Our Work

Taking on our toughest economic challenges

Through City Alive, we are taking on our toughest economic challenges, because we know we are even tougher.
By supporting homegrown job creators, entrepreneurs and innovators, City Alive is not only
imagining a better Albuquerque, it is building one.

We have engaged over 100 community partners

City Alive is a collective impact initiative, meaning we bring people together from all different walks—from government, to business and education leaders, to heads of nonprofits—to support the people who are growing jobs right here at home. We know that together we can think smarter, remove barriers and create a better environment where entrepreneurs build businesses and succeed.

Through smart, connected and inclusive approaches, City Alive and our partners are moving our city into a new age of prosperity together.

City Alive’s approach is based in changing systems to better support people and our economic future. To truly adapt to new economic realities, we know that we need systems that work both equitably and efficiently. This means not only improving upon or changing existing systems. It means doing so in a way that also addresses the racial inequities and historical marginalization that exist within them. Through this approach we seek to promote economic mobility and job creation that ensures access to opportunity for all in our community.

Changing systems to better support people and our future

We improve systems by:

  • Increasing availability and access to high quality business development opportunities
  • Increasing availability and access to capital to start and grow businesses
  • Creating opportunities for talent and skill development in both traditional and nontraditional tracks
  • Advancing our city’s infrastructure to connect people and places in new and meaningful ways

Who We Are

Since 2013, over 100 nonprofit, business and community leaders, service providers, educational institutions and philanthropists have volunteered hundreds of hours in partnership with City Alive to build an environment in Albuquerque for entrepreneurs to succeed.

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Robin Brulé

Chief Strategist


City Alive, Albuquerque’s Living Cities Integration Initiative


Senior Vice President of Community Relations, Nusenda Credit Union


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Henry Rael

Chair


City Alive, Albuquerque’s Living Cities Integration Initiative


Program Officer, McCune Charitable Foundation

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Lisa Abeyta


Founder and CEO, APPCityLife Inc.


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Lisa Adkins


COO and Director, FatPipe ABQ

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Corey Cooper


Deputy Chief of Staff, City of Albuquerque Mayor’s Office

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Kelli Cooper


Vice President, Albuquerque Community Foundation

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Robert DelCampo, Ph.D.


Executive Director, innovationAcademy, University of New Mexico


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Angelo Gonzales, Ph.D.


Executive Director, Mission: Graduate

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Synthia Jaramillo


Chief Operating Officer, Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce


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Debbie Johnson


Director, Office of Entrepreneurial and Economic Development, CNM

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Frank Mirabal, Ph.D.


Director of Collective Impact, City of Albuquerque Mayor’s Office

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Gary Oppendahl


Director, Economic Development, City of Albuquereque


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Olivia Padilla-Jackson


Deputy Director, Finance & Administrative Services Department, City of Albuquerque

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Adrian Pedroza


Social Enterprise Director, Partnership for Community Action

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Rick Rennie


Asset Manager, Historic District Improvement Company


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Alvin H. Warren


Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

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Jennifer Riordan


Vice President of Community Relations, Wells Fargo Bank

 

Strategies and Approach


City Alive’s goal is to create a healthier and more stable economy, more higher paying jobs and more income that reaches every household in Albuquerque. We believe that by making the hard work of entrepreneurs easier through connected services, more resources, capital and training opportunities and improved city-wide infrastructure, we will see the economic growth that Albuquerque needs to not only sustain in the new economy, but to prosper.

By 2025 we we are working to reach the following outcomes: Adding 10,000 net new jobs; 2. Reducing unemployment to 4.5%; and 3. Increasing median weekly wages to $932 with a focus on racial and economic equity.

While this is a long-term process, we are already seeing changes take place in our systems to reach this goal. From City government, to our schools and universities, to our business chambers in Albuquerque, resources are allocated differently, institutions and organizations are partnering and aligning to support entrepreneurs in meaningful ways and our city is, bit by bit, becoming stronger, smarter and more connected.

University of New Mexico logo
Nusenda Foundation
Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce Logo
City of Albuquerque Seal
CNM Logo
Mission Graduate Logo
BioScience Center Logo
McCune Charitable Foundation Logo
Wk Kellogg Foundation
WESST Logo
Albuquerque Community Foundation
AppCityLife Logo

Select Highlights


2+1+2

UNM and CNM have collaborated on the 2+1+2 program, which fast-tracks students to receive an associates, bachelors and masters degree in only five years. This program, which launched in the fall of 2016, saves New Mexico residents on average over $23,600 in tuition and fees.

TrepConnect

City Alive’s Molino Project developed a mobile application for entrepreneurs and small business owners in Albuquerque. TrepConnect, now available on the App Store, connects entrepreneurs and small businesses with resources and services in their community that will help them sustain and grow their business.

Emprendedores

Through the Emprendedores Program—an unprecedented collaboration between CNM and the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce—immigrant entrepreneurs now have access to entrepreneurial training and support, entirely in Spanish.

2+1+2

UNM and CNM have collaborated on the 2+1+2 program, which fast-tracks students to receive an associates, bachelors and masters degree in only five years. This program, which launched in the fall of 2016, saves New Mexico residents on average over $23,600 in tuition and fees.


TrepConnect

City Alive’s Molino Project developed a mobile application for entrepreneurs and small business owners in Albuquerque. TrepConnect, now available on the App Store, connects entrepreneurs and small businesses with resources and services in their community that will help them sustain and grow their business.


Inclusive

Through the Emprendadores Program—an unprecedented collaboration between CNM and the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce—immigrant entrepreneurs now have access to entrepreneurial training and support, entirely in Spanish.



Generous Supporters

Generous Supporters


City Alive is a part of Living Cities’ Integration Initiative. Living Cities is a philanthropic collaborative that works to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Their work revolves around three approaches that they believe can have the greatest impact on low-income people: Collective impact (bringing players from different sectors together to tackle problems), capital innovation (using private capital for public good) and public sector innovation (making governments more effective and redirecting funds to what works).

Albuquerque was brought into the Integration Initiative in 2013. The Integration Initiative is Living Cities’ signature effort aimed at revitalizing US cities. Living Cities funds and facilitates TII work in implementation cities, where local teams are taking a collective impact approach to reshaping their communities and policies to meet the needs of low-income people.

Our partnership with Living Cities has offered Albuquerque access to the technical assistance and peer-city advice, capacity-building and planning resources, access to new sources of capital and exposure to a growing network of public-private, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders that ensure our work and the work of our partners is supported and on the right track.

We thank Living Cities for their support.

Other generous City Alive supporters:


History


In 2013 Albuquerque was selected along with eight other cities across the United States by Living Cities—a national collaboration of 18 of the world’s largest funders and banks—to receive investment as a Living Cities Integration Initiative. This prestigious support, which includes technical, financial and structural support, seeks to reshape programs, change policies and increase access to resources so that systems can change to improve results, especially for low-income people and people of color. City Alive emerged from Living Cities’ Integration Initiative and has worked ever since to understand and harness Albuquerque’s strengths and assets and to work smarter to support the existing and new entrepreneurs and innovators that are the key to our future.

Living Cities’ interest in Albuquerque developed out of unique—and often rare—partnerships that were developing between senior leaders across sectors and also due to the existing but underutilized research and laboratory assets that could be gamechangers in creating high growth companies right here at home.

Key leaders in City Alive—including the Mayor’s Office, Nusenda Credit Union and the University of New Mexico to name a few—actively leverage their resources to change systems and policies to better meet the needs of people and responsibly reallocate resources for the best results. Research has shown that coordinated investments in innovation, education, entrepreneurship, infrastructure and economic development are key to help cities adapt to new economic realities.

Learn more about who we are here.