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Inaugural Wellspring Program Results

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Last Wednesday, Nov. 8, Debbie Edwards of Artesia won $5,000 in business reimbursements after pitching her plan for a multi-purpose venue to a committee of experienced business minds as part of Artesia MainStreet’s Wellspring Program.

The other two participants, Gabriel Longoria and Samantha Peak, each walked away with $500 in reimbursements. 

The Wellspring Program seeks to cultivate and encourage “economic vitality” in the downtown district by teaching entrepreneurs how to elevate their dreams from good ideas to professional plans that stand the test of scrutiny by more practiced minds. 

Before the presentation, the three participants attended a “bootcamp” where they learned how to address the four tenets of the rubric the judges would use to score the pitches and decide a winner. The tenets included: “new/innovative idea clearly articulated”, “Clear knowledge of the market” and “know what the competitive landscape is like”, “clear understanding of how the idea will make money and when it will be profitable”, and “clear use of funds.” The bootcamp was taught by Sean O’Shea, a representative of New Mexico MainStreet and the President and Founder of HatchForm, a business consultation firm located in Santa Fe. 

When asked for comment on the presentations, O’Shea said, “The real newsworthy thing is the program itself.” O’Shea explained his comment saying the “real win” is “continuing to explore and activate and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit.” He continued to explain that these programs have been a highlight of his 5-6 years with New Mexico MainStreet, especially in communities that may not have the highest participation or positive outlook at first. O’Shea said “There’s the idea that you can’t do this here […] but you’ll find they work every time.”

Morgan Fox, executive director of Artesia MainStreet, also felt the program was successful and will continue to be successful as local entrepreneurs begin to engage with the program and put themselves out there. Fox said,” Artesia MainStreet hopes to use the Wellspring Program as a launching point for economic growth and innovation in Artesia. Keep an eye out for another bootcamp opportunity in early 2024 and another pitch contest sometime during the summer.”

As the event’s attendees waited to hear the committee’s decision, the room buzzed with the kind of ideas Fox is hoping to pull out of the woodwork and into action. Ultimately, Fox hopes to use the program to connect Artesians with ideas and skills to “an investor network to connect entrepreneurs with capital to propel great business ideas forward.”

She concluded her statement by inviting members of the community with capital to reach out to her, saying, “Want to sponsor the next round of Wellspring Entrepreneur Program? Please contact Morgan Fox at mainstreet@pvtn.net or at 575-703-0841.”

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