Santa Fe Innovates: A Program Update

Jerry Seinfeld said, “You have to motivate yourself with challenges. That’s how you know you’re still alive.” We have been very motivated lately with unexpected challenges! No different than any other startup, Santa Fe Innovates is working to confront the challenges while maintaining the purpose of our organization. As a quick refresher, we intend to guide and foster entrepreneurs who want to build their business with soul. What this means is a robust blend of profit and purpose, along with a strong sense of community.

Hyde Park. Photo by Jon Mertz

So, here we are, adjusting to the current challenges of the coronavirus. Our applications were open, and we were on track to select and start the first cohort on May 2nd. However, with social distancing and other directives for businesses and individuals, we decided to postpone the first cohort until September. We need for the uncertainty to dissipate and the ability to meet in person again. Had we already hosted a few groups through our program, we might have considered virtual educational sessions and interactions; but this being our first, we ruled out the virtual approach.

Go Forward Plan: Santa Fe Innovates Startup Accelerator Program

Here is our plan:

  • We will keep the application process open through the end of July. It will give you a lot of time to work on, adjust, and complete your application.
  • We will waive the $500 fee for those accepted into the program.
  • We will host a mix of virtual sessions. A suggestion from a couple of our applicants is to setup coaching time, allowing you to strengthen your application while also working on your startup idea.
  • We are finalizing our first virtual speaker, Ann Mei Chang, author of Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good. Ann Mei is a seasoned technology executive with experience at Google, Apple, and other companies while also having the experience of serving as chief innovation officer at USAID. As soon as the arrangements are finalized, we will be excited to share the details of her talk and the date and time. Stay tuned!
  • We are working on additional virtual speaker topics, including social innovation models and how to get the most out of an accelerator program. We will keep you updated on our progress.
  • Our goal will be to host one or two local workshops before the September cohort, but the timing will be determined by the virus implications clearing. Possible topics include storytelling for entrepreneurs, tips to complete B Corp certification, social venture models, etc.

As we move forward, our objectives during the next few months will be to continue to develop the local community around social entrepreneurship and technology, build and foster a local mentoring network, and continue to strengthen our curriculum.

With Gratitude and Continued Work

While our preference would be to boulder ahead, we also know it is unrealistic and potentially unproductive. We are adjusting to strengthen the foundation we are building, and we are energized by the work and outlook for developing a social entrepreneurship community here. Your suggestions and ideas are always welcome. Feel free to contact me directly (jon @ santafeinnovates . com).

Thank you for your understanding. The one thing I know is that we will persevere. After all, it is what you do every day as entrepreneurs.

Stay safe. Take good care of your family, friends, and community members. Stay tuned for more virtual opportunities in the days ahead!

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.