Santa Fe Innovates – Benefit Corporation Report

Note: As a Benefit Corporation in New Mexico, part of our responsibility is to file a report on how well we are doing on our stated purpose. Below is our report. We are grateful for all those who supported us and our community during the 2020 to 2021 reporting period (and currently)!

benefit corporation report

Santa Fe Innovates is a Benefit Corporation in the state of New Mexico. Our stated purpose in our charter is to provide: “educational programs and mentoring services to startup and emerging companies in the fields of business development, business growth, and business management, with the specific intent to support economic diversity and social entrepreneurs who seek to balance profit and purpose, and to otherwise have a positive impact on society and the environment.” We believe we have met our purpose throughout starting our operations and completing a full year of operations.

Navigating the pandemic

Santa Fe Innovates is a startup, and like many businesses, we had to navigate the pandemic. Our original plan was to host entrepreneurs in an eight-week in-person program. Given COVID-19, we decided to pivot to a virtual early-stage entrepreneur program. We delivered a five-week program consisting of self-paced work and Saturday morning educational and mentoring sessions. By moving to a virtual approach, we were able to reach more parts of New Mexico.

Results from the first three cohorts of social entrepreneurs

Key results include:

  • Worked with and supported 43 entrepreneurs.
  • About 56% of the entrepreneurs were male and 45% female.
  • About 90% of the entrepreneurs lived in urban areas and 10% in rural settings.
  • 50% of the entrepreneurs resided in Santa Fe, about 17% in Albuquerque, and about 33% in other areas in New Mexico, with a few from other states with the intent of moving to New Mexico.
  • About 40% of the early-stage ideas were technology-based, and the remaining included a mix of cannabis, services, outdoor economy, and a wide range of ventures.

We achieved a solid start in promoting economic diversity. There is always room for improvement, and we energetically embrace this challenge.

Another element of our approach is to collaborate with various organizations. We intend to collaborate with any organization in which we share a mission of supporting a new generation of entrepreneurs and local businesses. We collaborated with the City of Santa Fe, the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management, the New Mexico Economic Development Department, the Santa Fe Business Incubator, and Kick-Ass Entrepreneurs. We can continue to pursue other collaborative partners.

We also have developed a strong group of mentors who have guided, challenged, and supported the entrepreneurs in our program and community. Our mentors volunteer their time. Their support has been one of the top benefits that our entrepreneurs appreciated.

Overall, our program has received the highest ratings in program content, outcomes for the entrepreneurs, and engagement with mentors. We continue to improve based on feedback from each group of entrepreneurs we work with.

Looking ahead

Looking ahead to 2022, our number of groups will decline as we work toward establishing a permanent and sustainable approach to supporting entrepreneurs ready to start a business with a profit and purpose blend. As with any startup, it is essential to build the infrastructure that supports long-term growth and impact. The coming year will include this focus for Santa Fe Innovates.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions for us. Also, if you would like to get involved, we are ready to meet and discuss your interests. We need to continue to build a robust social entrepreneur ecosystem, and it takes a diversity of experiences and talents.

Jon Mertz

About Jon Mertz

Jon is a 25-year tech and marketing executive. He led brand development, product management, marketing, and sales channel efforts for startup and enterprise companies.