Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
February 20, 2024 | Tom Ballard

How about a ski resort backdrop for a pitch event?

That's what nine New Mexico-based start-ups had for the ninth annual "Ski Lift Pitch" event.

Put this in the category of the most unusual venue for a pitch competition.

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

Each start-up 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 start-ups 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’s winner was Hoonify, an Albuquerque-based start-up. Staffed with supercomputing experts who spent their careers building some of the world’s fastest supercomputers and exploring advanced computing architectures within the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories, Hoonify’s software, TurboOS, places supercomputing powers in the hands of everyday users.

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