Embed your start-up in the ‘Secret City’

New entrepreneurship program provides financial support and access to Los Alamos National Laboratory’s resources and expertise

April 7, 2021

Cave Automatic Virtual Environmen Opt
Researchers investigate details of an astronomical simulation in the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Supercomputing Center. Scientific innovators are invited to embed their companies in the technology and talent of the Laboratory for two years as part of the new NM LEEP program.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., April 6, 2021—Innovators and start-up companies working to solve national security challenges through advanced materials, advanced computing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and space technology are invited to apply for a two-year entrepreneurial fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The fellowship, which is part of the New Mexico Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (NM LEEP), operated by Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation, will provide the fellows with funding and an opportunity to immerse their organizations in the Laboratory’s technology and talent.

“NM LEEP presents a unique opportunity for Los Alamos National Laboratory and our community to support deep-tech innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Thom Mason, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory. “We look forward to providing the expertise and resources needed to develop new solutions for key national security challenges.”

Once dubbed the “Secret City,” Los Alamos was born in 1943 as part of the then-secret Manhattan Project. Nearly 80 years later, the Laboratory is a leader in national security science and developing new innovations in the field, including stabilizing the U.S. power grid, developing clean energy, combating climate change, preventing disease, and maintaining the nuclear deterrent, among many others.

The program, which includes a two-year relocation to northern New Mexico, offers a yearly stipend of up to $100,000 plus health insurance and a travel allowance. Each project also receives $100,000/year in technology-advancement support in collaboration with the Laboratory and its large network of mentors, customers, and investors. NM LEEP is the fourth of its kind in the nation, with other successful LEEP programs having taken place at Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, and Oak Ridge national laboratories. The new program at Los Alamos is unique in its focus on national security-related applications and products, with the goal of Sandia National Laboratories joining NM LEEP in 2022.

Secret City 2
Graduate student Elinor Mullin and Lab Scientist Suzanne Nowicki, both of the Space Sciences and Applications group, enjoy a mountain biking excursion on a trail outside Los Alamos.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is located in Los Alamos, N.M., population approximately 20,000, on the high-desert mesa of the Pajarito Plateau. Surrounded by mountains and canyons, it experiences four seasons and is close to several national monuments, preserves, and forests. Locals enjoy mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and ice-skating. The community is known for its low crime rate and excellent public schools. Los Alamos is also in proximity to nationally renowned destinations for art, dining, and entertainment such as Santa Fe and Taos.

“Los Alamos National Laboratory and northern New Mexico offer high-tech innovators the best of both worlds—the nexus of revolutionary science and technology with an unparalleled natural environment for recreation, the arts, and unique culture,” said Patrick Sullivan, executive director of the LACDC, the Laboratory’s NM LEEP collaborator. “We welcome NM LEEP innovators to New Mexico.”

Learn more and apply here. Deadline is May 21, 2021.