16 applications were reviewed and compared against the criteria. 9 organizations were selected as finalists. as they best met the criteria set for the program which supports development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Albuquerque. The 2016 finalists are:
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- Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce Foundation - The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, a lead partner of the Albuquerque Integration Initiative along with the Mayor's Office, University of New Mexico, Nusenda Credit Union and others, proposes the development of a full-time position through its Barelas Economic Opportunity Center (BEOC) to serve as a Community Navigator. The Navigator will connect entrepreneurs, the majority of whom will be low-income, minority, or otherwise marginalized, with available resources in an effort to contribute to the success, growth, and job creation of small businesses in Albuquerque. At the end of the first program year, the Navigator will be responsible for reaching out to, connecting with, and helping at least 75 entrepreneurs access small business resources, innovative financial products, business training, and mutually beneficial partnerships.
- FUSION - Funding from the Mayor’s Prize is requested for the FUSION Forum. This program is a “cultural collider” – physical location development and cultural programming that will engender collision between entrepreneurs, practitioners, patrons and funders of the arts. By leveraging these diverse stakeholders, FUSION Forum seeks to directly stimulate the downtown economy through new business growth, job creation and increased revenues. FUSION anticipates increasing patron capacity by 3500% through the creation of three new downtown performance venues (two indoor/one outdoor), eight coop office spaces, a coffee shop and a café.
- Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship/Creative Startups - Creative Startups seeks funding to support Lobo Launch Labs, a highly collaborative program which aims to tap the entrepreneurial spirit of students in creative disciplines and support their entrepreneurial success and growth in Albuquerque. To do this, Creative Startups, together with UNM Innovation Academy and UNM STC, will generate a "pipeline" of students intending to stay in Albuquerque and grow their new ventures, keeping talent and business development local. Lobo Launch Labs is a 16-week bootcamp-styled program that will serve students in creative tech and innovation fields. The unique collaboration marries the startup expertise of Creative Startups with the student access of UNM Innovation Academy and the know-how of STC's tech transfer team
- CNM Ingenuity - CNM Ingenuity is a nonprofit organization that supports Central New Mexico Community College's economic development, charitable, educational, and scientific efforts. Through the Mayor’s Prize, CNM Ingenuity is requesting funds to support the FUSE Makerspace – a business incubator for fledgling entrepreneurs, a lab for developers, a production facility for manufacturers, a resource for community members and a hub of connectivity for credit and non-credit educational resources and workforce training programs. With the support of the Mayor’s Prize, CNM Ingenuity seeks to expand current FUSE programming, resources, membership options, and operating hours in order to meet current demand and more fully integrate with, commit to, and help reinforce the entrepreneurial environment of Albuquerque's downtown Innovation Corridor.
- Technology Ventures Corporation - Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC) is a nonprofit economic development engine founded in 1993 by the Lockheed Martin Corporation as part of the management contract for Sandia National Laboratories. Mayor's Prize funding would help TVC continue to build upon its successful business model that assists businesses "beyond the initial tech transfer/start-up phase." It will do this by managing and expanding a TVC Growth Strategies program that will leverage and match local and national capabilities (knowledge, tools and facilities) available to help small to medium-sized technical oriented companies take their business to the next level.
- Nusenda Credit Union Foundation - Nusenda Foundation is requesting funding for its Co-Op Capital program. In order to be successful and grow their businesses, entrepreneurs need reliable access to affordable capital. Yet, many businesses or potential entrepreneurs find themselves marginalized from traditional systems of securing capital because of a lack of credit history, poor credit score, or lack of collateral. This is a particularly acute issue among minority entrepreneurs. Nusenda Foundation's Co-Op Capital service seeks to address this issue by widening access points to small business capital for financially marginalized entrepreneurs who find other financing out of their reach. Co-Op Capital flips the traditional model of a borrower applying for a loan through a financial institution. Instead, a member organization (e.g., co-op, union, or association), sponsors a loan on behalf of one of their member affiliates. No credit report from the borrower is needed and collateral is provided by the member organization, dismantling two major barriers to loan access.
- South Valley Economic Development Center - South Valley Economic Development Center (SVEDC) requests funding for the Virtual Incubator program. SVEDC's Virtual Incubator gives participants direct access to experts in all realms of running a business. Through one-on-one assessment by SVEDC staff, strengths and needs are identified and an initialized success plan developed designed specifically for that business and its owner. The new Virtual Incubator offers full, on-site 24/7 administrative assistant services, office equipment, three conferences areas including audio/visual capability, and a shared work environment to entrepreneurs in the earliest stage of startup.
- New Mexico Community Capital - NM Community Capital seeks funding for its Native Entrepreneur in Residence Program (NEIR), which provides an environment that maximizes the probability of business success by offering resources to Native-owned start-ups and existing companies. These resources include physical space, direct financing, entrepreneurial training and development, and access to business and financial networking. NM Community Capital serves the Native American population living in and around Albuquerque, as well as, members of New Mexico's 22 Pueblos and Nations.
- WESST - Mayor’s Prize funding would support WESST’s Creative P.I.E. (Practice, Innovation & Enterprise) program, which serves artists, artisans, craftspeople, makers and food producers by:
- offering core business financial literacy and business skills curriculum to creatives;
- individualized consultations where creatives can receive one-on-one business development training;
- adding a Level II Etsy selling curriculum to its program offerings; and
- offering the opportunity for local creatives to participate in the WESST Holiday Pop-Up Shop, held in the fall of 2017.
By reaching over 120 metro area creatives and 35 enterprises, Creative P.I.E. will build a robust creative economy, grow Albuquerque's reputation as an arts and culture destination, and raise the business and financial literacy rates of ABQ creatives.