June 6, 2019 - Leslie Venzuela
After 19 years, the UNM Business Plan Competition this past year went through a program transformation.
The program is now called the UNM Entrepreneurial Challenge, a name that links it with the program’s past and focuses on the important challenge ahead: preparing and training the next generation of business owners and employers in New Mexico to successfully operate and grow beyond their first five years.
Nine teams participated in the 2018-2019 Challenge. Each team presented on Friday, April 26, 2019 at the Showcase Reception & Expo at Hodgin Hall on the UNM campus. After the showcase, the judges selected the top five teams most prepared to implement their planning to operate their startup business venture and begin generating revenue their first year.
From those five teams the judges selected three to receive initial startup funding of $5000 based on the demonstration that their business model will lead to revenue generation, and the probability for growth and job creation within years 1-5.
Those teams are Wild Woman Kombucha, Desert Flowers Co., and MS MoneyMoves.
Teams NoScope and Parental Values were ranked fourth and fifth. The judges determined these teams have a viable business model that can add value to their target markets, but need further product development, coaching, planning, and funds to sell their product/service. They will be considered for startup funding after receiving further coaching, executing benchmarks, and moving ahead with selling their minimum viable product.
The remaining teams that were not selected to receive access to funding for this Entrepreneurial Showcase are encouraged to move directly into assessing areas for improvement and moving ahead with further planning and coaching.
A big thank you goes out to all this year’s teams:
Wild Woman Kombucha
Desert Flowers Co.
Parental Values LLC
Duplex Cinema & Café
All nine teams will proceed with continuous training and coaching during the months of June, July, and August.
Distinguished Professor Dr. Sul Kassicieh founded the Business Plan Competition with the intent that economic development in New Mexico come through the creation and operation of collegiate business ventures. Program Director Alberto Solis says the UNM Entrepreneural Challenge will move forward guided by Dr. Kassicieh’s vision.