Leading New Mexico Startups Compete at Ninth-Annual Ski Lift Pitch Hosted by CNM Ingenuity
Bee Clean Spot LLC pitching on the chairlift.

Leading New Mexico Startups Compete at Ninth-Annual Ski Lift Pitch Hosted by CNM Ingenuity

Hoonify, a company that uses software to put national laboratory-level supercomputing power into the hands of everyday users, took home the top prize
February 08, 2024

Surrounded by snow and 12,000-foot peaks and sitting 30 feet in the air, nine of New Mexico’s most exciting startups had the opportunity to pitch national investors on Tuesday while riding the chairlift at Taos Ski Valley as part of the annual Ski Lift Pitch event hosted by CNM Ingenuity.

Each startup got to ride the lift with up to six different investment firms, using their time on the chair to give an overview of their company, explain what problem they were solving for or innovation they were bringing to market, and answer rapid-fire questions from the judges. 

After riding the chair, three of the startups were chosen as finalists and given five more minutes to pitch another round of judges back at the lodge. Those judges conferred and then awarded a $10,000 first prize.

This year Hoonify, an Albuquerque-based startup took home first place. Staffed with supercomputing experts who spent their careers building some of the world's fastest supercomputers and exploring advanced computing architectures within the US Department of Energy's National Laboratories, Hoonify’s software, TurboOS, places supercomputing powers in the hands of everyday users.

“Winning Ski Lift Pitch means everything to us in terms of having the support of both local and national judges and it’s a big step forward  in our continued growth,” said Andrew Clark, Hoonify’s chief executive officer. He along with Connor Brown, the company’s Vice President of Software, were the two representatives from the company at the event.  

CNM Ingenuity CEO Kyle Lee was a finalist judge and said that Hoonify’s technology is what’s needed at the perfect time as the demand for supercomputing power accelerates with a massive expansion of data.

“If Hoonify can win the race against competitors by proving and then distributing their technology, they could easily be one of the largest and most impactful companies ever founded in New Mexico,” he said. 

The two other finalists at the event were Both&, a national apparel company for the transmasculine, gender non-conforming, and nonbinary community, and Integrated OffGrid LLC, which is developing a solar-powered atmospheric water harvesting product capable of producing 100 gallons of water per-day. 

“We were thrilled to host such an incredible group of startups and investors for this year’s event and a huge congratulations to Hoonify,” said Jeff Bargiel, the Program Director at CNM Ingenuity. “We’re excited to see where Hoonify takes its technology, but we’re also excited to see what all this year’s startups are able to do with the important connections that this event facilitates.”

See below for a full gallery from the event. 

Group accepting check at 2024 Ski Lift Pitch
Hoonify accepts the $10,000 first-place check
Group photo of representatives from the nine participating startups
Representatives from the nine participating startups
One person skiing and another snowboarding
A judge and startup heading down the slopes after a pitch session
Group of people riding ski lift
Cheshir Industries pitching on the lift
Person giving presentation
Both& during the final round of pitches
Man giving presentation
Integrated OffGrid LLC during the final round of pitches
Group of people having a meal and talking
Networking during the event at Taos Ski Valley
Group of people talking
Networking during the event at Taos Ski Valley
Group of people talking
Networking during the event at Taos Ski Valley