The ultimate goal of incubation is to launch profitable and sustainable entrepreneurial companies. Graduation is determined cooperatively based on a mastery of core business functions and on key success factors. For most companies, this happens within three to five years. Since the inception of the Incubator, on average, more than 70% of all participating startups have graduated or have merged/been acquired during this time frame.
A Collection of SFBI Graduate Success Stories
Avisa is a venture-backed healthcare company commercializing a rapid, point-of-care breath test for the diagnosis of pulmonary infections. Since it was established, Avisa has secured more than $40 million in venture-capital funding.
Established in 2010 by Colin Keegan, Santa Fe Spirits came from necessity. Colin, an architect by trade, and his wife bought some property in Tesuque to build a home. The land included a mature apple orchard. With massive apple production, Colin began making apple cider which, once fermented, becomes apple brandy. This is how Santa Fe Spirits launched as an artisan distillery. Ten years later, Santa Fe Spirits produce eight spirits, has a tasting room, and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, quickly pivoted to use the distillery to produce hand sanitizer for the community and state.
Technology Solutions is the premier provider of outsourced IT services in the Southwest, including Tucson, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe.
Founded as separate companies in Arizona and New Mexico (Asset Technology, by Greg Nickolson in 2007, and Technology Solutions, by Carlos Gonzales in 2009, respectively) the companies expanded in their respective markets, before merging and becoming Technology Solutions in 2014.
With an initial investment of $2,000, Linda Ruckel formed Advance Tax Services (ATS) in December 2001. Recognizing a crucial need for quality financial services in Santa Fe, Ms. Ruckel opened ATS’s first office in January 2002 and joined the Incubator in 2003. Advance Tax Services (ATS) offers accounting and bookkeeping services, business and personal tax preparation, business formation services, IRS representation, payroll services, financial, and retirement planning. Since opening its doors as a one-person operation, ATS has expanded to six locations employing 17 people.
Allan Sindelar, founder and president of Positive Energy, had been self-employed as an hourly tradesperson for many years before he seized the opportunity in 1997 to buy the operations of solar pioneer Windy Dankoff. At the urging of his wife, he became the second client of the Incubator in 1998. The company now employs more than 100 people and generates $10 million in yearly revenues with offices in Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces. Now an employee-owned company, SunPower by Positive Energy Solar is the largest certified Benefits Corporation (B Corp) in New Mexico, a distinction earned for providing good wages, benefits, and growth opportunities for team members; contributing to schools and nonprofits; delivering 100 percent satisfaction to its customers; and selecting products for long term performance and low environmental impact.
SunPower by Positive Energy Solar is New Mexico’s leading residential and commercial solar installer, and recognized by New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) in 2015 out more than 100 solar companies in New Mexico.
ITConnect was created in 2005 for the purpose of providing and installing mediums to transfer data. Working out of his home, Kareem Edwards started with four employees. After joining the Incubator in 2005, the company grew to become an anchor tenant of the Incubator employing 70 people before outgrowing the space in the fall of 2015. They have now established multi-state offices with revenues projected in excess of $10 million for 2015. IT CONNECT early on formed a special relationship with schools and their first customer was the Santa Fe School for the Deaf. Recognized nationally as a leading service provider for K-12 schools, they also have been acknowledged for their emphasis on training and developing job opportunities for youth.
Landscaping maintenance for the Santa Fe Business Incubator’s Phase I Building was among the first contracts secured by David and Deborah Martinez when they opened Kokopelli Landscaping in 2002. Like many entrepreneurs, they were running their business from their home, but soon realized the advantages that incubation offered small businesses including professional office space and support. Between the time they joined the Incubator and graduated in 2006, they tripled their number of maintenance contracts. They are now operating statewide serving the communities of Hobbs in the southwest corner of New Mexico to Farmington in the northwest corner – all points in between. With what they learned at the Incubator, they started two additional businesses – owing and renting apartments and a parking lot sweeping company.