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Press Release


April 14, 2015

(Albuquerque, NM) The tenth annual UNM Business Plan Competition took place at the Anderson School of Management on March 27. The twenty teams in the university-wide competition presented their plans to over forty experienced venture capitalists, angel investors, and experienced entrepreneurs who selected three prize-winning business proposals for both the Technology Ventures and Entrepreneurial Ventures tracks. The winning teams were announced at the Awards Reception and Banquet at the Crowne Plaza Albuquerque. $75,000 in total prize funds were awarded to the aspiring entrepreneurs for start-up funding.

Dr. Sul Kassicieh, Distinguished Professor at Anderson School of Management and Director of the UNM Business Plan Competition said, "As the UNM Business Plan Competition celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, we want to express our gratitude to the business community of New Mexico. The supporters of the competition have donated over $1.5 million for this eco-system to thrive as well as many hours mentoring the teams, judging the competition and providing follow-on advice to the businesses that get started as a result. To all of our supporters, we say 'thanks'."

The competition encourages student teams from all UNM schools to utilize the wealth of technological innovations developed in New Mexico federal laboratories and universities. Technology Ventures teams utilize technology from Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, from STC.UNM, or their own source with which to create a new business venture. Entrepreneurial teams create new small firms in business not involving intellectual property.

Next year's competition will take place on April 8, 2016, and will lead the UNM Business Plan Competition into a second decade of developing UNM students into local entrepreneurs.

Winners - Technology Ventures Track:

Lockheed Martin / TVC / Sandia National Labs 1st Place ($25,000) - Twist Resist - Aaron Walker (Alumnus, BBA 2014)

Twist Resist Twist Resist is a patent pending rotational exercise machine which allows the user to target a number of areas of the musculature structure of the body, which were previously very difficult to target.

CAaNES / TIP Endowment 2nd Place ($20,000) - BlocVenue - Zeke Chavez (BSCS)

BlocVenue is a web platform that will connect landowners/homeowners with users who wish to rent backyards and lots for different events such as weddings, barbecues and much more.

VanDyke Software, Inc. 3rd Place ($15,000) - Obvious Engineering - Joshua Martinez (BSME), Evan Reynolds (BSME), Victor Ayon (Alumnus, BSME 2014)

Obvious Engineering seeks to bring the tools and equipment of wild land firefighting into the 21st century. Fight fire smarter, not harder.

ABQid Prize

The judges also awarded the ABQid prize to Twist Resist. The prize consists of 90 days intensive mentoring in ABQid Accelerator and a $20,000 investment (pending investment from ABQid).

Winners - Entrepreneurial Ventures Track:

City of Albuquerque 1st Place ($7,500) - Silver Leaf Farms - Aaron Silverblatt-Buser (Alumnus, BBA Entrepreneurial Studies, 2015 MBA Candidate), Elan Silverblatt-Buser (Non-degree International Business Graduate Studies)

Silverleaf Farms Silverleaf Farms will be a producer and distributor of premium quality hydroponic tomatoes and other vegetables for year round sale to local high-end restaurants, grocers, and farmer's markets

Hartman Publishing 2nd place ($5,000) - Original Beverage Company - Luca Ispirescu (Alumnus, MBA 2011, Economics Ph.D. candidate 2019)

Original Beverage Company celebrates America and the American West with its line of straight whiskeys. OBC is a start-up producer in a distilled industry dominated by large producers.

Albuquerque Publishing Company 3rd place ($2,500) - Wyrdos - Trace Rucarean (BSEE), Colton Hall (BA, Econ)

Wyrdos disrupts the video hosting industry by providing an innovative platform, and fostering a great community.

For complete competition details please visit or contact Alberto Solís at 277-6172 or


The Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico is dedicated to excellence in professional management education. At the Anderson School, faculty, staff, and students are committed to shaping the intellect and character of the next generation of business leaders, advancing the knowledge and practice of management, promoting economic development, and building a vibrant intellectual community that serves the highest and best interests of all our stakeholders.

The School was founded in 1947 and now offers more than a dozen concentrations at the BBA and MBA levels and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in the top 20% of business schools in the nation. The School is funded by the State of New Mexico and further support is generated by The Anderson School of Management Foundation. For more information, the public can visit, email, or call (505) 277-6471.