As a matter of convention and practicality, confidentiality agreements are not signed as part of the VAF program; however, access to the applications is only granted to the VAF Team, VAF funders, and the review panel, all of whom realize that applications must be treated as sensitive. If this is a concern, before submitting the application, confirm with appropriate advisors or legal counsel that any intellectual property and/or proprietary company information described in the application is appropriately protected. We expect that most entrants will be able to present a compelling business case without divulging unprotected proprietary information. We will also ask reviewers to disclose any companies that they may have a financial interest in to assess conflict of interest.
Companies selected for VAF will sign a no interest loan with the RDC that is forgivable in five years if certain criteria are met. The loan will be paid back through mutually agreed-upon support and/or services to Northern New Mexico’s startup community. Within the agreement is a payback trigger whereby, as a condition of funding, companies will need to agree to pay the then unpaid funds in full plus a premium equal to 100% if the company is acquired, leaves New Mexico, or fails to provide the required payback support to other startups. The purpose of this “evergreen” component is to help make the fund sustainable in order to support future entrepreneurs. Companies will begin to be evaluated the year after they completed their VAF to determine if they meet any of the criteria for a repayment. If they do, a repayment plan will be developed between the company and the RDC.
The term of a VAF is typically up to 12 months from the time the loan agreement is finalized with RDC. Projects may be eligible for no-cost extensions. The award will be paid incrementally based upon completion of the project milestones with one advance payment of no more than 20% of the total award to begin work.
Please note that VAF monies cannot be used to pay for internal LANL projects, or to pay for LANL staff performing work at LANL. LANL licensees must currently be in compliance with all license requirements to be eligible for VAF funding.
Awardees are encouraged to discuss implications of the funding with their attorney and/or accountant.
At a minimum, a VAF recipient is expected to produce and submit two types of reports over the term of the project:
VAF recipients are expected to complete the project as described in the statement of work within the loan agreement. Recipients unable to complete performance within the proposed schedule and cost may be granted an extension at the discretion of fund administrators but shall not be entitled to additional incremental funding. Failure to meet scope, schedule, and funding terms of the project may negatively affect future proposals submitted by the recipient under later announcements. The RDC retains the right to cancel agreements for failure to meet scope, schedule, funding terms, or to satisfactorily submit required milestone deliverables and progress reports. The awarded company is required to report on jobs, revenues and investment during the funding engagement, and annually for 5 years afterwards.
The RDC reserves the right to:
Note: Eligibility, funding amounts, and terms and conditions are subject to change each year.
For more information about the Venture Acceleration Fund, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org