DATE: 11/09/2015
WRITER: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957,
CONTACT: Terry Lombard, 575-646-2791,

Today is the application deadline for Arrowhead Center’s Launch program, which focuses on accelerating the transfer of technologies from concept to market over a four-month period.

New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center began offering the Launch proof of concept center, or POCC, in 2011. It offers NMSU innovative entrepreneurs with resources such as direct business mentorship, market analysis, demonstration-validation sources, cash investment and access to investment networks.

To be eligible, applicants must be NMSU faculty, staff member and/or student. Off-campus and cross-disciplinary collaborations are welcome, and non-NMSU entrepreneurs are eligible to apply if the team has at least one NMSU faculty, staff member or student as a co-founder. In order to be considered, projects must be novel, technically feasible and have a demonstrable chance of commercial success.

“Launch helps grow early-stage research and technologies into marketable products and services. At the end of the four-month program the selected participants, who receive seed funding, mentorship, marketing and product development services, vie for an overall Launch award,” said Terry Lombard, director of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at NMSU.

Launch is housed at the Intellectual Property Office at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center.

“Launch is supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s i6 Challenge program, with the goal of bringing to market the nation’s most promising and emerging ideas and technologies,” said Launch Competition Director Shanta Thoutam, who has watched the program evolve and grow over the past five years. “Additionally, the Launch teams that meet and exceed their plans and milestones will not only have a marketable product or company but also acquire the business skills and education to prepare them for investment readiness.”

Pitch Day, when applicants pitch to a selection committee to participate in Launch, is scheduled for Nov. 19. Launch Day, when finalists pitch to judges to win the Launch award, is April 13, 2016. Judges will select winning projects that will receive space, services and further funding through Arrowhead Center.

Previous Launch awardees have applied for 10 U.S. patents and started five businesses. Launch is based on POCC programs that have experienced great success at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation; the University of California, San Diego’s William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement; and the University City Science Center’s QED Proof-of-Concept Program in Philadelphia.

For more information or to apply, visit

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