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News & Announcements

October 23, 2013

More than $18,000 in Cash and Prizes Awarded

 Winners of bizMIX 2013, the business plan competition from MIX Santa Fe, were announced on last Thursday night, October 17th to the crowd at MIXOPHRENIC, networking event hosted by MIX Santa Fe. The big cash prizes were awarded to Santa Fe Hard Cider ($8,000) and Acme Happy Chicken Company ($5,000).

Judges had read the business plans and heard final presentations from the bizMIX finalists three weeks earlier and had been sworn to secrecy on the winners until the announcement.  The finalists completed a five-month business plan development process with mentorship and pitch contests along the way. The final five start-ups ranged from the sleek chicken coops of Acme Happy Chicken Company to the sex-positive conversations of the Lube Ladies and the disaster shelters of Litehouse International.  There was also the taste-bud tempting New Mexico Hard Cider (Craig Moya and Heather Tassel) and Santa Fe Hard Cider (Mike Zercher and Josh Johns).

“BizMIX has been a great learning experience. It was great to get feedback from other contestants, and the mentors have been excellent,” said Josh Johns of Santa Fe Hard Cider.

The judges awarded prizes to all finalists.  “I really enjoyed the energy of the presentations. I love to know that lots of people are working hard on new businesses all around us,” said Connor Browne of Thornburg Investment Management, who was one of the judges.

The crowd favorites at two separate pitch contests each won $500 for earning the most votes from the crowd.  A summary of all the cash and prizes awarded is as follows:

  • Santa Fe Hard Cider (Mike Zercher and Josh Johns) - $8,000 grand prize & 4 mos. kiosk rental at DeVargas Mall ($1600 value)
  • Acme Happy Chicken Company (Bill Roth) - $5,000 prize & 4 mos. kiosk rental at DeVargas Mall  ($1600 value)
  • Lube Ladies (Micky Small and Awbrey Willet)  - $500 for crowd favorite at August MIX event & 1 hour of Legal Consultation ($250 value )
  • New Mexico Hard Cider (Craig Moya and Heather Tassel) - $500 crowd favorite at Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Business Awards & Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce 1 year Membership ($350 value)
  • Litehouse International (Vince DiGregory and Drew Tulchin) - 3 month SFBI Affiliate Membership ($600 value)

Sponsors of bixMIX made the competition possible by providing funding, prizes, mentorship and other valuable support.  Thanks to the sponsors for bizMIX 2013:

  • Los Alamos Technology Transfer Division
  • Thornburg Investment Management
  • Santa Fe County - Economic Development
  • Positive Energy Solar
  • Century Bank
  • New Mexico Bank and Trust
  • New Mexico Economic Development Department
  • City of Santa Fe - Economic Development
  • Los Alamos National Security LLC
  • Sarcon Construction
  • Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce
  • La Fonda Hotel
  • Tanti Luce
  • Inn and Spa at Loretto
  • Inn of the Governors
  • Santa Fe Business Incubator
  • Xpress
  • The Owens Law Firm
  • Hutton Broadcasting
  • The Santa Fe Reporter
  • Anagram, LLC

BizMIX was designed to draw out and inspire the best start up businesses in Santa Fe and give them the tools and connections to grow and prosper. It is part of the efforts of MIX Santa Fe to cultivate a vibrant entrepreneurial economy and create opportunities for creative individuals in Santa Fe.

The two big cash winners of bizMIX 2012, Awesome Harvest and Planit Mapper have had very successful years since last years’ competition. They both received funding from the Venture Acceleration Fund.  Awesome Harvest ( reports a significant announcement is expected in early November and Planit Mapper ( has just launched a beta version of its software product.

Bizmix 2013 Winners Announced




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