The ABQid business accelerator’s next cohort of health and wellness startups will have some state-of-the-art, high-tech resources at hand to speed the path to market through a new partnership with Central New Mexico Community College.
CNM Ingenuity, which manages commercial activities for the college, is opening its labs and other resources and facilities to ABQid startups to further test and develop new products and services, and to take advantage of the networks and expertise provided by CNM staff.
“CNM has outstanding expertise and facilities that can help validate ideas and accelerate viable, marketable businesses,” said CNM Ingenuity Executive Director Kyle Lee. “There’s massive potential for new entrepreneurs in the health and wellness space, and we’re looking to help them capitalize on high-growth opportunities.”
That bodes particularly well for ABQid’s incoming cohort, which will begin its 12-week mentoring and training program in August. All companies in that group will be focused on new life science-related products and services, reflecting ABQid’s decision this year to recruit new cohorts with a “themed” approach that targets specific industries, beginning with health and wellness.
The accelerator is accepting applications now from startups for the next program. It will select about 10 companies for participation in July.
The partnership with CNM will help those companies hit the ground running in terms of testing and fully developing innovative technology and services, said ABQid Executive Director T.J. Cook. Among other things, CNM has high-tech software and simulation labs, including a mock emergency room with life-sized human dummies to test procedures, protocols and other things.
“Say a startup has new software for mobile apps aimed at decreasing time to treatment in the ER,” Cook said. “They could test those things with dummies, with a real doctor helping them run a simulated ER-based scenario. By week two of the ABQid program, our startups could be running simulations like that.”
CNM has many other facilities for things like software development, training and research that ABQid participants can access, Lee said. The college’s new FUSE Makerspace, which will be located at the Innovate ABQ research and development hub at Central and Broadway Downtown, will offer high-tech equipment to build new devices and products. And the college can provide incubation space for startups to initially set up shop with high-speed Internet and other amenities.
“We’ll open our facilities for all types of ABQid startups in addition to health and wellness, so future cohorts focused on other industry sectors can benefit as well,” Lee said.
Having those kinds of resources can speed product development and market validation for accelerator participants. It could also attract more startups from other cities and states to seek participation in ABQid, given the high-tech resources the program can now offer, Cook said.
ABQid has established some other health and wellness-related partnerships as well, including one with TriCore Reference Laboratories to help startups evaluate new medical devices. It will also work with The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center to bring post-doctoral researchers with new products and services into the accelerator program.