Entrepreneurial orbit: Businesses at heart of resource expo

Once a business gets its foot in the door with an economic development organization like the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership, its opportunities for growth expand dramatically.

Jack Kloepfer discovered this while navigating his Aztec business beyond the line of outdoor recreation products he built from thermoplastic-coated fabrics and into products for energy and aerospace industries. The company’s relationship with New Mexico MEP has led to others, including the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program, the Small Business Development Center at San Juan College in Farmington and the New Mexico Economic Development Department, where Jack’s Plastic Welding CEO Errol Baade hopes to find capital to expand production space.

Another company that found a leg up with the help of MEP and NMSBA is Taos Mountain Energy Bars based in Questa.

Entrepreneurs can explore this resource universe at the New Mexico Innovation Expo Thursday (April 19) in Albuquerque. Hosted by the NMSBA program and New Mexico MEP, the event introduces inventors and innovators to New Mexico resources.

Created by the state Legislature in 2000, NMSBA underwrites up to $20,000 in technical assistance at no cost to small businesses outside Bernalillo County (and up to $10,000 if they are in Bernalillo County). NMSBA partners with educational and government entities, including the University of New Mexico’s engineering program and school of management and New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center business accelerator. It connects business owners with national laboratory scientists, who can help them overcome technical obstacles, and it collaborates with New Mexico MEP to provide quality and lean manufacturing training.

Expanding horizons

In 2009, longtime friends Kyle Hawari and Brooks Thostenson moved to Taos to enjoy the outdoor life before setting off on their careers. While skiing the slopes, the two mused about starting a business together.

Source : taosnews