LC Bulletin: You’ve got a partner in Arrowhead

December 4, 2009. Retrieved online: December 7, 2009 from Gabriel Vasquez, Las Cruces Bulletin

It may take blood, sweat and tears to make it work, but starting a business can be exhilarating.

That’s according to Matt Elgersma, a former entrepreneur and now the business research and outreach coordinator for the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University. Elgersma is leading the effort to create Arrowhead’s Entrepreneurship Laboratory, a one-stop resource for bright thinkers, business savvy students and anyone looking to start a business.

“Our services and capabilities are aligned for people who are ready to pull the trigger,” Elgersma said. “They’re beyond the hobby stage. They’re ready to put their idea to the test and invest some time.”

The Arrowhead Center at NMSU, created in 2004, promotes economic and business development in New Mexico through a wide range of services, including business incubation, workforce innovation, policy analysis, intellectual property assistance and entrepreneurship development. It is the latter that has kept Elgersma and his staff busy the past two years, an effort that has led to the creation of the Entrepreneurship Laboratory – set for its grand opening Friday, Dec. 4. The center is housed within the Arrowhead Research Park, Academic Research Building A.

“We’re looking for persons that are willing to put some skin in the game, to shed some blood, sweat and tears for their project,” he said. “We want people that are committed to being an entrepreneur. If you’re dead set that you want to work for yourself, this is the place to go.”

The lab includes a library of entrepreneurship resources, computers equipped with business simulation software and a step-by-step workbook written by the Arrowhead staff for anyone interested in a “how to manual” of starting a business in the state, Elgersma said.

“New Mexico is a tough state to start a business in,” Elgersma said, who created several successful startups before graduating from NMSU. “By putting things together (in our workbook) chronologically, we can save people a lot of wasted time and heartache. The goal is to get them generating revenue as quick as possible.”

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