Entrepreneurs As Rock Stars
December 3, 2012
One of the best-known organizations for entrepreneurial assistance is Technology Ventures Corporation, a nonprofi t formed by Lockheed Martin to help start-up companies commercialize technology coming out of Sandia
National Laboratories. The initial goal was to increase the local economic impact of the labs' operations, but TVC also contributes to the community by introducing investors to those entrepreneurs who have well-screened projects that are ready for investment.
TVC actively recruits venture capital firms to locate in New Mexico and assists entrepreneurs with fundraising efforts.
"We don't fund anybody directly," said president and CEO John Freisinger.
"We provide services to help them develop strategies. You have to have a world-class business strategy because no longer are you competing with just local entrepreneurs, but some who may be in Singapore and London… So, the fi nal project they have is a business plan that we can then introduce to the business community and get them to venture capitalists."
Since its creation in 1993, TVC has connected entrepreneurs with $1.3 billion in venture capital. In fact, there are more venture investors in this state than in surrounding states, with the exception of Texas, according to Freisinger. And TVC's assistance is free.
If the company is in New Mexico, there are state programs that allow an entrepreneur to get help from laboratory technicians free of charge as well.
"If you have a problem and you're a company in New Mexico, Sandia Labs can help solve that problem with scientific expertise," Freisinger said.
"Albuquerque treats its entrepreneurs like rock stars," he said.
Though TVC concentrates on helping entrepreneurs well beyond the idea phase, there is plenty of help in Albuquerque for those needing initial stage investments. The small-business assistance and micro-lending environment is so healthy and supportive, "You almost have to refuse services here, there are so many people to help entrepreneurs," Freisinger said.
"There is always going to be good money for good ideas. Sometimes the difference between getting that investment or not is access to world-class technology and assistance. If that is what your company needs, the place to be is Albuquerque.
This article was taken from Entrepreneur magazine.