Scene | Heard: Seven “Hot Start Up Incubator” programs/Pulte Group

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Date: Friday, October 7, 2011

Seven “Hot Start Up Incubator” programs

CNN Money passed along kudos on Oct. 5 to seven “Hot Start Up Incubator” programs around the country on its Small Business online page.

In a tribute to the WESST Enterprise Center in Albuquerque, the CNN, Money and Fortune joint service noted that “New Mexico has become a rich financial ecosystem that offers startups access to private capital, both through venture capitalist and angel investors.” The Internet article said a “lack of high paid jobs has created a wellspring of entrepreneurs” in the state.

One WESST-aided entrepreneur highlighted was Myra Ghattas, owner of Slate Street Cafe in Albuquerque.

Also mentioned were IntelliCyt, a biotech company selling its products internationally that will graduate from the enterprise center in November; Nouveau, a cosmetics company that was acquired by a Dallas cosmetics business; and Medical Practice Solutions, a medical billing and patient advocacy company that has grown to 13 employees in the two years it has been in the incubator program.

WESST President Agnes Noonan told CNN Money that the enterprise center “has created 136 new jobs in the Albuquerque area and generated $14.3 million in revenue.” Founded in 1988 as the Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency Team, the business training and start up assistance program opened the incubator in April 2009 at 609 Broadway Blvd. NE.

Pulte Group

When Pulte Group acquired Centex Homes, it picked up Centex’s Alegria active adult community south of Bernalillo.

Pulte invested more than $1 million to add resident amenities and landscaping, and to rebrand the community as one of its Del Webb properties, which has helped the homes there take “off like a rocket ship,” said Brandon Jones, vice president of sales. In 2009, 125 homes were there, and today, there are 200.

Pulte reportedly is scouting for a second Del Webb community in New Mexico, reports Business Weekly contributor Steve Ginsberg.