New Mexico State University
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Arrowhead director has an animated side

May 11, 2010 by Donyelle Kesler @NMSU the online newsletter for NMSU staff and faculty

Chris Kientz leads an exciting job at New Mexico State University, helping small businesses develop and succeed. He also makes time for an animation career, creating an educational cartoon series for children.

Kientz, director of technology innovation at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center, assists businesses that have already launched in creating a focused business plan, setting up finances and developing and growing from a small company.

Chris Kientz

Chris Kientz

“We work with high-tech companies and even faculty members who have ideas that we can commercial,” Kientz said.

The Arrowhead Center supports businesses in everything from business plan development to education on government contracting and training. Kientz heads up the incubation portion of Arrowhead that helps small businesses by guiding them through the next four to five years.

“Arrowhead is an engine for economic growth for new businesses. Nearly 80 percent of new businesses will fail, but with an incubation period, businesses have a better chance of succeeding and most businesses that have an incubation period have a completely different outcome from those that don’t,” Kientz said.

Currently, the incubation portion of Arrowhead has taken on 15 companies and expects a total of 30 companies to seek guidance from Arrowhead Center this year.

Kientz is also the co-owner of Raven Tales Productions, in which he also serves as executive producer and co-author of the animated series “Raven Tales,” drawn from Native American folklore. The educational series features 26 episodes featuring characters Raven, Eagle and Frog, who help nearby villagers build their village and teach them life lessons. “Raven Tales” will be shown worldwide in June on the Smithsonian Channel. Kientz said a number of both students and faculty contributed to the show.

Before coming to Arrowhead Center Kientz used his animation background when working with the Training and Doctrine Command Analysis Center at White Sands Missile Range, creating visualization and simulation games used to prepare the military for emergency operations. Kientz worked at White Sands for seven years, working on projects with agencies such as the Secret Service, Department of Defense, FBI and the Department of Justice.

Written by Donyelle Kesler.