April 3, 2012 by Janet Perez, NMSU News Center
New Mexico State University students and recent alumni with a small business — or even a good idea for one — are encouraged to apply for a spot in the university’s Studio G.
Studio G, operated through the Entrepreneurship Institute at NMSU’s economic development hub, the Arrowhead Center, is the first business incubator in New Mexico targeted toward college students at any level from all academic disciplines. The incubator was created last year to develop energized, connected and creative student entrepreneurs looking to launch startup companies. Full-time NMSU students and alumni who graduated no more than five years ago have until May 23 to apply for the limited amount of slots still available at Studio G.
“Our goal is to arm students with the entrepreneurial tools needed to kick-start a thriving business,” said Sara Sanders, entrepreneurship director at the Arrowhead Center. “A business incubator is where a company can begin in a safe environment, where it is nurtured and supported until it is ready to launch into the ‘real world.’”
Applicants must have a commitment to exploring or pursuing an entrepreneurial career path, have a quality and viable business plan or concept, and have the ability and willingness to add to the education and experience of others in the incubator.
Candidates for Studio G should have a minimum two-person operation, with at least one member being a full-time NMSU student or alum for the duration of a business’ tenancy. After an applicant team is selected, it will receive workspace, phone and Internet lines, a conference room and other administrative resources needed to start a business. In return, students must be willing to dedicate 10 hours a week during normal business hours to their operation.
Incubator residents will be accepted on a single-semester basis, with additional semesters granted upon assessment of progress by Arrowhead officials. Businesses can stay in the incubator for up to six semesters. Companies may petition for more time in the incubator if it will benefit the company, the incubator, NMSU and/or the economic development of the region. The director of Studio G will review petitions for extended residency on a case-by-case basis.
MBA candidate Brittain Catron and his wife have been operating their small business making tools for wheelbarrows out of Studio G since last year. He welcomes the camaraderie and advice he receives from other tenants.
“We met some people who really want to get out there and start a company,” he said. “It’s neat to meet these people, because you don’t feel so alone trying to do something.”