The boards for the two entities have voted in favor of the move, which paves the way for ABQid and its assets and programming to move under the umbrella of CNM Ingenuity, which operates a variety of programs to support entrepreneurship and economic development in central New Mexico. The final steps for the merger could be completed next week.
“This isn’t just good news for ABQid and CNM Ingenuity, this is great news for our community and our local economy,” CNM President Kathie Winograd said. “ABQid is a successful, established and respected brand in our community that has been a key player in advancing the resurgent entrepreneurial movement in the Albuquerque area. We can’t wait to help build on that momentum by providing ABQid with the substantial support, expertise and resources that exists within CNM Ingenuity.”
ABQid was founded in 2014 with backing by the City of Albuquerque. Its programs have trained over 2,000 aspiring entrepreneurs, and its investment fund has provided capital to 31 New Mexico startups. In 2017, it was awarded matching funds of up to $2 million by the New Mexico Catalyst Fund, which is part of the State Investment Council’s efforts to support the growth of innovative startups around the state. ABQid’s Catalyst funding will be transferrable to CNM Ingenuity, which aims to leverage its resources and infrastructure to increase ABQid’s impact on business creation and economic development in the region.
All of ABQid’s assets, investments and a multi-year agreement with New Mexico Tech in support of the Air Force Research Lab will also transfer to CNM Ingenuity.
“ABQid has been a champion for entrepreneurship in our community and its leaders have built a tremendous resource for New Mexican entrepreneurs who are dreaming big and striving to make a difference in our economy,” said Kyle Lee, Chief Executive Officer of CNM Ingenuity. “I’m very excited about what we can do together to create more economic activity and job growth by supporting entrepreneurship.”
ABQid will maintain its name, and its three staff members will move under CNM Ingenuity – Executive Director T.J. Cook, Director of Business Development and Finance Harold Lavender, and Program Manager Hanes Motsinger.
John McDermott, ABQid Board Chair, said, “Unanimous approval by our board shows that we believe this merger will significantly increase opportunities for meaningful investment in the economic infrastructure of New Mexico.”
“We’re excited to continue initiatives like Hyperspace Challenge with AFRL and ActivateNM with WESST, as well as our Ski Lift and Balloon pitch events. Joining up with CNMI’s infrastructure and programs will multiply the value to startups in our community,” Cook said.
CNM Ingenuity, created in 2014 through the New Mexico Research Park Act, provides various programs and support for entrepreneurs and pursues cooperative ventures that foster economic development and job creation in the central New Mexico region. Ingenuity also advances new approaches to education that provide accelerated educational and training opportunities in key workforce areas.
Ingenuity operates the IGNITE Community Accelerator, a business accelerator for startups and early-stage businesses. Ingenuity also consults and invests in local businesses through other economic development activities, and operates the highly popular Deep Dive Coding Bootcamps that have spawned numerous small businesses and have filled a key workforce need in the region.