- Be a for-profit business headquartered or having substantial operations* in one of the following NM counties: Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Taos, Rio Arriba, Mora, or San Miguel
- Be a technology** or manufacturing company
- Have already started work on the business, not just have an idea (company DOESN’T have to have revenues, just be able to show what has been achieved so far)
- Have already formed a corporate entity (LLC, C-corp, etc.)
- Ability to demonstrate that there is a market for the product and that the company can be successful in entering the market
- Ability to positively impact the economy of Northern New Mexico (via adding jobs, tax revenues, facilities, etc.)
- Ability to provide a “match” for all VAF dollars (either via cash or via an “in-kind” investment of time and/or materials)
- Ability to identify a specific project with key tasks or milestones to be achieved with VAF funds. The VAF does not fund general operating expenses.
- Have not previously received a VAF award in past years
- Demonstrate that the company pays gross receipts tax and have the majority of their assets located in one of these seven counties
*The company must be able to demonstrate that it pays gross receipts tax and have the majority of its assets located in one of these seven counties.
**Note: “technology” implies that the company has an innovation (often protected by trade secret, “know-how” or intellectual property), NOT that the company uses technology or provides a non-proprietary technology service such as web development.
Although not absolutely required, preference will be given to those companies that (in addition to the required elements):
- Have a co-founder or team (as opposed to a single individual)
- Have at least one person working more than 75% of their time in the business
- Are “economic base” (i.e. plan to receive a significant amount of their revenue from out of state)
- Can show how VAF money (rather than debt or equity) is uniquely suited to their needs. In many cases, it can be a compelling argument if the company can show how VAF funding will help obtain equity or debt in the future. The argument will be less compelling if the company has already raised substantial money or if the project is something that could be financed by a bank or microlender.
- Have an association with LANL Technology or Expertise. A LANL association can be established by the company being founded by former LANL employees, commercializing a licensed LANL technology, or having participated in the NMSBA (New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program) through LANL. (Note: Licenses must be executed and in compliance before any VAF funds can be allocated.)