Linda Alvarado brought a basic, overall message to the Domenici Public Conference in Las Cruces last month: “Entrepreneurial ideas are what has made America great.”
Myrtle Potter echoed the message, though not in quite the exact words.
Starting from deep New Mexico roots, their paths have differed. While Potter now owns consulting and media companies, she rose in the corporate world of health care to be president and chief operating officer of Genentech, a biotechnology firm. Alvarado’s company remains as it began—Alvarado Construction Company—with some sidelines gathered along the way, including franchise restaurants in four states and a piece of the Colorado Rockies baseball club.
In the overall public policy conversation about entrepreneurialism, the sense commonly is that the discussion is about people starting their own companies. The policy gurus focus much more narrowly on “high growth and disruptive new businesses... creating new markets and revving the engines of our nation’s economy.” This is a quote from an Innovation magazine article about Startup America, an Obama administration-blessed, foundation-funded program to help “young, high growth companies.”
New Mexico is considering joining the Startup America program, the article said.