Purpose: The VAF fund seeks to improve the economy of Northern New Mexico by providing a unique source of funding to companies who are on track to add jobs, grow revenues, or attract follow-on investment.
VAF Funding: VAF financing is useful for companies that are not ready for equity investment, but unable to get bank financing. It is also useful for companies who will not need additional investment but can use a one-time cash infusion to achieve growth goals.
This year the maximum award size will be $60,000. Projects are often funded at a lower amount than requested. In 2015 and 2016, the median award size was $36,000. Previous VAF awardees are not eligible to reapply.
Companies selected for VAF do not give up any equity by accepting the funding. Repayment is made in the form of providing mutually agreed upon support to northern New Mexico’s startup community. The award must be repaid upon the company:
- being acquired
- leaving the state
- failing to provide the mutually agreed upon annual support to northern New Mexico’s startup community
The “payback” is designed to help grow the fund so that in the future, more companies can be awarded and the fund will become independent of the need for regular fundraising.
Application and Selection Process:
Applications are due midnight on March 31 2017. Once the application period is complete, a panel of reviewers evaluates the applications and selects a subset of companies to present their projects in person. The format is generally a brief presentation followed by Q&A. In 2017, these presentations will occur in mid-April. The review panel then selects awardees from this group. The review panel consists of entrepreneurs, previous VAF awardees, investors, and economic development experts.