with the business owners for five hours during the 12-week program.

IGNITE Community Accelerator services include: 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 on CNM’s Main Campus 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.

SBA created the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition in 2014 as a way to make new connections and strengthen existing bonds with America’s small business support network, bringing entrepreneurs and innovators together and connecting them with local and national resources that support small business job creation and growth. These awards deliver on a long-standing commitment at SBA to strengthen and modernize support systems, especially in parts of the country where access to capital has been a major barrier to starting a business.

Applications for the awards were judged by more than 100 experts from the SBA. CNM is one of 68 organizations nationwide to receive a $50,000 grant.

Click here to see what IGNITE participants have to say about the program.