Early-Stage Program on the Outdoor Economy Wraps up with Idea Pitch

Santa Fe Innovates wrapped up its early-stage program in collaboration with UNM Anderson on Saturday, February 26.  A group of entrepreneurs pitched their startup ideas they have worked on for five weeks to a panel of judges that included investors, founders, and community leaders.

Each entrepreneur had four minutes to pitch their startup ideas. The panel of judges further explored the startup ideas with an additional 4-5 minutes of questions. We would like to thank our judges for participating in the idea pitch. We are honored to have their support and the competition would not be possible without them.

Panel of Judges: Early-Stage Idea Pitch

  • Brian Lewis – Principal, Sun Mountain Capital 
  • Alexandra Merlino, founder– Bee Wild Outside 
  • Rob Delcampo – UNM Anderson, Corporate and Community Engagement Executive Director 
  • Alicia Ortega – Co-Director & Co-Founder, Native Women Lead 
  • Renee Ennis – CFO, RhodesGroup 

Top Early-Stage Ideas

Our panel of judges determined the top two winners of the idea pitch in two categories: Biggest Impact on the NM Outdoor Economy and Promising Idea. 

The top two winners will receive marketing services from Lavendr., an Albuquerque-based advertising and marketing agency with an integrated network of local and national creative freelancers.

Top Idea Winner – Biggest Impact on the NM Outdoor Economy – Janice Krish

Outdoor Adventure Hub of Santa Fe is a one-stop-shop for finding outdoor recreation activities. Choose your adventure through immersive 4D experiences, then sign up for a tour to explore the region’s high desert landscape.

Runner Up – Promising Idea – Jerard Vigil

Vigilante Guides is here to CONNECT, to provide visitors and locals EASY access to information and ideas through our online platform, App, and social media, on things to do while visiting Santa Fe and surrounding areas. We want to give people a ONE OF A KIND experience to enjoy and learn about the uniqueness of Santa Fe and New Mexico through food and beverage (alcohol) tours, culture, and fun recreational activities happening throughout the year. We also plan to give a percentage of our profits to our Non-Profit (The Outdoor Recreation Foundation), where we target at-risk or underserved kids and provide them with outdoor recreation experiences for free.

Thank You!

To our entrepreneurs, thank you for being a part of this early-stage cohort! Each idea pitch demonstrated your passion and commitment to moving your ideas forward. We look forward to seeing how your startups continue to advance. Let us know how we can help.

To our mentors, we cannot overstate the importance of your contributions to our program. In every post-cohort survey, entrepreneurs consistently cite our mentors as the most valuable component of our programs.

Thank you to UNM Anderson and the NM for Good program for supporting this program. We are grateful for this community!

Kent Nutt

About Kent Nutt

Kent is a marketing and communications entrepreneur in high-tech and nonprofit industries. He’s a strategic thinker and hands-on implementer with experience building end-to-end, transformative marketing and communications programs for startups, Fortune 500 companies, growing nonprofits, and academia. Sectors included telecommunications, 3D printing, network software, semiconductors, web analytics, and scientific research.