CNM Ingenuity Hosts Ninth-Annual Ski Lift Pitch on Feb. 6

Nine New Mexico-based start-ups will get the chance to pitch their businesses while riding the chairlift at Taos Ski Valley
January 23, 2024
CNM Ingenuity and Platinum Sponsor New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Department are excited to announce the ninth-annual Ski Lift Pitch, which takes place February 6 at Taos Ski Valley. This unique event combines the thrill of skiing with the excitement of entrepreneurship and brings together startups and investors for a day of networking and competition.

"This year's Ski Lift Pitch is set to be our biggest one yet," says T.J. Cook, who sits on the event’s organizing committee and serves as the Fund Manager for the Ingenuity Venture Fund. "We have more judges and six new venture funds participating, in addition to the venture capital firms that have come every year. We’re thrilled that Ski Lift Pitch has become an annual event for the startup ecosystem in New Mexico, and we’re excited to host the event for the ninth year.”

On the morning of the Ski Lift Pitch, start-up founders get to ride up the main chairlift at Taos Ski Valley with active investors. During the ride the founders present their business idea and the investors judge the pitch. Everyone then skis or snowboards back down to the base together and repeats three more times.

According to Cook, this unique format provides a fun way for the startups to connect with investors and also forces the pitches to be focused and creative.

“All of the components of Ski Lift Pitch really come together to create something great,” Cook says. “The investors love to ski, and founders are always working on improving and expanding their businesses. At this event, both groups get a chance to spend the day in the beautiful scenery of the Taos Ski Valley, but still be working towards the common goal of investing in New Mexico.”

At the end of the day, the top three startups from the skiing round present their pitch to a larger group of judges and investors, and the first-place winner walks away with a $10,000 cash prize.

Cook says the cash prize is important, but the connections made throughout the day between the startups and investors is where everyone has found the most value over time. 

"Even if one of the startups doesn't win the competition, they could still meet a potential investor,” Cook says. “All of the competitors walk away as winners because of the awareness and relationships they've built for their company."

This year’s start-ups include:
  • Bee Clean Spot LLC: Providing organic, no-mess hand sanitizer loved by mothers, active users, and everyone in between. The proprietary beeswax formula leaves your hands feeling soft and moisturized while killing 99.99% of germs, all in a convenient, recyclable travel size bottle made in New Mexico. 
  • Both&: Building the Nike of the nonbinary generation, aiming to serve the groundswell of gender queer identified consumers around the world who currently have no brand to turn to.
  • Cheshir Industries: Providing novel antenna systems with 10x the efficiency, 10x the capacity, and half the cost to enable the widespread adoption of high-speed 5G.
  • Flow Aluminum: Introducing a breakthrough in energy storage – a high-performance, affordable, and non-flammable aluminum-CO2 battery. Unlike lithium-based alternatives, our grid battery also functions as a Direct Air Capture device, actively sequestering carbon.
  • Hoonify: Putting National Laboratory-level supercomputing power into the hands of everyday users with our software, TurbOS™, using regular, industry-standard computers giving everyone the power and control to solve world-changing problems.
  • Integrated OffGrid LLC: Developing a solar-powered atmospheric water harvesting product capable of producing 100 gallons of reliable, sustainable water per-day. Fresh water anytime, anywhere -- including in the arid high deserts of New Mexico.
  • Senior.One: Bridging care gaps with technology and licensed social workers: Senior.One is a tech-enabled care navigation solution helping seniors & their caregivers navigate their aging journey.
  • Space Kinetic: Space Kinetic is building a groundbreaking platform for dynamic space operations. We’re developing the Longbow, a rotary system that electromechanically accelerates and propels assets through space without firing a thruster or using consumable fuel.
  • Undesert: Undesert's patented tech can turn the world's dirtiest water into perfectly pure water and dry salt. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham recently announced a $500 million advanced water pre-purchase and Undesert is uniquely positioned to enable the cleaning of New Mexico’s substantial brackish water supplies.