Three Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship winners provide interesting updates
“The Mayor’s Prize was really important for as we looked at the entrepreneurship sector in Albuquerque and explored ways that we can strengthen it. We are excited to see the results from the resources received.” Robin Brulé, Chief Executive Strategist, Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative
The Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship is a new partnership between the City of Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Community Foundation, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Prize, which amounted to just under $200,000.00 in 2015, seeks to support bold ideas that create and grow new companies in Albuquerque, but through the lens of mission-driven nonprofits. From 27 applicants, three winners were selected in 2015 to share the inaugural prize: Global Ties ABQ, Technology Ventures Corporation, and WESST. Last week the three organizations caught up with Prize funders and made clear that some very interesting collaboration is afoot.
Each of the Mayor’s Prize winners takes a different approach to supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Albuquerque: TVC focuses on technology commercialization, and the Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship has expanded its efforts to second stage companies; Global Ties ABQ focuses on international business, and is now not only receiving visitors from the likes of Kazakhstan and Indonesia, but as a result of the Prize is training local NM businesses to expand their markets abroad; And WESST is building on its Creative Pie program that provides 360o support and training for creative businesses in an effort to expand the creative economy and to financially support founders and grow jobs.
The room was filled with energy as each Prize winner shared updates from their programs. It was less a “report back” and more a quick-fire collaborative session. TVC had unexpected ties to a group of retired “Sandians” (fondly referring to employees of Sandia National Labs) who focus on developing clever ways to ship strangely shaped and fragile things, which could help solve some major shipping challenges faced by some of WESST’s Creative Pie program participants who make pottery or sculpture. WESST shared some international business connections, supporting Global Ties in its efforts to link local businesses to resources, and each program leader walked away with more ideas to continue building momentum.
CONNECT THE DOTS
COMMONALITIES with the Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative: The Mayor’s Prize has offered an opportunity for aligned action to be put to work.
OPPORTUNITY: There will be upcoming opportunities for entrepreneurs through the Mayor’s Prize winners. Please keep an eye on their social media to stay informed and help to spread the word.