I read, with interest, the story in the Los Alamos Daily Post regarding the Los Alamos Venture Accelerator (LAVA) initiative. I’m always keenly interested in anything that will further the success of entrepreneurs in our community.
In the story, there was unfortunately a glaring error. It stated “The groups who funded The HIVE learned that just providing “workspace” without the inclusion of mentoring, coaching and technical assistance was not a sustainable way to encourage entrepreneurs.” At the Hive, we had assembled an incredible team of volunteer experts in diverse fields and applied their expertise, without charge, to any and all entrepreneurs wishing mentoring, coaching and technical assistance. Furthermore, we provided more than workspace. We also provided equipment and expertise necessary to produce and/or fine tune prototypes, something that a “virtual incubator” is unable to provide.
If the consultant group was unable or unwilling to recognize what the Hive brought to the table, it brings up a generic question that puzzles me; why, as a community made up of experts in many fields, are we continually calling on outside “experts” to tell us what we already know, particularly when they so frequently get it wrong? We spend an incredible amount of time and money seeking advice from outside when we could gain far better answers from within our community. I fear that we will continue down a path to failure until we gain confidence in ourselves and support our tremendous local talent pool, including entrepreneurial expertise. The grass isn’t always greener outside our community and imported doesn’t necessarily equal better.
With that off my chest, I whole-heartedly support this new initiative. Nick Seet, through his UNM entrepreneurial classes, his mentoring (including at the Hive) and now LAVA, is clearly doing all he can to nurture entrepreneurs in our community. Rohan Loveland has also been a great example and a mentor to our entrepreneurs and he is soon to open a co-work space in Los Alamos. They deserve our support for their efforts on our behalf. Let’s band together and make Los Alamos a thriving hub (hive) of diverse entrepreneurial activity, which will benefit us all.