Oct. 28, 2008 by Justin Bannister NMSU News Center
New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center National Security Technology Incubator (NSTI) is searching for small businesses to help get off the ground – especially those with a focus on technology that can be applied to national security.
“An incubator like this really has an impact on the larger business community,” said Chris Kientz, director of technology innovation at Arrowhead Center. He said small businesses in the U.S. have nearly a 70 percent chance of failure in their first year. However, in an incubator setting, businesses have a 70 percent chance of survival. NSTI is designed to give companies with a national security emphasis a better shot.
NSTI provides small businesses with resources and services to help them make it through the initial start-up phase when they are most vulnerable. It provides office space, business workshops and networking opportunities. NSTI provides a demonstration environment in New Mexico where national security technologies can be tested and proven. It also identifies and coordinates workforce development activities.
“This is really a door opener,” said Glyn Anderson, president of Game Production Services, an Albuquerque-based company that creates videogame-style software used in soldier training. The company is in the early stages of forming a partnership with NSTI.
“Going through the usual channels, sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the noise of the bigger companies,” he said. “I think this is great. The idea that there is a program like NSTI that’s reaching out to find small businesses like us that might have unique capabilities is great.”
Kientz said NMSU and Southern New Mexico are perfect locations for companies with a focus on national security. There is a potential customer base with nearby military facilities at White Sands Missile Range, Holloman Air Force Base, Kirtland Air Force Base and Fort Bliss. Additionally, Arrowhead Center has partnerships with Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Labs, and NMSU’s Manufacturing, Technology and Engineering Center and Physical Science Laboratory.
Kientz said other advantages to an incubator setting include the ability to negotiate as a group for lower costs, and access to customer and manufacturer bases. NSTI also provides guidance on intellectual property rights, including patents and copyrights.
“Efforts like NSTI are extremely important for small businesses like ourselves. This program allows us to commercialize a lot of technologies and take them to market,” said Roy Anderson, president of Defense Research Associates, an Ohio-based company that develops defense-related technologies in conjunction with government research laboratories.
NSTI is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
Arrowhead Center is a nonprofit organization owned by NMSU. Its mission is to promote economic development and student engagement in New Mexico. Funding for this project was made possible by New Mexico’s congressional delegation.