Winners will have a network of mentors available to them who are specialists in their field. Mentors provide advice, technical assistance, and an empathetic ear to the risk and rewards of entrepreneurship.
Product and Service Innovation
Heather is the co-founder and CEO of Catapult Design, a global design firm serving entrepreneurs around the globe. Heather is Dine' and brings a people-centered approach to all of her client work.
Natasha is a Program Manager at NABIN where Native business owners are provided with business counseling and peer support to build strong business that provide economic opportunity in Native communities.
Small Business Counseling
Access to Native Finance Opportunities
Jessica is the Program Manager at NABIN where Native business owners are provided with business counseling and peer support to build strong businesses that provide economic opportunity in Native communities. NABIN’s mission is to build a strong entrepreneurial community through innovation and cultural integrity.
Native Finance Opportunities
Dave is the CEO of Native Capital Access, where he directs technical assistance to build the capacity of tribal professionals in the use of debt financing for community development projects. He has raised public- and private-sector equity and debt and established strategic partnerships and collaborations with banks, CDFI’s and foundation partners to support economic development and small business financing on tribal lands.
Vanessa Roanhorse (Diné), Principal Owner of Roanhorse Consulting, LLC, a 100% certified Native American and woman-owned consulting firm dedicated to working with and for indigenous entities, governments, businesses, community organizations, and individuals to achieve and aspire their sovereignty through sustainable design, innovative financing structures, and technical expertise. Vanessa has extensive experience working in both the private and public sector seeking to address socio-ecological challenges faced by communities of color and low income.
Establishing a legal status
Federal Indian law
Cate is a managing partner at Stetson Law Office, P.C. She uses her extensive experience in federal Indian law with specialization in housing, gaming, and commercial transactions to forward economic development projects for her clients as well as her own companies. She is also President of LEGI\X COMPANY AND Tribal Business Opportunities.
Business and financial models
Peter is New Mexico Community Capital's Managing Director/Entrepreneurial Services and Program Director of the Native Entrepreneur in Residence Program. He was previously the CEO of HMI, an international non-profit providing sustainable agricultural training to underserved, culturally diverse populations worldwide. For 20+ years, he was in the private sector. He founded, grew, and, sold a San Francisco/New York based firm, in market analysis and product development. He also served as CEO in two business turnaround situations, bringing financial and operations stability to both companies, positioning each for acquisition.
Public and Community Relations
Tribe Strategic Planning
Stephanie is the President of Poston & Associates. She is committed to initiatives that improve tribal communities through culturally competent, community-based approaches. She brings nearly three decades experience in public and community relations, strategic planning and empowerment training at the tribal, federal, state and local levels. Ms. Poston is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Sandia.
Jaime is a Loan Officer for Accion, a nonprofit dedicated to making high-quality, affordable financial services. Her goal is to increase access to capital to Native Americans in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. AZ, NM, CO, and UT). She believes in creating opportunities to work together and rethink, repurpose, and reinvent entrepreneurship so that it isn’t just about generating wealth for ourselves, but expanding our ability to be catalysts for change. She was born in Gallup and raised on the Navajo and White Mountain Apache Reservations. She received her B.A. in Native American Studies and Political Science at UNM and recently finished her MPA with a focus on Nonprofit Management. Her clans are Nakai Dine (Mexican clan), born for the Eagle clan (Apache).
Neomi M. Gilmore is Nooda’i dine, born for Bit’a’nii and a member of the Navajo Nation. She inspired change coordinating and organization Native Youth Take Charge, a youth initiative to inspire native youth in rural areas to seek and receive a college education. She’s a 2014 graduate of the University of Colorado College of Law, she also earned a B.A. in Sociology and minor in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. Her publications include Native Youth Take Charge, AM. Indian Graduate 2012. She currently serves as a Governing Council Member at Six Directions Indigenous School, and Advisory Board Member at Colorado Juvenile Defender Center.
Joshua Lavar Butler
Tribal Government Relations
Joshua Lavar Butler (Navajo) is CEO of Sandstone Public Relations. He is a seasoned professional with more than 17 years of experience in public relations, marketing communications, strategic communications, journalism and tribal government relations. He has dedicated his career to promoting tribal entities, programs and people through marketing, non-profit service and as an elected tribal legislator.
Clara L. Pratte
Originally from Lupton, Arizona, Ms. Pratte (Dine') has advocated for tribal communities nationwide. She has committed her work to poverty alleviation, economic empowerment, and advancing tribal sovereignty. She assists and advises tribes nationwide on economic development matters and is a sought out resource for federal and regulatory advocacy and analysis. She is the founder and CEO of Strongbow Strategies, LLC (a federal services company) and a lobbyist at Bracy Tucker Brown and Valanzano. Clara served the Obama administration as the National Director of the Office of Native American Affairs of the U.S. Small Business Administration and has held positions with the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration. Ms. Pratte is a founding board member of the Navajo CDFI, a lending institution dedicated to improving access to capital for entrepreneurs in and around the Navajo Nation.