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New Mexico MEP paves road with good startup resources

Supplemental oxygenTrotting On Innovations LLC invents products primarily for the supplemental oxygen community. The small Bloomfield, New Mexico, company was formed by inventor Middy McFarland, whose background in respiratory therapy and supplemental oxygen use led her to pursue taking ideas to market. Looking for a viable way to develop products for this expanding market, McFarland attended several seminars on starting a business.

A mutual friend introduced her to Denise Williams, New Mexico MEP Innovation Director for the Farmington Office and Northwest Region. With Denise’s help, McFarland and a group of inventors coalesced around commercializing their inventions.

With New Mexico MEP’s encouragement, the group of inventors, including McFarland, have been practicing elevator speeches at their meetings and conducting market research; and they have connected to resource providers available to startups statewide — the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program, for example, which funded a $20,000 grant for McFarland to work with Los Alamos National Laboratory for a year on material research.

McFarland has also attended New Mexico MEP programs such as Lean Green Manufacturing, Value Stream Mapping, and 5S System Work Place Organization.

The dilemma McFarland faces is whether she should set up a new commercial business from scratch or sell her ideas to an established company. As she works on a patent pending, suppliers, distribution and manufacturing abilities, New Mexico MEP is a major partner in her strategic plan.

“The invention road is a long lonely journey from the prototype, to funding, to organizing a business, to getting a product on the shelf; that is until you meet people like New Mexico MEP’s, Denise Williams,” said Middy McFarland. As inventors have been striking a new path for business, New Mexico MEP has been enriching their journey with support and referrals to the necessary resources specifically geared toward assisting startups – providers such as WESST, SBDC, VBOC, and STC.

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