Thirteen Entrepreneurs Participate in Santa Fe Innovates’ Idea Pitch

Santa Fe Innovates held its second idea pitch Saturday, May 15, 2021 with thirteen entrepreneurs presenting their startup ideas to a panel of judges. The panel included Julia Sze, an impact investor and lecturer, Rich Brown, Director, Community & Economic Development, City of Santa Fe, and David Ollila, a Michigan-based serial entrepreneur and inventor.

Top Three Ideas Selected from a Diverse Mix

entrepreneurs idea pitch

The ideas pitched by the thirteen entrepreneurs were extremely diverse and included large-scale, 3D printing of housing for the homeless, UX (user experience) coaching, a recreational, cross-country adventure challenge, and a dedicated cannabis branding agency, to name a few.

The top three ideas as determined by the panel of judges were: 

Naleen Naanee, Albuquerque, NM. Naleen intends to create an eco-friendly laundromat on the Laguna Reservation. It will include implementation of solar panels, gray water, natural soap, a natural water filtration system, a wind turbine, and a community garden will complete this design. The goal is to sustain their natural resources and enrich their community one load at a time.

Sydney Lienemann, Albuquerque, NM. UpCycle Power aims to reuse used electric vehicle batteries to provide stationary energy storage at 30% less cost and 50% fewer carbon emissions than a new battery system. Using energy storage as a service, they can provide the benefits of storage to lower-income customers, including community energy storage projects.

Eli Fresquez, Santa Fe, NM. People with disabilities have difficulty accessing government services because many state and local government websites are inaccessible to people’s unique disability needs. Unfortunately, there are limited affordable options for governments that want to improve their digital accessibility. Their expertise in legal compliance and digital accessibility provides small governments with practical and affordable digital access solutions.

We are proud of our entrepreneurs and the work they did in the ideation program over the past five weeks. Each of the thirteen entrepreneurs worked diligently and advanced their ideas. Our mentors deserve a lot of credit too as they dedicated time each week sharing their insights and lessons learned from their experiences.

Program Feedback from our Entrepreneurs

“The Santa Fe Innovates ideation program gave me invaluable tools to find a market for my ideas. Through the mentorship and work, I gained an understanding of how to build a business that people want.” ~ Sydney Lienemann

“The Lean Canvas program and lessons were invaluable. Really helped to hone in on our ideas and validate their viability.” ~ Debby Kruzic

“Excellent program! I highly recommend for seasoned entrepreneurs to those novices just starting out with an idea.” ~ Eli Fresquez

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.