Home New mexico tax Supporting New Mexico startups is good for everyone

Supporting New Mexico startups is good for everyone

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John Rice

Editor’s Note: Throughout 2022, New Mexico Angels members, investors, and start-up owners will write about economic development and start-up opportunities in the state. Angels bring together individual investors to pool their resources, providing seed and start-up capital to start-up businesses.

An African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” expresses the common-sense notion that a whole community of people should help educate and nurture their children, giving them the lessons of life both good examples and bad apples, and stepping up with support and guidance when a child is troubled or failing so that each child can grow into a responsible and good person.

Similarly, “it takes a kind of village” to nurture, support and help grow start-ups, the children of our economy.

The New Mexico Angels reopened after the first year of COVID and redefined themselves as other members of an ecosystem village made up of: ABQid and Ingenuity and many other parts of CNM; UNM’s Anderson School of Business and the Rainforest; the incubator community exemplified by WESST and the Santa Fe Business Incubator; Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories; New Mexico Biotechnology and Biomedical Association; the growing number of coworking spaces, city and state economic development resources, job training incentive program, and many more economic villagers.

Before COVID, we were multiple parties and looked like a village of silos. In our emerging post-COVID economy, we are still many parties, but we are now coming closer and closer to being part of a dynamic, collaborative network of resources available to help create and grow start-up businesses.

There’s a lot going on, there’s a lot to do. We hope that our broader corporate culture and state community adheres to the startup mantra: “Yes, we can!”

The Albuquerque Journal regularly highlights and profiles local start-ups. We New Mexicans would do well to be proud of these fledgling businesses. In the same way that sports teams excel most when they have a connected and passionate fan base, our emerging entrepreneurs can soar higher because our public support, high expectations and acclaim provide stronger winds under their wings.

Recently, the New Mexico Department of Economic Development announced eight recipients of $25,000 science and technology grants. This is one of many initiatives across our state to support start-up and growing businesses. The grant funds high-growth businesses that provide a unique product or service, have a clear and compelling business proposition, demonstrate a scalable product and business model, with the potential to create jobs in New Mexico, as well as raise private investments. The objective is that they provide the State with an economic benefit greater than the amount of the award.

Congratulations to Alicia Keyes, our state’s Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development; Alex Greenberg, director of the Office of Science and Technology; and the rest of the NM EDD team for supporting the potential for positive economic impact of these businesses in New Mexico. Thanks also to the Technology Research Collaborative Board, comprised of business development and economics professionals, who reviewed 70 submissions to make recommendations. Their work advances companies such as T-Neuro Pharma, Allerpops and Orch Tech.

Among the recipients is a New Mexico Angels portfolio company – Nob Hill Therapeutics, Inc. NHT is commercializing technology developed at the University of New Mexico, which manufactures an inhaled dry powder drug delivery device to create effective inhalation therapies for respiratory tract infections and other life-threatening lung diseases. The COVID pandemic has shed light on what lung disease can do to people, and lower respiratory tract infections are the fifth leading cause of death globally. This company is a great example of working with UNM’s Rainforest, benefiting other New Mexico economic development programs and applying for the state’s angel tax credit. The New Mexico Angels are confident that NHT’s technology will advance nationally to help save lives, while building a strong business with economic benefits for Albuquerque and the state.

Being a citizen of our Economic Ecosystem Village is much more than investments. It’s about providing mentorship, leadership, and guidance to New Mexico’s start-up and high-growth community. So many of the successful companies in the Land of Enchantment were once fledgling startups. Think about who you would be today without the support of individuals and entities in your “village” who have been slow to move you forward on your journey.

I am optimistic for New Mexico. I’m proud to see so many businesses start up and begin to thrive here. I hope you will join our mission to make New Mexico the leader in creating and growing successful startups as a member of this growing village, a startup support group Very important. If you can’t play, practice; if you can’t train, congratulations!