August 24, 2015 by Amanda Bradford, NMSU News Center
A company developed with support from New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center technology incubator has been selected for an entrepreneurship program with an elite investment company focused on addressing water and energy problems.
Remote Well Solutions, which produces fully automated, off-grid water pumping systems that allow ranchers to reduce costs related to time, fuel, water and maintenance, is one of 12 companies from around the United States – including three from New Mexico – to be selected for the Village Capital Water US 2015 program. The six-month program aims to support entrepreneurs in addressing global water insecurity issues through technology.
Mike Lisk, owner of Cloudcroft-based Remote Well Solutions, said his company focuses on the development of automated water production and distribution systems specifically engineered for the requirements of off-power grid applications. The systems use a propane generator with an intelligent control to sense water levels, turning on and off as needed. The systems’ capacity to respond automatically allows ranchers to reduce costs and water waste.
Village Capital operates business development programs all over the world for early stage entrepreneurs in the areas of agriculture, education, energy and water, financial inclusion, and health. The Water US 2015 program, based in Albuquerque, is a partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, the Community of Albuquerque, BSP Fund, the Tecovas Foundation and New Belgium Family Foundation.
“New Mexico is not new to water issues,” said Dorian Rader, senior associate of the Water US 2015 program.
“Albuquerque’s mayor, Richard Berry, and program supporters recruited the accelerator to town in an effort to make the state a center of excellence for water technologies.
“We chose the 12 most innovative and promising water tech start-ups in the world and were so excited that three of them were already here in New Mexico, including Remote Well Solutions.”
Zetdi Sloan, director of Arrowhead Technology Incubator, said water and energy technology is a key area of focus for the incubator, and Village Capital’s presence in New Mexico confirms that the state is becoming a hub of water technology commercialization.
“This is a great opportunity for Remote Well Solutions,” Sloan said. “Mike will be connecting to mentors all over the world for networking. He’ll be getting tremendous global exposure for his company.”
The 12 companies in the program, which focus on everything from desalination and filtration to hydropower technology, will compete for two peer-selected investment awards of $50,000 each, while also receiving business development training and one-on-one time with mentors, industry experts, investors, top local business leaders and potential customers.
Lisk credits Arrowhead Center with making the connections that landed his company on Village Capital’s radar.
“Arrowhead Center is the conduit to these opportunities,” Lisk said. “We were fighting an uphill battle with this company until we got involved with Arrowhead – then all of a sudden we found a niche.”
The Village Capital program consists of four intensive, four-day workshops over the course of six months. Lisk attended the first of those in Albuquerque in July, and was impressed by the diversity of the water technology companies represented and the caliber of the mentorship he’s already received.
The program will culminate in a venture forum in Albuquerque in November, when the tech companies will each have their moment in the spotlight, pitching their businesses to hundreds of investors.
“We’re being coached on how to present,” Lisk said. “We have limited time, so we have to get up and tell our story and get the most out of each minute.
“Arrowhead Center continues to really cultivate the ground for these kinds of ideas,” Lisk continued. “I’m really excited about this opportunity.”