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The Arrowhead Center, New Mexico State University’s business accelerator, is launching a fund to help inventors get their projects off the ground.

The NMSU Foundation has pledged up to $500,000 in matching contributions to the fund to help it get off the ground. Once the fund reaches $750,000, the foundation will kick in $250,000. For every dollar raised over $750,000, the foundation will contribute 25 cents, up to an additional $250,000.

NMSU Foundation Investment Chair Bobby Lutz said the foundation supported the investment unanimously, and that it will provide crucial help to New Mexico entrepreneurs trying to get their projects off the ground.

“Supporting entrepreneurship is an important goal in NMSU’s strategic plan for economic development,” Lutz said. “The investment committee sees this as a multifaceted investment that could provide significant economic returns to the Foundation. It’s an investment in the school’s infrastructure, and a recruiting and retention tool for both students and faculty.”

The fund is an extension of ideas that the Arrowhead Center put into practice with its Launch proof-of-concept program, which provides cash to entrepreneurs and inventors working on projects that the center deems marketable. Arrowhead Center Director and CEO Kathy Hansen said the fund will expand on the Launch concept, giving it an influx of cash.

“Launch has demonstrated that this model works,” Hansen said. “However, the funds we had to invest were extremely limited. The Aggie Innovation Fund will allow us to truly test the wings of what the NMSU community is creating.”

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